U.S. Senate candidate Republican Tom Cotton challenged incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor to a series of five “Lincoln-Douglas style” debates to be held in different regions across Arkansas.
Cotton said voters deserve a chance to hear directly from the candidates in a one-one-one setting without the filter of journalists and media personalities.
Cotton proposed that he and Pryor would ask each other questions directly and only have a timekeeper to moderate time constraints.
“There used to be a time in our politics when voters could look the two candidates in the eye and hear from them directly – that”s what I”m inviting Senator Pryor to participate in today,” Cotton said. “The Senate is commonly known as “the world”s greatest deliberative body.” I think we should have a series of one-on-one Lincoln-Douglas style debates to let Arkansans decide who will best represent their views and values over the next six years.”
Cotton called on the two campaigns to “work together” on scheduling times and venues for the debates.
Cotton said that he wants to see the debates in central, northwest, northeast, southeast, and southwest Arkansas.
“Arkansans should be able to travel a short distance and hear from us directly,” he said. “They deserve a debate that treats them with dignity and respect.”
“I”m happy to do this on a flatbed truck and two bales of hay,” Cotton added. “I”ll even provide the hay.”
The Pryor campaign didn”t directly address the Cotton challenge, but a spokesman did indicate that the incumbent Senator was interested in debating the Congressman.
“Mark looks forward to debating Congressman Cotton at the appropriate time and in a format where voters statewide can finally hear Mr. Cotton”s explanation for recklessly voting to turn Medicare over to insurance companies, cut benefits and raise the age to 70 for Social Security and Medicare,” said Erik Dorey, Pryor for Senate spokesman.
SENATE RACE IS TIGHT
The U.baccaratS. Senate race has heated up a few more degrees, especially after the latest Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll that showed Pryor with a slight lead.
The poll conducted on April 3-4, 2014, put Pryor at 45.5% to Cotton”s 42.5%, well within the margin of error of /-3%.
On this week”s Talk Business & Politics TV program, GOP strategist-radio talk show host Alice Stewart and Democratic strategist-Talk Business blogger Michael Cook discussed the latest poll results and the current state of the Senate race with Talk Business & Politics host Roby Brock and KATV anchorman Scott Inman.
You can view their on-air and extended political roundtable conversation in the video below.