Pueblo Chieftain: Sen. Michael Bennet “insulting and ridiculous” for canceling scheduled debate appearance

Pueblo Chieftain: Sen. Michael Bennet “insulting and ridiculous” for canceling scheduled debate appearance

DENVER— Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet was hit with a harsh editorial by the Pueblo Chieftain for canceling his participation in a scheduled debate against his challenger Darryl Glenn. Managing editor of the local paper Steve Henson, called Bennet’s pathetic excuse for cancelling the Oct. 20 forum “ridiculous and an insult to Southern Colorado.”

Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood agreed with Henson’s remarks that the cancellation is “insulting and ridiculous” and released the following statement:

“Sen. Michael Bennet should be willing and open to have as many conversations as possible with Coloradans about why he supports forking over Coloradans’ hard-earned money to the largest state sponsor of terrorism and why he supports government-directed health care that has caused double-digit rate hikes on the vulnerable. Coloradans should be outraged that Bennet is playing politics and is cancelling all of these debate appearances; it’s causing a lot of people here in Colorado to be suspicious and ask a lot of questions.”

Henson wrote in an editorial published Saturday:

“One of the most important things a candidate for elected office can do during the campaign is face his or her opponent in public forums/debates.

It allows voters to directly compare the positions of the candidates on important issues, and to also see how the candidates operate under fairly significant pressure.
That’s why The Chieftain, for more than 35 years, has sponsored public forums each election year. I’ve moderated most of those events, several hundred of them, ranging from Pueblo City Council and local school boards to governor, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

Unfortunately, this year, we will not have a U.S. Senate forum between incumbent Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger, Darryl Glenn. And the reason is that the Bennet campaign has refused to find a date that will work.”

“I’m sorry, we just can’t fulfill every request and won’t be able to make this one work,” Alyssa Roberts, a Bennet spokesperson, told the Chieftain.

“Allow me to comment: That’s ridiculous and an insult to Southern Colorado,” said Henson. “If the campaign really wanted to, it could have committed to Oct. 20 early on if it had considered it important enough. But, obviously, it didn’t and either scheduled another event or simply doesn’t want to participate in forums with Glenn.”

According to The Washington Free Beacon:

“The Pueblo Chieftain forum is not the first debate Bennet has reneged on. Last month, his campaign said he would not attend a scheduled debate with CBS4.”