12th District candidate Lee Anderson turns down debate in Atlanta

Monday, Sept. 17, 2012 3:18 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 1:25 AM
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ATLANTA -- A spokesman for Republican challenger Lee Anderson told the nation’s second-largest press club that he is declining an invitation to debate the man he wants to unseat, Democratic Congressman John Barrow.

The Atlanta Press Club’s Oct. 21 debate would be televised throughout the whole district on Georgia Public Broadcasting, unlike local media outlets that only reach voters in various parts of the 12th District. Anderson participated in the club’s debate during the primary.

Anderson spokesman Ryan Mahoney sent club Executive Director Lauri Strauss a one-line email on Friday that offered no reasons.

“Thank you for your e-mail. At this time, we respectfully decline the invitation to the Oct. 21st Press Club Debate. Best, Ryan,” he wrote.

Monday, he noted that Barrow had skipped debates by the Atlanta club in the last two elections.

Barrow spokesman Richard Carbo said Monday that the congressman would accept the invitation if Anderson does but that a trip to Atlanta would otherwise be difficult in the last days of a campaign.

“We’re hoping that Mr. Anderson will change his mind. If he’ll accept it, we’ll accept it,” Carbo said.

He said four or five organizations in the district have also issued invitations to debates.

Because of its reputation and statewide audience, the Press Club often hosts the only debate that some candidates decide to participate in. Its debate committee picks panelists from veteran journalists with a geographic, racial and gender balance to ensure the process is fair to all candidates.

Its debates are unusual in that they allow candidates to ask each other questions, which sometimes adds sparks or pins down a position on a critical issue.

With national interest in Barrow’s position as the only white Democrat in the deep South, the Press Club expected C-SPAN to also air the debate and network affiliates based in Atlanta to cover it. That broader exposure could provide exposure to whoever wins the election as he is attempting to carve out a role in the next Congress.

Anderson’s campaign has responded to past debate invitations - made by Augusta ABC affiliate WJBF and The Statesboro Herald - by saying he would only participate if Barrow appeared on camera to say who he is supporting for speaker of the House.

“Lee Anderson will consider sharing the stage with Barrow once he stands in front of a local television camera and confesses his politically disastrous secret – he’s voting for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi,” Mahoney said in a statement.

Carbo said the congressman has already said he would not vote for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and that he didn’t vote for her to be speaker in the last election. He can’t say who he would vote for because he doesn’t know who will run for the post, a contest that shapes up after the November elections, Carbo said.

Anderson’s camp wants Barrow to talk on camera about his position on President Obama, putting the Democrat in the position of choosing between alienating conservative voters or alienating the president who could decide the fate of a federal harbor-deepening project along the Savannah River.

Barrow would be willing to debate those issues face to face if Anderson would agree, Carbo said.

Carbo characterized as a dodge the conditions that Anderson’s campaign is demanding.

“Absolutely, I think it’s an effort to find an excuse not to debate,” Carbo said.

Mahoney denies that, noting that Anderson participated in 17 forums in the primary and has served in local and state office long enough for people to know his views. Instead, he said a debate with Barrow would not serve voters.

“It has nothing to do with debating skills. It has to do with giving a platform for someone who can’t tell the truth,” he said.

Staff writer Susan McCord contributed to this article

Comments (47) Add comment
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storiesihaveread
369
Points
storiesihaveread 09/17/12 - 02:31 pm
9
5
Lost my Vote

Well Mr. Anderson you have lost my vote. This is the 2nd debate you have turned down. GO Barrow.....

Little Lamb
49094
Points
Little Lamb 09/17/12 - 02:45 pm
9
1
Speechifyin’

I saw him speak at the Tea Party Express rally at Fairway Square on Saturday. He is wise to turn down the debate. His best strategy is negative ads, and lots of them.

Thethirdjq
214
Points
Thethirdjq 09/17/12 - 02:49 pm
9
1
I think Mr. Anderson is

I think Mr. Anderson is hoping to win by avoiding all exposure that would reveal he is unfit for the position. His platform, it appears to be, is, "Vote for me because Barrow is a Democrat."

I hope voters will decide on who is best to represent regardless of party. Doubtful though.

Reminds me of the Eddie Murphy movie.

malcolm33
53
Points
malcolm33 09/17/12 - 02:52 pm
5
5
Not surprising

Barrow should run with this, but I will hold my nose and vote for the hayseed.

