Republican Robert Hurt, who is running to oust Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello in Virginia’s fifth district, will not be participating in a Sept. 19 debate hosted by the Cumberland County NAACP, taking issue with the fact that the third party candidate will also be there.
Perriello campaign spokesperson Jessica Barba sharply criticized Hurt for skipping the debate, saying Hurt “has turned his nose up to 5th district seniors, small business owners, and African-Americans in skipping the first three debates of the race. Voters have to wonder if Senator Hurt is so afraid of explaining his votes to raise taxes and utility rates that he continues to hide from questions about his record.”
Good point by Jessica Barba; either Hurt is afraid to debate, or he’s extremely confident and doesn’t feel that he “needs” to. Either way, it’s not acceptable. As Republican political strategist Mark McKinnon says in the HuffPo article, voters should “demand their representatives debate early and often…It ain’t the law, but it sure as hell ought to be an obligation.” Apparently, Robert Hurt doesn’t see debating as an “obligation;” he sees it as purely optional.
P.S. In the HuffPo article, the Hurt campaign claims that “Robert has engaged in dozens of public debates in counties and cities all across the 5th District.” Oh please, do tell – dates and locations of these “dozens of public debates?” What’s that, you ask? Right, the sound of crickets chirping (“liar! liar!”), loud enough for everyone in the 5th CD to hear.