I have very disappointing news: my opponent in Virginia’s First District, Congressman Rob Wittman, has just cancelled our only scheduled debate. It was set for this Thursday, in Stafford County, but at the last minute—and without explanation—Rob backed out.
In contrast, I have accepted debate invitations from nonpartisan organizations in Prince William, Stafford, Fredericksburg, Williamsburg and Newport News. Why? Because debates are fundamental to our democracy—an opportunity for voters to assess the character and convictions of the people who seek the privilege of representing them.
For me, it’s very simple: don’t the voters of Virginia’s First District deserve the opportunity to hear an honest and open airing of our views?
A spokesperson for Rob had actually promised that he would participate in not just one—but at least two debates. It seems clear that now that this race is tightening, Rob’s not interested in keeping that promise, or his commitment to Thursday’s single debate.
Even more troubling is that Rob’s decision is consistent with his behavior throughout this campaign.
When the AFL-CIO sent Rob a letter asking if he would like to seek their endorsement, he refused to even accept the letter.
When the Sierra Club sought his views on environmental issues relevant to our state, Rob refused to even answer the questions.
When the Daily Press Newspaper asked Rob what he is doing to reach out to African-Americans in our district, he was the only candidate—Republican or Democrat—who declined to provide a response.
Rob’s strategy for this election is clear: refuse to answer any hard questions; avoid groups that don’t already agree with you; try to run out the clock.
And—clearly—hide from an open and honest debate with me.
That’s not what leadership is about. That’s not the kind of behavior that made our democracy the envy of the world. And that’s not what the people of Virginia’s First District deserve.
And I can promise you that’s not the kind of democracy my fellow-soldiers envision when we are serving overseas to protect our American way of life.
It’s time for you and I to let Rob know he can’t just keep ducking the hard questions. Please contribute whatever you can to send him a message: real leaders step up—they allow our democracy to work the way it’s supposed to work.
Please donate now. Help me make sure voters get the facts about Rob’s record.
Thanks, as always, for your continued support.
P.S. While Rob isn’t making time for an honest and open debate with me, he is making time for a fundraiser for PACs and high-dollar individuals on a Yacht called “Finished Business”. We know what “finished business” looks like for Rob – he has a 93% voting record with the GOP and supports more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans while cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security that have served seniors for generations, and cutting benefits to veterans by 13%.
Help me make sure voters get the facts about Rob’s record.