Fiat_Lux
16442
Points
Fiat_Lux 09/17/12 - 03:01 pm
4
5
Unfortunately, Malcolm

A lot of us will be right there holding our noses with you.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 09/17/12 - 03:02 pm
7
7
ABB

Anybody But Barrow

southern2
7827
Points
southern2 09/17/12 - 03:16 pm
7
5
How about best 2 out of 3,

How about best 2 out of 3, rock, scissors, paper. I guess you can only give out your phone number so many times. Anderson will still get my vote over the Pelosi puppet who always portrays himself as a conservative at election time. If this was true maybe he is in the wrong party.

malcolm33
53
Points
malcolm33 09/17/12 - 03:27 pm
6
5
bright side

At least the state of Georgia won't be able to laugh at us if Anderson was on state TV. Just vote against everything Obama.

Retired Army
17513
Points
Retired Army 09/17/12 - 03:38 pm
9
5
Somebody is sure to complain

Somebody is sure to complain about "harsh rhetoric" to the staff but Geez with reasoning like this what else is to be said but "Stoopid iz az Stoopid duz."

I suppose I can at least take away the idea that no one claimed Anderson to be the "Best man for the job." That's not much to take but it's at least something.

The Republicans themselves are responsible for this fiasco.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 09/17/12 - 03:45 pm
7
6
For all of the

For all of the lefties....

The funny part will be when Anderson beats Barrow.

The lefties enjoy making fun of Anderson, but are silent when it comes to saying anything positive about Barrow.

urright
465
Points
urright 09/17/12 - 04:03 pm
8
2
Forrest Gump

If he pulled another "I'm not a big spenduh when it comes to suppuh" quote I'd have to vote for Barrow just so we wouldn't look so stupid in DC.

Fiat_Lux
16442
Points
Fiat_Lux 09/17/12 - 04:03 pm
7
8
You may be partially correct, RA,

but the issue that's most important is not about which candidate is the more intelligent. Anderson wasn't my first choice, but his position on virtually every issue, especially the ones that require genuine moral fiber, is always going to line up with mine as compared to John Barrow's position and actions.

Lee Anderson may be a country boy, and John Barrow made be smarter and better educated. Nevertheless, Lee is plenty smart enough for the job and absolutely the better man to represent this district.

It's essential for us to keep our eye on the ball and not get distracted by peripheral matters.

americafirst
1001
Points
americafirst 09/17/12 - 04:04 pm
8
2
The only reason Anderson

The only reason Anderson participated in the debates in the initial primary is because there was more than 2 candidates and if he refused they just would have debated without him. He looked and sounded like an idiot in the debates such as his answer to the question abou the federal reserve. That is why he would not debate Rick Allen in the runoff and will not debate Barrow now. His campiagn strategy is to avoid any debate, interview or anything or anywhere he has to open his mouth. It is his best strategy but one that will not work with me. I actually am considering voting for Barrow who I consider to be a moderate democrat.

tl-bro
180
Points
tl-bro 09/17/12 - 04:05 pm
2
2
Thanks Wright

Thanks a ton Wright - great endorsement.

Discussionstarter
501
Points
Discussionstarter 09/17/12 - 04:49 pm
9
3
The ability to communicate is key to work in Washington DC

Anderson has difficulty with this skill. I have heard him when he walked up to a group of men in a restaurant and did some impromptu campaigning; he was unimpressive. My vote is for Barrow.

Riverman1
93737
Points
Riverman1 09/17/12 - 04:52 pm
5
2
Barrow Switch Parties?

I wonder if John Barrow would consider switching parties?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 09/17/12 - 04:54 pm
3
3
@ Retired Army

Thank you for proving my point.

I rest my case.

Retired Army
17513
Points
Retired Army 09/17/12 - 04:57 pm
4
2
Don't think that's called

Don't think that's called "Resting the case". More like "Asleep at the switch". :)

dstewartsr
20393
Points
dstewartsr 09/17/12 - 04:59 pm
6
8
A quick tongue

... tends to be able to lie believably at great speed, especially connected to zero integrity; The Obamessiah springs to mind.So, he's no Lincoln-class debater; why go on stage and prove it to the delight of liberals? I believe in office Anderson will vote as he's promised in his campaign. How many promises has Barrow kept; how many times has he voted for his party's programs rather than people he represents?

rebellious
21881
Points
rebellious 09/17/12 - 05:07 pm
6
7
The Criteria

for whom you vote should not be a persons linguistic ability or spoken eloquence. It should be how closely a candidate embraces the values you hold. I wouldn't care if Anderson talked with a lisp and had a goiter on the side of his neck, he represents conservative values. He believes in the individualism of America and the collective strength of our country. He recognizes the urban and the rural contributions to the greatness of this country. He believes in giving people a hand up, not a hand out.

