As the Republican candidates for governor prepare for what likely is their last debate tonight on statewide television, the first debate between Democrats Bill White and Farouk Shami has been set for Feb. 8 in Fort Worth. ...
Hutchison and Medina both benefited from the first debate, the former because of her energetic assault on Perry's record. Medina, as an unknown candidate, gained credibility through her knowledge of the issues.
Perry again will be the target in tonight's debate, hosted by Belo Corp., its affiliated newspapers and TV stations. Perry said he felt confident.“I've been preparing for this debate for about 25 years. So nothing's different,” the incumbent said Thursday.
He sounds terrified to me.
“The economy is the No. 1 issue that is out there and I'm going to argue that Texas is in better shape than just about any other state,” Perry said. “Texans want a leader who is confident. Texans want a leader who knows exactly where he wants to take this state and has the record to back it up.”Hutchison spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said the senator, who was in Washington on Thursday, plans to focus her debate on Texas' future and challenge Perry to explain how he would use another term in office.
Medina, meanwhile ...
(...) acknowledges that voters and political observers wonder whether Perry and Hutchison were just caught off-guard at the first debate, and whether she will prove to be a credible candidate.
"It’s important to see whether I can take the heat" in the second debate, she says. "We deserve as Texans to know whether someone we’re putting in leadership can handle herself under pressure. This is the only chance for all Texans to be able to see that."
We'll be watching. As will Bill White and Farouk Shami and the rest of the Democratic field, who may not make the Belo cut to appear. More on that outcome today from the Dallas News.