Mike Lee cancels debate hosted by Lonsberry
Cherilyn Eagar challenges him to man up and show what he’s got
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, March 5, 2010. Yesterday morning should’ve been a banner day for the Eagar or Lee senate campaigns, with one camp boasting of a clear victory in a one-on-one debate on KNRS talk radio. This much-anticipated clash of titans, to be hosted by Bob Lonsberry, was cancelled when Mike Lee withdrew without explanation.
Lee and Eagar were invited to debate on Utah’s top conservative talk radio show, a challenge readily accepted by both. Eagar went so far as to accommodate Lee’s schedule for March 4 during the 8:00 a.m. segment. On Tuesday, March 2, Lee had a sudden attack of the vapors and backed out.
Eagar and Lee are the challengers most often given the best chance to unseat 3-term incumbent Bob Bennett. Neither, however, is yet viewed as certain to win, so this face-to-face was a key moment: With hundreds of political junkies listening, it was a perfect chance for one to draw supporters away from the other and to win still-undecided voters.
In announcing the event-that-wasn’t, Lonsberry said, “I thought these two, head to head, side by side, would be useful.” Lonsberry, like Eagar, accommodated Lee’s choice of date. “And, then . . . the Mike Lee campaign withdrew. Why withdraw? Well, not really an answer. And, one answer that was given may have been for an event that, actually, upon verification, wasn’t taking place. So, he just decided not to come. And, you know, so, we said to Mrs. Eagar, ‘The other guy backed out’.” Stating that he is not a fan of either contender, Lonsberry added, “I’m typically not impressed by a fellow who runs away from a fight, and I find, typically, the fellow who says, ‘I don’t want to fight,’ is not the one who would’ve won the fight. You know what I mean?” He also made a point of Lee’s refusal to reschedule.
“If Mike Lee was serious about winning this election,” said one caller, “he’d want every opportunity to get his message out . . . If he was unprepared, he shouldn’t be running.”
Another caller wondered if Lee was like the “high school kid who trained for wrestling, gets down on the mat, looks up and realizes he has to wrestle a girl . . . ‘Now, what? What if she beats me?’ . . . instead of getting out there and fighting a good fight and doing the best he can, whether she wins or loses, he knows he fought the best fight. Why not try? He doesn’t want to try, he just kinda’ gives up.”
It is apparent that the Lee campaign does not want a live debate in a public forum such as the Bob Lonsberry Show. What is Mr. Lee hiding? Why pull out of a wonderful opportunity for the voters to hear him and see what his supporters have been raving about?
Cherilyn Eagar’s challenge to Mike Lee remains open. She is ready to debate Lee live on Lonsberry’s show. “I ask Mr. Lee to join me,” she said, “to stand up like a man and debate me.”
Cherilyn Eagar for U.S. Senate – Principles for a Change
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