After tough talk about talking — U.S. Senate race will have only one debateby John Kennedy | October 2nd, 2012
Republican Connie Mack renewed his blistering Tuesday of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson over what now looks all but certain to be a single debate between the two contenders.
Mack, trailing in the polls, wants plenty more. Nelson doesn’t need them.
“The voters of this country are getting three prime-time opportunities to view their choices for President and sadly Bill Nelson does not think the voters of Florida are entitled to the same opportunity,” said David James, Mack’s deputy campaign manager.
An Oct. 17 debate at Davie’s Nova Southeastern University, to be broadcast by television stations across Florida, is shaping up as the lone contest. Mack didn’t want the Tampa Bay Times as a co-sponsor of a CNN debate proposed for Oct. 30 — sending everyone back to the drawing board.
CNN, Bay News 9 of Tampa and Central Florida 13 began talking of picking up the second debate — but Nelson’s side wanted it earlier than Oct. 30, since early voting will be underway by then. Mack said he’d be willing to debate Oct. 25 or Oct. 27 — but Nelson’s campaign said it now looks unlikely that CNN will take part in anything that’s not slated for Oct. 30.
So Nelson’s not interested.
“At this point, we’ll have one debate Oct. 17 — and that’s still one more debate than Mack had in his primary,” said Nelson spokesman Paul Kincaid.