Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) "ripped into" Rep. Rob Andrews on 5/5, saying "he won't take much pleasure" in debating Andrews because his "behavior is 'contemptuous.'"
In a meeting with the Philadelphia Inquirer's edit bd., Lautenberg said he's been hesitating in setting a date for a debate. Lautenberg: "It has to do with my thoughts as to whether or not I want to sit face to face with him or whether we want to do it in some kind of a detached mode. That's an option I have."
Lautenberg declined to appear before the editorial board jointly with Andrews.
As for a televised debate, Lautenberg said: "I wouldn't enjoy it because I think his behavior has been contemptuous."
"Lautenberg said Andrews promised to support him at a meeting over Chinese takeout in the senator's DC home in 10/07. Lautenberg: "Rob Andrews isn't someone, in my view, who likes to keep his word. ... I think it stinks. It's outrageous."
Last night, Andrews noted that he's accepted a dozen invitations to debate and that Lautenberg has accepted none. Andrews: "The people of New Jersey deserve an honest debate about the difference between the candidates" (Burton, Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/6).
No, Thanks. Really.
Lautenberg has set up a Website to remind NJ Dems that Andrews "was an early supporter of the Iraq war." The site "prominently features a new take" of Pres. Bush's '04 campaign logo, replacing VP Cheney's name with Andrews. "Next to it are the images of Bush and Andrews side by side." Andrews "responded that Lautenberg was 'hiding behind websites" rather than talking about his own record on Iraq (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com, 5/5).
Lautenberg, meanwhile, "turned down an open-ended debate invitation from Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. ... That marks the second event that Lautenberg has declined to participate in" (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com, 5/5).
This article appears in the May 6, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.