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Gubernatorial Candidate Matt Blunt Dodges Televised Debates

September 23, 2004
By: Travis Thompson
State Capital Bureau

Missouri Gubernatorial Candidate Matt Blunt says Claire McCaskill is dodging television debates. But, Blunt is doing the dodging. Travis Thompson has more from the state Capital.

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Matt Blunt says he wants to reach as many Missourians as possible, his campaign sent out a press release accusing McCaskill of dodging debates.

But television stations in Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis have all invited Blunt to debate, and he's yet to agree to any.

Brad Belote is the executive producer at the NBC affiliate in Springfield.

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Contents: "It's very frustrating to have Mr. Blunt not give us an answer especially a month after our invitation was extended."

McCaskill has agreed to live televised debates in Missouri's three largest cities.

From the state Capital, I'm Travis Thompson.

###

Matt Blunt released a press release saying Claire McCaskill is dodging television debates. But as Travis Thompson found out, it's actually Blunt who is doing the dodging.

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Matt Blunt took part in one televised debate last month in Joplin.

He says he wants more debates.

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Contents: "I think Missourians would benefit if we really did talk about where we were going to debate and how the largest number of Missourians could hear those."

Blunt has not accepted invitations to debate on television in Kansas City, Springfield or St. Louis.

Brad Belote, the executive producer of the NBC affiliate in Springfield says Blunt is not cooperating in debate plans.

Actuality:
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Contents: "It's very frustrating to have Mr. Blunt not give us an answer especially a month after our invitation was extended."

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Claire McCaskill has agreed to television debates in Missouri's three largest cities.

From the state Capital, I'm Travis Thompson.

###

Missouri Gubernatorial Candidate Matt Blunt is dodging television debates. Claire McCaskill's campaign is frustrated. Travis Thompson has more from the state Capital.

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Matt Blunt has not agreed to television debates in Missouri's three largest cities.

Claire McCaskill has agreed to all three.

McCaskill's spokesperson, Glenn Campbell.

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Contents: "We've accepted these as soon as the invitations came in. We are five, six weeks later and he is still dancing around."

Blunt has agreed to debates in front of three local medical societies and one chamber of commerce.

None of those will be broadcast.

From the state Capital, I'm Travis Thompson.

###

It's just weeks until Missourians head to the polls to select a new governor, and the debate dance has begun.

Republican Matt Blunt charges his rival Claire McCaskill with avoiding debates, but as Travis Thompson found out, it's actually Blunt who is doing the dodging.

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Matt Blunt says he wants this year's gubernatorial contest to reach the largest number of Missourians possible.

Actuality:
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OutCue:
Contents: "I think Missourians would benefit if we really did talk about where we were going to debate and how the largest number of Missourians could hear those."

His campaign sent out a press release blasting Democrat Claire McCaskill for not negotiating dates for debates between the two candidates.

The debates Blunt's camp wanted to set up included apperances before three local medical societies and one chamber of commerce...groups that have strongly supported Republican candidates.

But at the same time Blunt has not accepted invitations to live television debates in Kansas City, Springfield or St. Louis, while McCaskill has agreed to all three debates.

McCaskill campaign spokesman Glenn Campbell was quick to jump on Blunt.

Actuality:
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Contents: "We've accepted these as soon as the invitations came in. We are five, six weeks later and he is still dancing around."

And it isn't just the political operatives who say they're frustrated by Blunt's debate dodging.

Brad Belote is the executive producer of Springfield NBC affiliate KY3-TV.

Actuality:
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "It's very frustrating to have Mr. Blunt not give us an answer especially a month after our invitation was extended."

So far this year, the only debate between McCaskill and Blunt was a candidate forum held last month in Joplin, but Blunt could still accept the invitations to any or all of the televised debates.

From the state Capital, I'm Travis Thompson.