Campaign says “no” to debate, but Lamont says “maybe”

Ned Lamont won’t participate in an upcoming debate, or will he?   That’s the question voters will be able to ponder after they watch “Face the State” this Sunday.     

WFSB is pairing with WNPR and CPTV to broadcast two  gubernatorial debates, one for the Republicans and one for the Democrats.    Tom Foley, Oz Griebel, Michael Fedele, and Dan Malloy all accepted our invitations.   Ned Lamont declined.

However, during  a taping of Face the State tonight, Lamont suggested  he was open to changing his mind.   First he repeated his decision not to debate and then we  talked about how his refusal to debate was becoming a part of the news cycle.  He has been criticized by various newspapers including the Courant, Journal Inquirer and New London Day for his decision.    After talking about the benefits of a debate,  and after pressing  Lamont on his reasoning for not accepting our invitation, the frontrunner in the polls said “I won’t rule it out.”    Viewers who watch “Face” this weekend will clearly see Lamont leaving  the door open to debating Malloy. 

But immediately after the taping, Lamont’s spokesperson Justine Sessions slammed that door shut, and told us he would not take part in the debate, despite what her candidate said on television minutes before. 

Tune in this Sunday at 11 for “Face the State”  to watch Lamont talk about  the debate issue.    We also talked about illegal immigration, the deficit, unions, and more.      

Also on the show this weekend: Attorney General and senate candidate Richard Blumenthal.   I’ll have a preview on that later.

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8 Responses

  1. [...] taping of “Face The State” – which you can watch Sunday on Channel 3 – Dennis House asked Lamont, the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate, if he would accept our of….  The forum would be moderated by Dennis and me, and broadcast at various times over WFSB, CPTV [...]

  2. I don’t see a reason why he would not be open to a debate. when you are running for the highest office in the state you should be open to it so that the people can get to know you and what you stand for.

    I hope that you pressured him on the immigration issue that is starting to play out around the country. Looking forward to Face the State on Sunday.

  3. I have develloped a real attitude over Lamont adopting Lowell Wieckers slogan ‘Nobody’s Man But Yours’ for use in his ads. Is he still a Democrat, or is he just courting Wieckers endorsement, which will also probably go to Linda McMahon.

  4. [...] WFBS-TV (Channel 3) anchor and host of “Face the State” Dennis House reports that Lamont did yet another flip that would make members of Cirque de Soleil proud. House last [...]

  5. I had a chance to watch Ned this morning and he was very good. The message was the same (jobs & economic growth), but his delivery was excellent — much improved. He was calm, measured and thoughtful. He was never rushed and never out of breath. Though he’s not a “typical politician”, he’s shown that he can learn and that his grasp of the issues is starting to equal that of many of the counterparts who also seek to be governor.

    Even on the debate question he was able to dismiss without taking issue with Dennis asking the question. I felt like any question could has been asked and he would have answered it with polish.

  6. I really don’t think Ned is electable in a general. He can’t take any push back. His position on debating is foolish but he shouldn’t have to retreat when confronted with it. His campaign seems more scared to debate than he is (may be the campaign is smarter than the candidate).

  7. Bill, if Ned’s not “electable” (though polls shows us a much different reality), how does Dan even compete? If everything holds true to form, he would have to go up against Foley, who’ll outspend him 3/4:1. How does Dan close that gap (especially in a year when Blumenthal and Linda will be spending tens of millions)?

    Dennis, I also think your point about debating and filling the XL Center and the Rent is silly — you presume that everyone who will watch/participate will be undecided, which clearly won’t be. I think the question to for all of us to ask is why debate when the no one but the chattering class cares?

  8. I agree with Ned Lamont’s point about debates – they aren’t the best format to learn more about a candidate nor do they seem to be an efficient use of the candidate’s time. Despite their advertising, the NBC30 debate saw 75% of the viewers switch channels at the start of the show and that debate garnered a 2 share rating. It lost to Judge Judy, who garnered a 4 share. Watching debates requires the viewer to set aside time to watch them and currently we are in summer, when most voters are in vacation mode.

    This isn’t the 19th century when Americans had no problems spending an entire day listening to speeches and debates. Most Americans today are not political junkies, and unlike Americans in the 19th century, today there are a myriad sources of information that a voter can use to get to know the candidate and his or her positions – web sites, TV and radio ads, town hall forums, Meet & Greets, DTC/RTC meetings, and direct mailings. Unlike Lieberman in 2006, Lamont has attended over 20 forums this year where he shared the stage with Malloy.

    The press would do a better job of investigating the claims made by the candidates than on harping about whether or not Lamont should debate Malloy one-on-one again. The Hartford Courant did a good job of uncovering the fuzzy math around Dan Malloy’s claim that he helped create 5,000 jobs in Stamford. What Malloy failed to tell voters is that during his term as Mayor of Stamford, the city lost 13,000 jobs. If Malloy is going to take credit for helping create jobs, he also has to take the blame for losing jobs. That kind of investigative reporting is what the press should be doing to both Malloy’s and Lamont’s positions and ideas.

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