Why McConnell and Grimes must debate

05/31/2014 02:02 PM

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes will send a letter to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in the coming days to call for a quick resolution to the impasse over a plan for debates, Grimes’ spokeswoman said.

Charly Norton, the Grimes campaign spokeswoman, told Pure Politics that campaign managers Jonathan Hurst for Grimes and Jesse Benton for McConnell are expected to meet next week to hash out a debate schedule.

McConnell laid out his parameters for three debates before Labor Day in the freewheeling Lincoln-Douglas style featuring a moderator to only keep the back-and-forth from getting out of hand.

WDRB in Louisville offered that type of debate for June 21, and McConnell jumped to accept it.

“Sen. McConnell is looking forward to the June 21 Lincoln-Douglas style debate with Sec. Grimes to allow the people of Kentucky the opportunity to see where both candidates stand on the real issues important to the commonwealth,” McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said Friday in a statement in response to questions from Pure Politics about the status of the debate schedule. “That is the only debate Senator McConnell has confirmed at this time.”

Other news organizations, including cn|2 and Kentucky Educational Television, have extended invitations to the two candidates to host debates.

At stake is voters’ ability to hear for themselves the positions of the candidates and differences between them in what both McConnell and Grimes have described as the most important race in the country this fall. So far both McConnell and Grimes have been guarded with the media and, by extension, Kentucky voters.

Here’s the Pure Politics segment on a set of a half-dozen issues on which McConnell and Grimes should be pressed during debates and why the two candidates need to meet on the same stage often and much closer to the election than June 21, which is 19 weeks from when Kentuckians go to the polls:

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