Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) has turned down an opportunity to debate his opponent, Doug Jones (D), because the differences between the two candidates are “crystal clear,” according to Moore’s campaign.
“While we appreciate the invitation from WHNT, the differences between the two candidates are crystal clear,” Moore’s campaign chairman, Bill Armistead, said in a statement to WHNT-TV in northern Alabama.
The CBS affiliate said on Wednesday that Moore’s campaign had declined to debate Jones, adding that the station would have allowed both campaigns to agree on a preferred format and offered six potential dates between Nov. 27 and Dec. 7.
“We at WHNT News 19 believe that public debates give voters a chance to carefully consider who represents them. A seat in the US Senate comes with immense power. It should also come with immense accountability,” the affiliate’s chief digital journalist, David Kumbroch, said.
“Every politician, no matter their stances, party or position, should be open to conversations and challenges, even from those who might disagree,” he continued.
Jones’s campaign responded to the Moore campaign’s decision, saying in a statement to WHNT that the Republican candidate is hiding.
“Roy Moore has been hiding from the voters, from the media and from his record for weeks and now refuses to take the same stage with Doug in a debate. Doug has said repeatedly he was willing to debate Roy Moore anytime, anywhere,” a spokesperson for the Jones campaign said.
The news comes nearly a month before Moore and Jones face off, on Dec. 12, in the Senate race to fill Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE’s former Senate seat.