Sen. Bob Casey and GOP Challenger Tom Smith will debate, both campaigns announced Friday afternoon. The event will take place on Friday October 26 at WPVI’s studio in Philadelphia.
It will be broadcast on Sunday and available for rebroadcast any time afterward.
The debate will be moderated by Jim Gardner, Action News anchor at WPVI-TV. Gardner will be joined by two panelists: Monica Malpass, Action News Anchor and Vernon Odom, Action News Reporter.
The debate will be sponsored by WPVI-TV, 6abc, and The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund.
“I look forward to the opportunity to discuss jobs, the economy, national security and other issues important to the Commonwealth and the United States. There is much at stake in this election, especially for the middle class, older Pennsylvanians and our children,” said Casey.
The Smith campaign was a bit more aggressive.
“Tom welcomes the opportunity to contrast his detailed plan to create jobs, balance the budget, reduce the debt with Senator Casey’s record as a failed career politician who has voted to increase the debt, raise taxes, and weaken Medicare,” said Campaign Manager Jim Conroy.
Efforts to schedule this debate were frustrating, organizers told the Associated Press recently, and the absence of a face-to-face on the schedule was beginning to attract attention.
On Thursday, PoliticsPA took a guess at why neither Casey not Smith actually wants to debate. To sum it up: because Smith isn’t articulate and Casey isn’t charismatic.
Casey leads Smith by an average of 6.3 percent. 46.8 percent to 40.5 percent, according to Real Clear Politics.
Bob Casey makes Rick Perry look like a great debater.
Looking forward to this debate. I had concluded that Casey would not debate the challenger, then his lead shrunk to around 6 points.
Tom’s “DETAILED(?) plan to create jobs, balance the budget, reduce the debt”
Who wants to bet that the only “detail” is lowering taxes on the rich to “magically” reduce the debt by having less revenue to pay down the debt?
Same mistake Pat Toomey made that almost cost him the election, agreeing to the only debate with Sestak being in Philly. Smith was actually doing surprisingly well in the Philly media market. That will change now after the debate regardless of who technically “wins” or “loses”. Smith should have scheduled it for the mid-state or Pittsburgh. No debate at all would be better for Smith than having one in Philly.
Hopefully each candidate takes this as an opportunity to explain his stance on the issues. Debate zingers do not prove ability to govern, but I expect this will be a calm, mannerly discussion of substance by both sides, something many of us prefer.
Casey will crush him.
I hope Smith brings an empty chair, it will be a better debater than the empty suit.