PA Sen: Barletta Pushes for Four Debates, Casey Commits to Two
We have two.
Democratic incumbent Sen. Bob Casey and GOP challenger Rep. Lou Barletta have agreed to two televised debates in October, one in Philadelphia and the other in Pittsburgh.
Earlier today, the Morning Call’s Laura Olson tweeted updates she was given from both campaigns on what debates were agreed upon and what was still up in the air.
Barletta’s camp says they’ve also accepted “invites in principle” to debates in Harrisburg and Wilkes-Barre.
Casey’s team cites schedule constraints with Senate session. They’re sticking with two debates in the state’s biggest media markets.
— Laura Olson (@lauraolson) August 28, 2018
The Casey campaign announced they agreed to participate in two televised debates, while the Barletta campaign continued to push for two additional debates, one in Harrisburg and the other in Scranton.
“The Casey campaign has agreed to participate in two televised debates — one in Pittsburgh and one in Philadelphia,” said Max Steele, campaign spokesman. “We look forward to the opportunity to discuss what is at stake for Pennsylvania families in this election and the clear contrast between the candidates.”
Earlier this afternoon, the Barletta campaign sent out a press release stating that the GOP candidate has accepted four debate invitations and that Casey was refusing to two additional debates.
“News that Bob Casey is refusing to debate in Harrisburg and his home market of Scranton is not surprising, but still disappointing,” said Matthew Beynon, Senior Communications Advisor to Barletta for Senate.
The Casey campaign cited Senate scheduling conflicts, in part to Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell canceling August recess and all recess from now until November.
Steele and Beynon exchanged punches through Twitter over the debate discussion.
That’s not how this works.
— Max Steele (@maxasteele) August 28, 2018
— Matt Beynon (@mattbeynon) August 28, 2018
More of the Beynon and Steele back and forth can be found here.
The Barletta press release particularly attempted to paint Casey as out of touch with those from his hometown of Scranton, while they continued to push for two more debates.
“We can understand why Casey would not want to put his record to scrutiny in Scranton in particular,” the press release stated followed by expressing policy differences. “It’s clear that when Bob Casey went to Washington, he left his hometown behind.”
The debate in Philadelphia will be broadcasted at WPVI, while the Pittsburgh debate will be broadcasted at KDKA.
Sen. Pat Toomey and Democrat Katie McGinty engaged in two debates in 2016, one on WPVI and KDKA. Although neither was eager to debate in 2012, Casey and GOP challenger Tom Smith held just one debate on WPVI. In 2010, Republican Pat Toomey debated Democrat Joe Sestak twice. Casey and GOP incumbent Sen. Rick Santorum went head to head four times in 2006 on KDKA, WPVI, Meet the Press, and one radio interview.