Scott Brown Pulls Out of Kennedy Institute Debate
It looks like Sen. Scott Brown is doing his best to make sure he only has to debate Elizabeth Warren in places that are very friendly territory for himself: Kennedy Institute Rejects Scott Brown’s ‘Unprecedented’ Debate Demand:
Republican Sen. Scott Brown’s terms for debating Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Massachusetts were rejected Tuesday, a move that prompted Brown to pull out of the event altogether.
The Kennedy Institute rebuffed the Brown campaign’s demand that Vicki Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and president of the institute named in his honor, pledge to not make any endorsement throughout the Senate race.
“This non-endorsement pledge is unprecedented and is not being required of any other persons or entities. To us, such a pledge seems inappropriate when a non-media sponsor issues a debate invitation,” Kennedy Institute chief operating officer Lisa McBirney and chief of staff Christopher Hogan wrote in a letter released Tuesday. [...]
That explanation did not satisfy the Brown camp — instead, it prompted Barnett to reject the debate altogether.
“We respect Vicki Kennedy’s decision but we regret that we cannot accept a debate invitation from someone who plans to endorse Scott Brown’s opponent,” Barnett said in a statement to TPM. “The Kennedy Institute cannot hold itself out as a nonpartisan debate sponsor while the president of its board of trustees gets involved in the race on behalf of one of the candidates.”
The Brown camp had also asked for another stipulation. While Brown accepted the choice of Tom Brokaw as moderator, he wanted MSNBC to withdraw as a sponsor. Barnett declared that “we prefer debates with local media sponsors, not out-of-state cable networks with a reputation for political advocacy.”
Rachel Maddow insisted that MSNBC was never going to host the debate and that her network was not asked to host it, and went after Brown for continuing to use herself and her network as some liberal boogeyman to campaign against.