Don't let the gallop begin.
This isn't Glenn Beck v Eliot Spitzer. These are debates concerning who is going to run the most powerful economic and military nation on the planet.
Thanks to Candy for agreeing to moderate. Thanks to Hofstra for the forum.
Debates are a time honored tradition in presidential campaigns. The reason they are so important is that it gives the American people a chance to choose between different ideologies and different candidates and hopefully allows the voter to make an informed decision when they step into the voting booth.
Now, debates only serve a purpose if they are honest debates. If they devolve into rhetorical whirlwinds of innuendo and distortion then they serve no purpose and I simply won't be a party to such a perversion of such a hallowed forum.
In the last debate my opponent made, according to independent factcheckers, at least 27 departures from his previous positions on a variety of subjects. There is no way a two minute rebuttal grants the necessary time to point out each misrepresentation, explain why the statement is a misrepresentation, and cite examples of my opponents ever fluctuating positions.
I welcome honest debate whereby disparate opinions are offered and supported with facts and eloquence by two people who simply have a difference of opinion on a great many subjects. However, if we cannot hold an intelligent, reality based debate; if we can't engage in civil disagreement where both sides support their positions with facts and specifics...then debates no longer have merit in a political campaign. If scoring temporary political points is the order of the day...well, we do that on the campaign trail day after day. In my opinion the rhetoric should stop at the debate dais and candidates should attempt to answer the questions given us with utmost accuracy and honesty. The American people deserve to see a certain decorum observed by those who wish to hold the highest offices in the land. They do not deserve to be misled or drowned in a tsunami of declarations that are proved to be false in tomorrow's news cycle.
Now, if we can agree that we will answer all questions truthfully, I am ready to proceed. If not then debates lose their significance and serve only to waste the candidates time and the American public's time.