Updated June 20, 6:40 p.m. ET
Republican Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign announced he is accepting an invitation to debate Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren before a Boston media consortium. One day after Brown pulled out of a debate over a dispute with the host venue, his camp is accusing Warren of dodging debates for not yet agreeing to a radio face-off held by a conservative talk radio host.
Earlier Wednesday, the Warren campaign castigated Brown for turning down a debate at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, when the institute’s president Vicki Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, would not accept Brown’s demand that she pledge to not make any endorsement in the Massachusetts Senate race.
In response, the Brown campaign announced it would accept a televised media consortium debate proposal put forward by Warren. But Brown is also urging Warren to debate next week at an event hosted by Boston WBZ talk radio host Dan Rea.
“Scott Brown is accepting the debate invitation from the Boston media consortium,” Brown campaign manager Dan Rea said in a statement. “He will be at the first debate at WBZ radio on June 27, just seven days from now. We hope that Elizabeth Warren will stop dodging and join us next week so we can discuss the problem with her extremely liberal tax and spend policies and why they will kill jobs and further damage the economy.”
Warren spokesperson Alethea Harney emphasized their desire for Brown to agree to more televised debates, but did not directly address the WBZ debate.
“Elizabeth has always wanted to ensure that the debates allow for the largest number of voters to see the candidates make their case,” Harney said in a statement. “She will continue to urge Scott Brown to agree to a fourth televised debate in the fall so that voters have the chance to decide this election based on the candidates stands on the issues.”
The Kennedy Institute shot down Brown’s terms for debating there, spelled out in a letter Monday from Brown campaign manager Jim Barnett, in which Brown insisted Kennedy should refrain from endorsing a candidate.
The institute noted that Brown had participated in a similar debate hosted by the institute in the 2010 special election. Once his demands were rejected, Brown pulled out of the event altogether: “The Kennedy Institute cannot hold itself out as a nonpartisan debate sponsor while the president of its board of trustees gets involved in the race on behalf of one of the candidates,” he said Wednesday.
The Warren campaign then went after Brown in a statement Wednesday morning.
“Elizabeth appreciated the invitation from UMass and from Mrs. Kennedy and was looking forward to participating in what would have been a fair and open debate, as it has been in the past,” Warren campaign manager Mindy Myers said in a statement. “Scott Brown refused to participate in that debate hosted by one of the largest academic institutions in our state as well as a respected, non-partisan foundation, a debate he accepted and in which he participated two years ago. It’s not clear what he’s afraid of.”