Last updated on August 23, 2020
Republican Mitch McConnell laid down a challenge Wednesday to his Democratic opponent in Kentucky — a socially distanced debate with no notes on statewide television.McConnell, the Senate majority leader who is seeking a seventh term in the November election, issued the debate challenge in a letter to Democrat Amy McGrath’s campaign.“This would be a debate just between the two of us,” McConnell wrote. “No notes at the table, no props and no audience. Kentuckians deserve clear answers from each of us on the issues that matter most, and this is the best format to deliver those answers.”
Why it matters: McConnell has held a steady lead over McGrath in most polling for the race, adding a layer of intrigue over his request.
“While the coronavirus campaign has changed how we campaign in 2020, it is my view that any plans to hold in-person debates between the two of us should not be impacted,” McConnell told McGrath in a letter. “Before casting their ballots this November, Kentuckians deserve the opportunity to compare us side-by-side as we share out competing visions for Kentucky’s long-term prosperity.”
McConnell, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate via Kentucky in 1984, went on to tell McGrath that the “Lincoln-Douglas-style debate” he envisioned would include “a time-keeping moderator agreed upon by each of us. This would be a debate just between the two of us.”
The historic Lincoln-Douglas Debates were a series of seven debates held in 1858, when Republican Abraham Lincoln and incumbent Democratic Sen. Stephen A. Douglas competed for a U.S. Senate seat in Illinois. Lincoln, a former member of the Whig Party, went on to defeat Douglas in the presidential election of 1860 and became the United States’ first Republican president.
But McGrath isn’t afraid of Moscow Mitch:
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