The Beto O’Rourke campaign recently sent a letter to the Ted Cruz campaign requesting to begin coordinating six general election debates. The Cruz campaign responded with a level of condescension and avoidance that is typical of… well - Ted Cruz.
This isn’t the first time O’Rourke has asked to debate Cruz. The campaign sent a letter on April 24 inviting Cruz to participate in six debates, four in English and two in Spanish. However, the Cruz campaign never replied to that letter, even after Cruz spoke publicly about debating O’Rourke.
The Cruz campaign responded to the most recent request with a letter from senior adviser Bryan English. English said Cruz is looking forward to debating O’Rourke, but added "your arbitrary timeline for coordinating between the campaigns remains irrelevant to our decision-making process."
Is it just us, or does that sound like the attitude of someone who’s not actually looking forward to a debate? Given recent polling margins, Cruz would be right to be concerned.
English ended the letter saying the Cruz campaign would let the O’Rourke campaign know when they are “ready to discuss the details of joint appearances."
Clearly, Cruz is in no hurry to face O’Rourke in a debate. Cruz has stalled for two months and continues to dismiss O’Rourke's requests.
Both letters can be found in this story by the Texas Tribune.
Texans deserve to see a debate.
No matter Cruz’s reasons for continuing to delay the debates, all Texans deserve to see these debates happen in order to be well informed on who we’re voting for and what we can expect from each candidate on important issues facing Texans.
Debates matter. They allow for a forum where candidates are asked tough questions and their feet are held to the fire. Anybody seeking public office should know appearing in debates is one of their responsibilities to the public, just like town halls, press conferences, and other types of public appearances. If you are unprepared to be asked uncomfortable questions and unable to defend your record to the public, don’t run.
As this editorial from the Star Telegram Editorial Board puts it, candidates who dodge debates and scrutiny don’t deserve votes.
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