BREAKING: Chafee Says Raimondo Too “Scared” to Debate

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

 

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Former Governor Lincoln Chafee said it's "inconceivable" Governor Gina Raimondo won't debate her opponents prior to the Democratic primary.

Former Rhode Island Governor and United States Senator Lincoln Chafee called out Governor Gina Raimondo for refusing to debate ahead of the Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial primary -- calling it "inconceivable" and saying that Raimondo is likely too "scared" to defend her record on a number of issues. 

"As we all know this is an important election. If you add up all the Democratic primary voters, in Rhode Island, [the Democrats] and the independents are the vast majority of Rhode Islanders," said Chafee on a press call, organized by Raimondo opponent Matt Brown. "This is a big election, this Democratic primary. Most Rhode Islanders are eligible to vote in this primary -- it's inconceivable that voters won't have the chance to hear all the candidates debate all the important issues"

"This is a sign a candidate is scared -- too scared to talk about hedge fund investments, cooler and warmer, 195 traffic jams, the Burrillville power plant," said Chafee. 

On the call, Chafee not only acknowledged the importance of debates, but the difficulty, as well.

"I think a lot of voters make up their minds on debates. Just for that reason, with all the spin...they tune into the debates," said Chafee. "Turn on the bright lights and watch them perform. I've never refused a debate. As a [gubernatorial candidate] I think there were 28 forums.  It's the ethically right thing to do."

Upcoming Debates

Chafee made the remarks ahead of scheduled debates on WPRI on Tuesday and WPRO on Wednesday. Brown will participate in those debates as well as future ones. 

"I want to pick up on what [Chafee] said. It's not too late for Raimondo to do the right thing," said Brown on Monday's call. "They start tomorrow -- there's two this week and two next week."

"I'm still hopeful that she will change her mind and decide to participate. I know she said debates wouldn't be good for her strategy [but] I urge her to remember that the campaign isn't about her, or me. It's about the voters of RI. They deserve to see a debate between the candidates running to lead the state," said Brown.

Latest in Debates Debate

On August 16, GoLocal reported, "VIDEOS: Raimondo & Brown Elevate Charges of Lies and Failures - Gov Still Refuses to Debate:"

In dueling interviews with GoLocalProv, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and opponent Matt Brown, the two leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates, lobbed charges of lies -- and countercharges -- as the race towards the September primary heats up. 

While both sides hit out at each other in one-on-one interviews, it is Raimondo who still continues to refuse to debate face-to-face with Brown.

 

Related Slideshow: 2018 Governor’s Race Playbook - August 27, 2018

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Momentum: Flat

Patricia Morgan (R)

Wins:

Morgan's new messaging is that she is the stronger candidate to beat incumbent Democrat Gina Raimondo. "I enjoyed talking with @LoughlinRI1 and his listeners yesterday. Once I win the primary, I am well positioned to take on Gina. I have the history and record to win," Morgan Tweeted on Sunday.

Losses:

Morgan's campaign is focused on talk radio. Does AM talks still have the impact?

X-Factor: Morgan's argument is that Fung doesn't take tough positions and that she is the tougher candidate for the Democrats?

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Momentum:Flat

Allan Fung (R)

Wins:

Whether you agree or disagree with him or not, Fung is now "all-in" on the immigration issue.

Losses:

The refusal to debate his GOP opponents could come back and bite him in the General Election if he wins the primary. If Raimondo wins the Democratic primary, she then can refuse to debate Fung -- that would prove Fung's primary decision to be a huge tactical error.

X-Factor: Fung maybe making a massive error to gain a lot of press attention in the GOP debates. First, he could demonstrate that he is more transparent that Raimondo by debating. Second, he could generate a lot of earned media. 

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Momentum: Flat

Spencer Dickinson (D)

Wins:

Dickinson said he would fight to reverse the PawSox decision, "I said at the beginning that I figured we had about a 1% chance to save the team. But that’s okay with me. I’ve worked with worse odds than that. Make me your governor, and I’ll sit down with Larry Lucchino and we’ll have a coffee. He’ll call it an insurance policy in case Worcester doesn’t work out. I’ll call it starting over. How do I feel about it? Pretty optimistic. As I said, I’ve faced worse odds than that. And the people of Pawtucket deserve nothing less."

Realistic?

Losses:

N/A

X-Factors:  Can Dickinson improve name recognition in the final weeks?

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Momentum: Flat

Matt Brown (D)

Wins:

On Monday, he does a press call-in with Lincoln Chafee. The former Governor can be an effective attack dog for Brown against Raimondo.

Losses:

Where is Bernie? Why won't Sanders endorse Brown?

X-Factor:  Needs a big close to the primary. Where is it?

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Momentum: Flat

Joe Trillo (I)

Wins:

“I chose to run as an Independent for this very reason, the Republican Party is a sham and now their insidious game is playing for the public to see.  Do we really want a race between just Fung and Gina, two heads of the same coin who are terrified of debates and challengers?  I say, no,” said the never subtle Trillo.

Losses:

Needs to articulate how Rhode Island will be better under the Trillo administration.

X-Factor: Maybe needs to shift from Trump to McCain.

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Momentum: Down

Luis Daniel Muñoz (I)

Wins:

This weekend he went to Hope & Main in Warren, then to Pawtucket, and closed with Providence Folk Festival. He is meeting people.

Losses:

No money, no strategy, and no social media game.

X-Factor: We know Muñoz's view on a couple of issues, why not more?

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Momentum: Down

Gina Raimondo (D)

Wins: 

Must be confident. She went on a 4-day family vacation.

Losses:

195 traffic disaster this past week and then the effort by RIDOT to alleviate the problems reek of earlier Raimondo errors -- "Cooler and Warmer" and UHIP. Lack of planning and a narrative that demonstrates that she doesn't really care "I am not a traffic engineer."

X-Factor: She now owns all traffic on route I-195 through the election season.

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Momentum: Down

Giovanni Feroce (R)

Wins:

No press releases. No press events. 

Losses:

The former Benrus CEO, has had a difficult time raising money from his network. He has the second lowest amount of cash-on-hand. He has less than $700.

X-Factor: Needs a closing argument.

 
 

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