Friday, August 29, 2014

Abbott cancels debate with Davis, then changes his mind

*Update below.

He's decided it's better to stay out of sight, so he and Dan Patrick and Ted Nugent are all going to hole up in the basement and play cards, maybe shoot some guns.

Republican candidate Greg Abbott has reversed his decision to appear in the only gubernatorial debate to be broadcast statewide on television.

Abbott and his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, had both agreed to participate in a roundtable debate in Dallas on Sept. 30.

But on Friday morning, Abbott's team reversed an earlier decision and said it will not participate alleging concern over the format.

"Due to our inability to agree on specific details of the format, Attorney General Greg Abbott will regretfully not be participating in the WFAA debate," said Robert Black, senior campaign advisor on Friday morning. He is Abbott's new debate consultant who joined the campaign on Aug. 4.

Davis wanted to stand at a lectern; Abbott didn't.

"We are deeply disappointed that the Abbott campaign has not lived up to the commitment it made to participate in this important debate," said Mike Devlin, President and General Manager of WFAA-TV. "WFAA has produced numerous debates which are balanced and fair to all the candidates. This debate would be no different. The citizens of Texas deserve to hear from the candidates for the most important office in the state."

Roundtable debates don't formally time responses for candidate answers. The looser format is designed to create a conversation and give voters a more candid look at candidates and their positions.

Can't have that.

Strategically, Abbott's team likely revealed the news on Friday morning before the long holiday weekend. Currently Abbott and Davis are only scheduled to appear together in one debate in McAllen later this month. Davis originally requested multiple debates statewide but Abbott said he would only do two – one in McAllen and the one in Dallas.

At least we can look forward to more teevee ads where Abbott reminds us he married a Latina.

I think the man is seriously trying his hardest to let Wendy Davis narrowly defeat him.  He deserves a standing ovation for that.

Update, courtesy Harvey Kronberg:

It is supposed to be the Davis campaign that is in disarray, but to all current appearances, it looks like the Abbott campaign is the one that can't shoot straight.

At least Rick Perry used the subterfuge of refusing to debate Bill White until he released years of tax returns. Under the cover of the long Labor Day weekend, the Abbott campaign unilaterally cancelled a debate to which it had previously agreed with Democrat Wendy Davis and without even the pretense of a subterfuge. They simply cited unstated problematic format issues ... to which they had previously agreed.

Taking incoming from even their own party and looking an awful lot like Clayton Williams refusing to shake Ann Richard's hand, the state's lead litigator apparently hurriedly set up another debate format and then announced it.

Unfortunately, the Davis campaign confirms that they had no prior notice of the cancellation or the Abbott declaration of a "new debate".


1 comment:

Gadfly said...

CPRIT ... it's too strong for a man but made for a woman? :)