From the Inbox via the Joe Heck for Congress campaign this afternoon:
Titus Dodges Debates
Today, Dr. Joe Heck’s campaign for Congress issued the following statement following a phone call with Congresswoman Dina Titus’ campaign. Grant Hewitt, Dr. Heck’s campaign manager called Congresswoman Titus’ office in order to set up the debates as challenged and ultimately accepted according to the Las Vegas Review Journal on Wednesday, June 16th.
“While Dina Titus’s campaign continues their evasive rhetoric, the voters of southern Nevada wait for a real answer to Dr. Heck’s complete debate challenge. Our campaign is looking forward to introducing the Congresswoman to her electorate and the issues that matter most for the hard working families of southern Nevada,” said Hewitt. “While we understand that she is busy voting at the behest of Nancy Pelosi, we also must note that the voters we have spoken with would prefer that she come home and discuss the issues rather than blindly cast a ballot in favor of another expensive, job-killing policy,” concluded Hewitt.
During the phone call Titus’ campaign manager refused to establish a timetable to accept the full debate challenge, nor would they schedule a meeting with the Heck campaign to confirm a debate schedule. Throughout the call it was clear that the Titus campaign has no interest in addressing the challenge other than to keep with the rhetoric that the incumbent will eventually debate; addressing the complete challenge and debating the serious issues facing southern Nevada appears to not be a top priority.
Dr. Joe Heck sent Congresswoman Titus a letter requesting “five formal, public debates on specific policy topics agreed upon by both parties.” A spokesperson for Congresswoman Titus stated she has received “several requests” and are in the process of “determining what will be possible to accomplish.” Dr Joe Heck secured the Republican nomination for Nevada’s 3rdCongressional District and will challenge incumbent Dina Titus who has voted with Speaker Nancy Pelosi 97.2 percent of the time.
Yep, that’s gonna be one of Team Heck’s main mantras: Titus is just a mini-Pelosi.
Titus will, of course, have to agree to debate Heck. Which Team Heck very well knows, but taunting her publicly until she does is a lot of fun for the campaign staffers.
I’m guessing Titus will agree to do it two, maybe three times between now and the election. And that we’ll see the first one sometime in July/early August.
The latest Mason-Dixon poll had Heck beating Titus 49-44, but the margin of error was 6% so we still have to call it pretty much “even.” The M-D match-up in December showed the two in a dead heat at 40-40.
Most national pollsters have this race in the “Toss Up” column, and you can bet the neighborhood bank there is going to be a Lot of cash spent in CD-3 by both parties and their friends. The Republicans are (of course) going to target all the most vulnerable House seats all summer long, and this is one of them, for a variety of reasons:
Titus is a Democratic incumbent (and a freshman Rep to boot) in a district that is badly suffering with high unemployment and foreclosure rates.
Also, she voted for health care reform, which was wildly popular in her party but maybe not so much in her Congressional district.
Joe Heck, who also happens to be a doctor, talked fairly articulately about health care the other night on Face to Face. And when given the opportunity to distance himself from fellow Republican nominee Sharron Angle on the (related) issue of phasing out Medicare altogether, he did so, indirectly, by saying the idea (but not Angle) is “ludicrous,” as follows:
Ralston: “Are you for privatizing/phasing out Social Security and Medicare?”
Heck: “I am committed to making sure our seniors have the benefits they are entitled to and that they’ve earned, whether it’s Social Security or Medicare. And it’s ludicrous on its face to think that me, as a physician, would want to see Medicare dissolved….”
Ralston: “So you’re saying Sharron Angle is ludicrous?”
Heck: “That is not what I am saying. I am saying for me to think to privatize or to dissolve Medicare just doesn’t make sense as a physician. It’s critically important for seniors to have that coverage, to receive the health care that they receive once they reach the age of 65.”