Under the Dome

Burr wanted multiple candidates

Sen. Richard Burr's campaign says it was willing to hold a health care debate with the slate of potential Democratic opponents, but not elevate one candidate above the rest.

Paul Shumaker, Burr's consultant, wrote a letter to Democratic Senate candidate Kenneth Lewis of Durham, saying he could not participate in a forum with the N.C. Medical Society on Friday in Raleigh, Rob Christensen reports. Burr is scheduled to appear before a group of about 75 doctors.

Lewis, the only announced Democratic candidate, had challenged Burr, a Republican to a debate on health care. Burr had discussed a forum and had even talked about televising it with NBC-17.

But Shumaker said Burr decided to appear before the doctors alone, when Lewis was the only Democrat to respond to Burr's invitation.

More after the jump.


"Each communication from Senator Burr to you has clearly stated his willingness to engage in a debate on healthcare reform provided all the Democratic candidates would participate," Shumaker wrote in a letter. "The Richard Burr Committee contacted the North Carolina Medical Society and they agreed to host such a debate only if all the candidates would agree. Unfortunately, they did not agree to do so."

"I understand your desire for such a venue, as it would provide much needed exposure for your candidacy," Shumaker said. "However, as you have previously been informed, we will not engage in political stunts designed to elevate one candidate over the other."

Lewis has said he plans to show up any way.

"That Senator Burr somehow needs more Democrats on stage with him to engage in a debate is pure fiction and can only be viewed as a pretext upon which to continue ducking open debate his health care plan," Lewis said in a statement. ""this fiction is premised on Senator Burr 'feel(ing) that it is only fair to the (Democratic) Party and the political process" — a logic perhaps understood in Washington DC but one lost on the working families of North Carolina, who, to this day, have yet to see Burr defend his healthcare in an open forum during the August congressional recess."


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Re: Burr wanted multiple candidates

Will Lewis be bringing union purple shirts to beat up conservatives?

Re: Burr wanted multiple candidates

Sounds like the fearless Burr is SCARED to debate?
What a sorry excuse for a senator. Better than Dole, but very bad.

Re: Burr wanted multiple candidates

looks like the democrackkk spin machine has cranked up over such silliness...if Lewis doesnt understand the fairness of having the others in his party there to participate, then maybe he's just all about him? hmmm...nah, he's a loiwyer, he wouldnt think that way...

Re: Burr wanted multiple candidates, freaked out over one

"He won't face his constituents"

He'll be on UNC-TV tomorrow night with Price, Watt, Miller and Etheridge, taking phone calls. He was at an event a week ago with Kissell and a couple of Obama's official government minions. Sounds like a man who's deathly afraid to me.

But you keep repeating the talking point of an unknown candidate desperately looking for any excuse to send out a fundraiser e-mail. Heck, with you and him working that angle together, I'm sure Lewis will be able to rake in a cool two hundred bucks!

Re: Burr wanted multiple candidates, freaked out over one

Submitted by cmitchz on August 24, 2009 - 7:08pm.

"Burr now says he's scared"

Agreed. But what do we do about it? He won't face his constituents, much less his opponent. Why is Burr scared?

Any idea cmitchz?

Re: Burr wanted multiple candidates

"Burr now says he's scared"

LOL. Yeah, you can definitely get that from the article.

Burr wants to face ALL of the Democrats at once, but all but one apparently refused to attend, so he must be scared to face just one of them. That makes a lot of sense. Perhaps it's all of the no-showing Democrats who are scared of little ol' Richard Burr, except for one nobody for whom this event is probably the only way to make a name for himself?

Lewis IS the only Democratic candidate

That much, at least, is clear.

Kenneth Lewis wins first debate with Richard Burr

Burr now says he's scared after first agreeing to show his face in North Carolina. Burr just lost the first debate he once agreed to on Healthcare by chickening out to come to NC.

What happened? Is Kenneth Lewis too scary or just too representative of real NC voters - including the black ones that voted for President Obama and Healthcare reform?

Come on can do it. Show your face in NC. Just like Liddy didn't. You appeal to black voters too. Come on. Let's get them out Dick!

Re: Freshman Burr refuses to debate Challenger Lewis

Got this at the same time as DOME:

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