Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) "agreed" 5/6 to "meet" Rep. Rob Andrews (D) "in one televised debate" 5/30, four days before they meet in a SEN primary.
The one-hour debate will take place in the Trenton studios of New Jersey Network and "will include" the third Dem SEN candidate, Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello. It will be broadcast live and "will be on the website and archived, so people can watch it there." NJN producer Ed Rodgers said it will follow "standard debate format: opening and closing statements with questions from a panel of reporters."
Asked if this would be the only debate, Lautenberg spokeswoman Julie Roginsky replied, "We're in the process of working others out"(Schwaneberg, Newark Star-Ledger, 5/7).
Andrews' campaign called the Lautenberg announcement "grossly inadequate." Andrews' camp chair Michael Murphy: "After six years in the Senate, and asking for another six, that works out to about five minutes per year." Murphy "noted that NJN has very low ratings and is primarily viewed only by people" with cable TV. Murphy: "If Frank Lautenberg is afraid of debating Rob Andrews on network television before this election, how effective is he going to be debating the Republicans for the next six years in the Senate?"
Lautenberg's campaign argued that holding the debate so late in the campaign "was a positive, since it will come when voters are most attuned to the election" (Jackson, Bergen Record, 5/7).
Today's Code Words For Old: "Living In The Past"
After launching a website linking Andrews to Pres. Bush, Lautenberg's campaign "put out a press release" 5/6 "digging up some votes" Andrews cast in the '90s "that they say demonstrate that he was an acolyte of" then-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R). The release "noted" Andrews' "yes" votes on four bills that were part of the GOP's "Contract with America" in 1/95, and that he voted for the Contract's provisions more than any other NJ Dem in the House delegation. Murphy: "Lautenberg is living in the past. This election is about the future" (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com, 5/6).
Murray Sabrin "warned" John McCain on 5/6 "that his stance on Iraq is dragging down" the GOP. Sabrin, in a video message to McCain: "As it is most likely you will be the Republican nominee for president, and I will be the Republican nominee for Senate from New Jersey, we're going to be running mates this November. So I have one really big favor to ask of you from one maverick to the other: stop trying to convince the American people that you are right in our involvement in Iraq's civil war" (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com, 5/6).
This article appears in the May 7, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.