Local Politics

To Debate, or Not to Debate? Ask Dem Gubernatorial Candidates

Posted March 21, 2008
Updated October 10, 2011

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— A hot debate has arisen between the two Democratic gubenoratorial candidates: Do they need to meet in a traditional one-on-one debate?

Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue and State Treasurer Richard Moore agree that they have meet in numerous civic forums, including one held in downtown Raleigh by the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association Thursday evening. Both have appeared in televised forums, including one sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in January.

They disagree, though, on if those discussions amount to genuine debates.

"We've had no debates," Moore said. "We've had forums where we were given questions in advance and appeared beside each other."

"We have debated. We've had four televised debates," Perdue said. "I think it's an odd thing to whine about."

Balow Harget, a political commentator and talk-radio show host, said Perdue is employing a common strategy for front runners. By minimizing debates, Harget said, she avoids any possible missteps.

"When you're in the lead, you don't want to give any air time to your opponents," Harget said. "She will, as the front runner, I think, be more careful about where she's going to be talking and who she's going to be talking to."

Moore said that if Perdue is using that strategy, she has misplaced her priorities.

"It shouldn't matter what the poll numbers say," Moore said. "If you want to run for the highest office in the land, you should not hide."

The most recent polls give Perdue a double-digit lead over Moore, but she denied those numbers were driving her to avoid a debate. Rather, Perdue said, she wants to engage potential voters in more direct ways.

"I think it's equally important for us and for all the candidates to get out and about all over North Carolina and to let real people ask questions, to let them say, 'Bev, what are you going to do about that?'" Perdue said. "Everybody deserves that shot."

Perdue and Moore were scheduled to participate in an online and televised forum in April.

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  • afictionalwriter Mar 21, 2008

    Odd thing for Moore to say, if he's quoted correctly (which he possibly is not, given the typos in that story), as UNC-TV stated that it did not give the candidates questions in advance. But I think only two forums have aired on UNC-TV, so far, so perhaps candidates were given question in advance in the other forums...or perhaps Moore's getting his in advance from someone on the inside?

  • TheAdmiral Mar 21, 2008

    Tradition? I thought she wrote the book of tinkling away education money on her pet mini-poodle - precious.

    Democrats run from debates like it is the plague. Simply because they FEEL more than they THINK.

  • whatelseisnew Mar 21, 2008

    If you want to continue the tradition of lousy k5-K12 public education in this state, then by all means vote for Perdue.