RELEASE: This is Why GOP Candidates Don’t Want to Debate

 In America

September 25, 2022


Contact: Sean Casey, [email protected]com

This is Why GOP Candidates Don’t Want to Debate

Barrett becomes national poster child for GOP candidates in tough races trying to hide long-held positions on abortion

There were technical difficulties with the online livestream. A recording of the debate can be viewed HERE.

LANSING, Mich.— Today, Rep. Slotkin’s first debate of the cycle aired on WDIV’s Flashpoint with Devin Scillian. The head-to-head saw Slotkin tout her record as an independently-minded hard worker and featured state Senator Tom Barrett, marking one of the first times all cycle that Barrett had to face sustained questioning about what he really believes. It was especially notable for an exchange between Barrett and Scillian in which Barrett tried to validate his long-held “100% Pro-Life – No Exceptions” position on abortion without actually saying that he holds it.

“This morning, mid-Michigan voters saw both a clear choice on their ballot and why many Republican candidates across the country are ducking debates,” said Slotkin campaign spokeswoman Lynsey Mukomel. “Tom Barrett confirmed what he had previously tried to hide: he is 100% against all abortion, including in cases of violent rape and incest. He failed to defend his five votes to block the GM deal, confirmed he would have voted against the CHIPS Act, and continues to have zero issues with Michigan’s auto jobs and economic security being shipped out of state or to China. Congresswoman Slotkin again proved her bipartisan, common-sense approach and clearly demonstrated her commitment to lowering prices, protecting the Roe standard, and taking on China to bring our jobs back home.”

Key Takeaways:

1. Barrett confirmed he opposes any exceptions for abortion.

Scillian asked Barrett point-blank whether he supported exceptions for rape and incest—not once, not twice, but four times. And every time, Barrett’s robotic response was the same: “I’m pro-life.” After erasing his “100% Pro-Life – No Exceptions” position from his website, and after dodging questions on the topic throughout the entire campaign, Barrett is attempting to hide his position on abortion because he recognizes that the majority of voters disagree with him. Make no mistake, if Lindsey Graham’s national ban came before him in Congress, it’s clear from his past efforts to criminalize abortion which way he would vote.

2. When it comes to jobs, Slotkin is Team USA. Barrett doesn’t want to pick a side.

Though Barrett is a staunch opponent of bipartisan economic development packages like the CHIPS Act and the GM deal that brought 5,000 jobs to his backyard, he proved in the debate that he can’t articulate a plan to keep jobs and investment in the United States. Slotkin, on the other hand, made her stance clear. She said, “[Barrett] doesn’t want to pick sides when it comes to jobs in this state, in this country. I will always be Team America, especially when it’s versus Team China. For me, I will pick sides.”

3. Slotkin is the only candidate in this race who’s even trying to bring prices down.

Another major point of contention in the debate was how each candidate would respond to inflation. Slotkin is directly attacking the costs that families face every day. She wrote legislation to suspend the federal gas tax, pushed the Biden administration to use our Strategic National Reserves and get tough on oil-producing partners, and voted to lower the price of prescription drugs. Barrett, though, couldn’t offer a single concrete proposal of how he’d tackle rising prices outside of blaming the administration.

4. Barrett doubled down on a baseless claim about Slotkin’s residency and went further to claim that she is actually living with her landlord, an accusation meant to smear her and one that’s rooted in sexism. 

Scillian asked Barrett to explain how it was legal for him to pay a consultant on his congressional campaign $40,000 from his state Senate account. Rather than explain himself, Barrett tried to pivot by attacking the Congresswoman, saying that she’s “living with a lobbyist” (a reference to her landlord, a man who lives in Connecticut with his wife and family). Barrett’s mudslinging was a blatant example of “political desperation.” As Slotkin said, “My husband and I would like to talk with you about that claim that I’m living with another man.” Yet Barrett continued: “I don’t know the circumstances of that arrangement.“

Rep. Slotkin’s second debate will air live in-studio on WLNS on October 6th at 7:00 PM. Tim Skubick will moderate.


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