“Given the goodwill and understanding of the nonpartisan mission of the institute that Senator Brown has thus far shown, it seems inconsistent that he would now attempt to restrict the activities of Mrs. Kennedy as a condition of accepting a debate that is co-sponsored by an organization with which she is affiliated,” McBirney and Hogan wrote.Brown's campaign has officially rejected the invitation.
“This non-endorsement pledge is unprecedented and is not being required of any other persons or entities,” they wrote. “To us, such a pledge seems inappropriate when a non-media sponsor issues a debate invitation. We can assure both campaigns that the debate will be fair, just as the one we cosponsored between Senator Brown and Attorney General Martha Coakley in 2010 was fair.”
“We respect Vicki Kennedy’s decision but we regret that we cannot accept a debate invitation from someone who plans to endorse Scott Brown’s opponent,” Brown Campaign Manager Jim Barnett said in a statement. “The Kennedy Institute cannot hold itself out as a nonpartisan debate sponsor while the president of its board of trustees gets involved in the race on behalf of one of the candidates.”Again, Scott Brown had no problem doing a debate with the Kennedy Institute in 2010. But worse, he has asked Elizabeth Warren to do two debates on wingnut radio—one hosted by a conservative talk show host, the other hosted by a columnist at the Boston Herald—a paper that has already endorsed Scott Brown via its editorial coverage.
Furthermore, that debate would've been hosted by Tom Brokaw who—unlike wingnut radio hosts and the Boston Herald—isn't endorsing anyone.
So yeah, this isn't about some high-minded pursuit of neutrality, but of fearing a genuinely neutral forum hosted by an experienced neutral debate moderator on television, where people might actually see him try and defend his conservative record in Indigo Blue Massachusetts.
Well, there's nothing wrong with him being a coward, running and hiding from the people of Massachusetts. Elizabeth Warren is a genuinely impressive opponent. I'd be terrified of her too if I was a Republican.
But telling the widow to shut the hell up? That's still unforgivable.