December 23rd, 2009
05:27 PM ET
9 months ago

Brown urges Coakley to participate in more debates

(CNN) –- Republican Scott Brown called on his Democratic opponent Martha Coakley Wednesday to agree to additional debates, as the two candidates for the late Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat prepared to campaign through the holidays in the run-up to next month’s special election.

“I understand that she has accepted some debates, but is dragging her feet on others,” Brown said at a news conference two days before Christmas. “Already, the League of Women Voters has cancelled a debate scheduled for Faneuil Hall because of her refusal to participate. Other debate sponsors have been unable to move forward with their plans because she has not responded to them.

“Let’s not limit the number of debates between us. There is too much at stake for our state and our nation.”

Brown and Coakley have squared off in two debates since both won their respective political party nominations earlier this month. But those debates also included third-party candidate Joseph Kennedy, who used “paid signature collectors” to help get his name on the general election ballot, The Boston Globe reported last week.

So far, Coakley has refused to participate in any debate that does not include Kennedy, a political unknown who is not related to the late senator. Earlier in the week, Brown accused Coakley of using Kennedy as a “buffer” to avoid directly debating him.

Coakley’s campaign did accept three more invitations Wednesday to debate Brown, but only at events that included the third-party candidate.

“We are looking forward to participating in these three debates in addition to the two debates that have already been held,” Kevin Conroy, Coakley’s campaign manager, said in a statement released by the campaign. “In these debates, it will continue to be clear that Martha Coakley is the only candidate who understands the significant challenges facing our Commonwealth and has concrete plans to create jobs, reduce health care costs, and protect against global warming.”

The Coakley campaign added in the statement that it was "still continuing to work to schedule two additional possible debates hosted by WCVB-TV as well as a consortium of the Boston Globe, NECN, WBUR, WGBH and others.”

CNN and WCVB TV 5 Boston have invited Brown and Coakley to participate in a live debate on Jan. 10, but Kennedy has not yet been asked because he has not met the criteria established by the two media organizations. Brown and Coakley have met the conditions to participate in the debate. Brown has accepted the invitation, but Coakley is insisting that Kennedy be included before she agrees to attend.

On Monday, Brown said that if voters have the opportunity to see him debate Coakley, then they “will see a stark contrast between what she believes and what I believe in.”

“She wants a buffer and she wants the ability to kind of drag this out and run down the calendar,” Brown said of Coakley’s insistence on having Kennedy participate in the debates. “But people are smarter than that.”

Coakley, though, brushed off Brown’s charge that she was using the third party candidate as a distraction.

"The voters go in on Jan. 19 to pick a new U.S. senator,” Coakley said. “There are three names on that ballot. It seems to me, and the candidates agree, that all three of the candidates should be able to put out their positions through media outlets and through other debates to people who are going to make that choice.”


Filed under: Massachusetts
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Fitz in Texas

    You know the saying....."if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all."........guess that's why Martha Coakley doesn't want additional debates.

    December 23, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    first what can Brown do better than any democrat? and will he does as good as Kennedy for that district? I think not just because he is a republican the party of NO ! so she doesn't need to debate you . you aren't worth the time .. :) merry christmas democrats
    MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. PRESIDENT

    December 23, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Oh Comeon Ms Coakley, I don't stand a chance against you the way things are, and as a good person, you should provide me with every advantage possible...
    I'm sure you know that my party and my constituents would URGE nay REQUIRE me to give in to your requests if rolls were reversed (NOT).

    December 23, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Terry from West Texas

    The underdog is always challenging the front-runner to a debate. The loser is already losing, so he has nothing to lose. The front-runner is winning already, and a debate is just an opportunity to make a mistake. Nixon was far ahead of Kennedy until the first debate, when Nixon performed poorly.

    December 23, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    YAY BROWN!!!! Scott Brown will be elected the senator of Massachusetts on Jan. 19, 2010. Good Luck, Senator-Elect!!! Keep Coakley in Massachusetts and Save America!

    December 23, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. CSZ

    Go Scott Brown!!!

    December 23, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. Albo58

    I thought Senators from Massachusetts were appointed by the DNC not elected so what's this about an election?

    December 23, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. carlos

    don't fall prey to those repugnant reptiles..........Ms. Coakley will beat this conservative scum..........

    December 23, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. Scotty from VA

    No, don't do it we need you in there, another vote for Obama and we don't need you debating anyone that might hurt you.

    December 23, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Hammerer

    After the Democratic showing of their corruption Coakley is having second thoughts of joining those crooks.

    December 23, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. phoenix86

    Typical democrat. Can't speak to the issues so she will hide behind a passive media and MoveOn.org.

    MA hasn't had a decent representative since John Quincy Adams.

    December 23, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. DC

    Scott Brown, you have my vote. Martha expects it, but I know she cannot handle the job.

    December 23, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  13. Julie Thomas

    All ready, Brown is showing that nasty republican side. Guess the bashing commercials will be next. Pathetic.

    December 23, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  14. CBR

    How many debates are needed in MA.? Both candidates are well-known and their policies should be, too.

    From speculation to the actual election there has been so much media coverage. You wonder just how much money has been spent on this election.

    December 23, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. Mike

    Typical Democrat. Obama was afraid to debate
    McCain too. What's wrong with letting the voters see both in action? What is Coakley hiding?

    December 23, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Nick

    Dear Scott Brown:

    Your party is dead in your state. Don't bother.

    Sincerely,
    The Management.

    December 23, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. Bill from CA

    The person with the least chance of winning always wants more debates, as the more debates, the more of a chance the frontrunner will make a gaffe that will cost them the election. The underdog doesn't care because they're already behind and have nothing to lose.

    December 23, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. Dan, TX

    Democrats are famous for back-door deals. Even now the Health care bill has the same fate. She will not go for debates because she will be exposed. Barack Obama also was reluctant for town hall meetings because he has problems to talk directly to American people. He will always need teleprompter. What a pity...

    December 23, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. Luke

    Get out of here Scott Brown......You are a joke.
    Voters of Massachusetts are way to smart to vote you into office.

    December 23, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. MVDCT

    The LAST thing this country needs right now is another Democrat in the US Senate. I hope the good people of Massachusetts finally come to their senses and realize that Congressional Democrats are leading us to financial ruin and turning us into the United States of Sweden.

    December 23, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  21. Aspen Professor

    Hey Browny - The Democrat will not be snowed by your desparate attempt for more "media opportunities". No matter how much money the GOP sends your way, your chances for election in Mass. are slim and none. The spirit of Ted Kennedy lives on!

    December 23, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  22. Aspen Professor

    Hey Fitzy get back on your ole plug and giddy yap into the sunset. The North East does NOT buy into your Texas horse manure.

    December 23, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  23. Mickey

    Brow is the typical Republican bully. Looks like the Repubes will have to find a new scheme...the fearmongering isn't working anymore.

    December 23, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  24. Mickey

    The typical Republican "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!" rant.

    December 23, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. paul

    typical republican brain dead politician.

    December 23, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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