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Will Lincoln debate Halter before runoff?

In a quick interview with me on Friday, Arkasas Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter called on Blanche Lincoln to hold at least one head-to-head debate before their runoff on June 8th.

I can't get the Lincoln campaign to tell me whether they have any interest. But the Lincoln camp is up with a new ad attacking Halter for allegedly outsourcing jobs to India.

Halter and Lincoln debated several times before last week's election, which was unexpectedly close and forced a runoff, but in those cases, there was a third candidate present who has now been eliminated. Halter now wants a head to head showdown.

"I stand ready to debate any day and look forward to it," Halter told me. "I'm hopeful that we get another debate or two before the runoff. I welcome the opportunity to debate directly, just the two of us now without a third of the time on the clock going to a third candidate."

Emails to the Lincoln campaign since Friday requesting comment have gone unreturned. But the Lincoln camp is up with this new ad hitting Halter:

"Instead of creating jobs in Arkansas," the ad intones, "his company outsourced jobs to India." But the Associated Press recently concluded that while the company Halter served on the board of directors did open a Bangalore office, there's "no evidence" it cut American jobs to do this.

This ad, combined with the Lincoln camp's refusal to say whether they're open to another debate, has the Halter campaign demanding to know whether this means Lincoln only wants the campaign to unfold on the air, where the messages are tightly scripted and not subject to challenge. If I ever get a response, I'll update you.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 24, 2010; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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More proof that Lincoln really is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Can anyone say projection? Was she in the House when NAFTA was approved? If she was, I think we know how she voted.

Posted by: Calvin_Jones_and_the_13th_Apostle | May 24, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Halter should now use this video to link Lincoln with the unnamed corporate group that was making the outsourcing allegations earlier. Its damn near impossible to prove a negative so he should go right after her and accuse her of hiding behind them in the primary but now dropping all pretenses and using the same lie to try to drum up support. Of course doing this with local and national union leaders standing beside him would draw a pretty clear contrast about who is seen as trustworthy when it comes to preserving American jobs. Its low hanging fruit IMHO and as long as he doesn't go over board it could be the nail in the coffin.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 24, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Was she in the House when NAFTA was approved? If she was, I think we know how she voted."

The whole AR delegation voted in favor of NAFTA, including Blanche, who was in the House. (Remember who was POTUS then?)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 24, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Be careful Blanche.

You are starting to resemble a Chicken, so much, that Sue Lowden wants to barter you to her Doctor.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 24, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Greg, good reporting. I'm sure many are interested in how Lincoln responds, so please do post on this again if there's news.

Maybe try to get the Lincoln spox on the record about debating?

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 24, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

This is OT, as usual for me, but my daughter pointed me to this site for updates on the oil gusher. Lots of geologists reporting in so it's heavy on science but interesting nonetheless. Apparently, they're watching the live feed and are speculating that there MAY have been some kind of a blowout last night along the riser. Anyway, it's an interesting dialogue going on there.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 24, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: yourmomscalling | May 24, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

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