Mitch McConnell is Refusing to Debate Amy McGrath if the Moderator is a Woman
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his political opponent Amy McGrath are in a row, of sorts, over the upcoming debates, and it looks as if McConnell fired the first shot — by sending a press release from “Team Mitch” accusing McGrath of possibly backing out of an upcoming debate in October. But in response, McGrath’s campaign is claiming “the real issue is the senator’s refusal in an event with a female moderator,” The Independent reports.
In a Monday press release, McGrath’s campaign alleged “Amy is ready and willing to debate Mitch, but Mitch is afraid to take the stage unless he dictates every detail.”
Further, the release stated, “Mitch McConnell has not participated in a debate in Kentucky where the candidates took questions from a female moderator in nearly 25 years, and he continues to resist allowing women to host debates.”
The campaign has also asserted McGrath will only participate in the upcoming debate when “the gender balance of the moderators is restored.”
So now Mitch McConnell’s campaign spokesperson Kate Cooksey is firing back.
“After two months attempting to add another man to the debate stage, Amy McGrath absurdly suggests gender discrimination by UK and Gray TV as the primary reason she can’t appear,” Cooksey replied.
“The reality is that team Mitch received an invitation, accepted it, and stands ready to debate on October 12,” she added. “We sincerely hope Amy McGrath finds a reason to accept the debate rather than an evolving grab bag of laughably ridiculous excuses why she cannot.”
It’s likely the controversy stems from the original letter sent to both campaigns. Along with announcing the event will be hosted by Gray TV, the letter stated Kentucky broadcaster Bill Bryant will serve as moderator, it also mentioned an additional female moderator, news anchor Shannon Cogan, according to The Lexington Herald-Ledger. But Cogan isn’t mentioned in the second letter that was sent out on September 16, and this is perhaps the reason McGrath’s team is dissenting.
But McGrath is trailing McConnell according to a recent Data For Progress Poll, by 48 to 41 percent. I’m frankly surprised by this because McConnell has fervidly supported Trump and is scrambling to ensure a right-wing justice fills Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme court before the presidential election. He even recently met with Trump’s repressively conservative SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett to help speed things up.
I’m hoping McGrath will debate McConnell because if the poll above is correct, she stands a chance of losing in the 2020 election, and McConnell, who supports Trump without question, needs to lose.