Mark Udall is not playing to win; he is playing not to lose. Udall made it official last night that he will not debate Cory Gardner on television at any point during the campaign. For a guy who is clinging to a tenuous lead in the last two months of a campaign, this cannot inspire confidence in his supporters. Instead of getting an hour of free air time, Udall is now being blasted by local Colorado stations for his flimsy excuses:
DENVER (CBS4) – For the first time in CBS4 history an incumbent U.S. senator has declined to debate his opponent live on air. In fact, Sen. Mark Udall isn’t doing a debate on any of the four major network television stations in Denver.
CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd said it’s disappointing to CBS4, but it’s also unfortunate for CBS4 viewers.
“Live debates are the one opportunity voters have to see candidates go toe-to-toe without a media filter, see the clarity of their vision and courage of their conviction; how they think on their feet and respond under pressure,” Boyd said. “We’ve been trying to schedule this debate for more than two months.”
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“Unlike attack ads that cost millions of dollars to air, it was free air time. But incumbent Sen. Mark Udall said, ‘No thanks,’ “ Boyd said.
CBS4 has a long history of hosting political debates dating back to its days as KOA. For more than 30 years the station has invited candidates for U.S. Senate to debate on CBS4’s air, and never has a candidate passed on the opportunity — until now.
Udall says he’s all booked.
Udall is also running headlong from President Obama, which is getting him some mockery from otherwise friendly media:
Udall is clearly counting on Colorado’s increasingly blue tint to pull him across the finish line. It may yet win but generally in politics, as well as in sports, if you play not to win, you are actually playing to lose. Mitt Romney found this out the hard way in 2012, let’s hope Mark Udall gets the same message in 2014.