Yep, Lee Anderson has my vote.

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 09/17/12 - 05:33 pm
1
0
Sad choice.....
Unpublished

We already have Isaakson and Chamliss do nothings who hide until reelection time, never answer questions from registered republican voters and campaign on nothing more than any Republican is better than any Democrat. Ain't so. Liars all.

itsanotherday1
48335
Points
itsanotherday1 09/17/12 - 05:35 pm
7
3
Anderson will vote according

Anderson will vote according to conservative constituent wishes; but he sure as heck won't hold committee positions of importance or introduce legislation anyone will take seriously. I hate to be so negative about the man because no doubt he is honest, a good citizen, a good neighbor, a good friend and all of those other positive virtues. He just isn't an effective politician in today's climate. I would not be either for some of the same reasons he is not.

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 09/17/12 - 05:38 pm
1
0
GA voters deserve better.....
Unpublished

But we don't care. We would elect a goat and have him say "ney" on every vote. Maybe that's what we will do in November (-: We deserve what we get. And it isn't getting better. More taxes, more Splost's, more mealy mouth rhetoric and definitely more farm subsidies.

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 09/17/12 - 05:46 pm
0
1
Both have a tractor
Unpublished

Both are good old boys
Both love veterans
Both go to church and have Christian values ( perception ???)
Both have lovely families
Both will raise taxes
Both will not bring our soldiers home
Both will not close Gitmo
Both will not repeal Roe vs Wade
Both will not repeal Obama Care
Both will not secure our border
Both will lie to maintain their jobs
Both will sell their votes in Congress
Both will love lobbyist and their money
Both will increase government control at the federal, state and local levels
Both will smooze Obama when he is reelected

Both are career politicians, Nothing else needs to be said except "ney".

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 09/17/12 - 05:48 pm
1
0
We had a debate in civics
Unpublished

For the Kennedy-Nixon election. We had only one Catholic in the class and she had to debate all of the Nixon people. Looking back, she may have done a good job?

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 09/17/12 - 05:50 pm
1
0
Farm bills should
Unpublished

be a no brainier (-: Subsidies for John Deere, International Harvest and Kobuda.

Fiat_Lux
16442
Points
Fiat_Lux 09/17/12 - 06:13 pm
6
5
Gag, what a herd of snobs

Being smooth and articulate, and fast on your feat doesn't necessarily make you a good legislator. Barrow is a weasel. His appearing concerned for us will extend only as far as necessary to get our votes, and then he will revert to type. Anderson may plod, but he will make good decisions and have the backbone to stand up for his constituents, even if it means taking some hits from the snooty-toots.

itsanotherday1
48335
Points
itsanotherday1 09/17/12 - 07:12 pm
8
1
Snobs, no. Pragmatists, yes.

I want an EFFECTIVE legislator, and whether we like it or not; these times demand a good orator, someone who can articulate an argument to build support and consensus for their ideas, and someone whom the public can have confidence. Charlie Norwood was such a person. He wasn't slick like Barrow, but he was articulate and persuasive. At the end of the day he was a good ol boy, but HE GOT THINGS DONE. Anderson is no Charlie Norwood.

storiesihaveread
369
Points
storiesihaveread 09/17/12 - 08:27 pm
5
1
I was

Going to vote for Anderson, I felt we needed a change in Washington. But if he is not going to go head to head with Barrow on the issues and all he will give us is commercials. I want to hear him debate Barrow seems he is not man enough except when he goes " I approve this commercial".

Austin Rhodes
2989
Points
Austin Rhodes 09/17/12 - 08:36 pm
2
8
Who in the world...

...has not made up their mind in this race? Lee is as conservative as they (non-fringe candidates) come...Barrow is an Obama/Pelosi liberal. Congress is a team sport...with Obama rallying the minority vote, the GOP better show up big if LA is to have a chance. My vote goes to Anderson...he is wearing the GOP jersey.

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