Minnesota Senate Debate Is Literally One-Sided When Only The Republican Shows Up

Scott Morefield | Reporter

A scheduled debate between Minnesota U.S. Senate candidates turned into a one-sided affair on Sunday as Senator Tina Smith declined her invitation, citing scheduling conflicts.

On Sunday morning, Minnesota’s KSTP announced via its website a “three-hour long, commercial free debate on Sunday” that would air statewide and give “candidates in the gubernatorial, attorney general and United States Senate races the chance to talk about campaign issues that will impact Minnesotans.”

Later, the Eyewitness 5 website announced that Senator Tina Smith, who was appointed to fill the seat vacated by former Senator Al Franken, had “declined” the news channel’s invitation to debate. Instead, Smith’s GOP opponent Karin Housley participated in a live interview on the stage where she was supposed to have debated her Democratic opponent.

Minnesota Post staff writer Peter Callaghan reported via Twitter that the empty podium where Smith would have been was not included in the broadcast.

Housley’s communications director, Jake Schneider, hit back at Smith by pointing out her absence as well as recent polling that shows the Republican within striking distance.

In addition to the Housley interview, the station played a taped debate between Senator Amy Klobuchar and Jim Newberger, her GOP challenger, as well as live debates in the state’s gubernatorial and attorney general races, the latter of which included Keith Ellison. (RELATED: Keith Ellison Again Misleads On Louis Farrakhan Ties)

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