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Lamont Declines Second Televised Debate

by Christine Stuart | Jul 20, 2010 10:09pm
(10) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2010

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont has been invited to another televised debate and for a second time has declined the invitation. But unlike the first debate in New London, next week’s debate won’t be canceled.

WFSB and CPTV have teamed up to host the Democratic gubernatorial debate 3 p.m., Aug. 3. Dan Malloy, Lamont’s opponent in the Aug. 10 primary, has accepted the invitation.

“At this point Lamont has declined our invitation, but he can change his mind as late as that day,” Dennis House, Eyewitness News anchor and Face the State host, said Tuesday. “The debate will go on as scheduled, with Dan Malloy. If he is the sole participant, then we will go forward. He’ll just have to answer twice as many questions.”

The hour long debate and prized television time, which includes two re-airings of the debate, may belong solely to Malloy. But Malloy’s campaign is still holding out hope that Lamont will change his mind.

“We hope Ned will change his mind. This is a close race that’s getting closer by the day,” Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s campaign consultant, said. “Democrats have a real choice to make, and the best way to be able to make that choice is to size the candidates up, side by side. It is unprecedented that there would be no televised debates between two major party candidates for Governor in the closing weeks of a close race. It’s never happened.”

“Some candidates might prefer an hour on TV alone. Dan doesn’t. He’d happily give that up to give Ned half the time,” Occhiogrosso said.

Earlier this month Lamont said he’s done plenty of debates with Malloy and he doesn’t believe having one-minute to talk about how he will balance the budget is the most constructive way to spend his time on the campaign trail. Instead he is holding telephone town hall meetings and going around the state talking to groups and individuals.

Justine Sessions, Lamont’s campaign spokeswoman, said Tuesday that WFSB and CPTV shouldn’t cancel the debate because “Dan may need the full hour to explain how 5,000 jobs created minus 13,000 jobs lost equals 5,000 jobs created.”

Malloy has been criticized and editorialized by the Courant for the number of jobs he claims he created as mayor of Stamford. The Malloy campaign has said the 5,000 jobs is a conservative estimate of those he brought into the city during his 14 years as mayor.

House will co-moderate the debates with John Dankosky, WNPR news director and host of Where We Live.

The Republican gubernatorial debate featuring Tom Foley, R. Nelson “Oz” Griebel, and Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele will be taped and air the following day on WFSB at 3 p.m., Aug. 4.

Eyewitness News Now cable channel will rebroadcast both debates at 7PM. CPTV and WNPR will rebroadcast the debate at 8 PM.

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(10) Comments

posted by: Martha H | July 20, 2010  10:32pm

Martha H

Now, I heard that Mr. Lamont begged off “in order to spend more time with my family” and because “In truth, I am really not that articutale.”

posted by: Dempsey Dem | July 20, 2010  10:49pm

Me thinks there’s a bit of arrogance filtering through the Lamont campaign.  First, he refuses to debate Malloy; Then he goes on a mail and TV blitz offering nothing but platitudes.  Now he adopts Lowell Weicker’s campaign slogan, “Nobody’s Man But Yours”, certainly not a bright move amoung Democrats.  Democrats across the state are complaining about the incessant Lamont broadsides cluttering their mailboxes.  The only way to end it is to make sure Danl Malloy wins.

posted by: bhogan | July 20, 2010  11:20pm

Here we go again!! Ned you are not getting good advice from your consultants.

posted by: bjones | July 21, 2010  10:31am

Ned doesn’t need to debate, no one watched the last one on NBC (most people changed the channel or turned the TV off, if I remember right) and its not going to change anything.

All Dan is going to do is attack, attack, attack Ned in a desperate hope to score some points from voters. Ned doesn’t need to debate, he needs to keep doing what he has been doing, which is talking directly with voters.

posted by: Jim F | July 21, 2010  1:08pm

Seems awfully strange that someone would run a radio add about how well they did at a debate and then not want to repeat the success!  Ned seems afraid to appear in a setting other than photo opts or stump speaches. Is that Governor material?

posted by: Mark S | July 21, 2010  2:26pm

Mark S

I agree with bjones. No one watched last debate, and just about all important questions and issues were already addressed.

It’s starting to feel like Malloy is spending more time complaining than campaigning. The voters of Connecticut deserve better.

posted by: thebpp | July 21, 2010  2:49pm

It seems like Ned, seeing his advantage in the polls slipping significantly, is now trying to run out the clock… I wouldn’t be surprised if Lamont tried to avoid any event where people might learn more about him. This is a cowardly way to conduct politics in this state.

posted by: Debra E. Dickey | July 21, 2010  11:08pm

bjones, JimF, and Mark S, if no one watched the debate (I did incidentally, as several of my friends did; but then, we try to be informed voters)why is Lamont so reluctant to give up two hours for the many voters who do watch debates? Does not bode well for what to expect from him as Governor - he thought debates were important when he was running against Lieberman. What’s changed?

posted by: mattw | July 22, 2010  9:53pm

Debra, “what changed” was that this year, there have been at least 27 debates with both of our candidates. Trying to get from zero debates to one is a different thing than having a weeks-long hissy fit over not being able to get from 27 debates to 29.

posted by: JohninHamden | July 24, 2010  9:07am

Ned is an engaging guy to talk to.  However, when I carefully looked at what he had to say, in print, as a platform, I found an empty suit. 

It’s no wonder he doesn’t want to debate—- Sounds nice but no substance.


And, Justine Sessions comment is typical of his campaign.  No reality; just enough intellect to make and throw spitballs.  If he wins the primary, there’ll be 4 more years of a Republican in the mansion.