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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

After shunning them, Mack now wants more: debates



U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, whose campaign assiduously avoided debating his opponents during the primary, has now found religion. In a letter that is more campaign tactic than invite, Mack's campaign manager Jeff Cohen tells Nelson's campaign manager Pete Mitchell how important the evening was last night and how they want to have more debates.

"The people saw a glimpse into a future in which a new generation of leaders in Washington stand with the people and for the people,'' Cohen wrote. Here's the letter:

Dear Pete:
Last night Floridians saw for themselves the stark differences between Congressman Mack and Senator Nelson.
They saw dramatic contrasts between Congressman Mack’s mainstream conservative principles and his unwavering belief in freedom versus Senator Nelson’s tired old liberal ways of raising taxes, spending like a drunken sailor, and his double-talk about virtually every topic discussed during the debate.
The people saw a glimpse into a future in which a new generation of leaders in Washington stand with the people and for the people, not against the people as Senator Nelson has done time and time again, voting with President Obama 98 percent of the time.
But most important of all, they saw beyond any shadow of a doubt why you and Senator Nelson’s other handlers have stubbornly kept him hidden away from the campaign trail and begrudgingly agreed to let him participate in just one short public debate.
Perhaps Senator Nelson merely had a bad performance last night. Perhaps the modern fast-paced debate format was simply too much. Perhaps there’s more to it than meets the eye. But one thing is clear – almost no one could have expected to see so very little from a man who has been elected to public office for so very long.
Nevertheless, the issues facing our state and our nation are great. In less than three weeks the people will cast their ballots. They deserve to see at least one more debate between Congressman Mack and Senator Nelson, and they deserve it soon.
Pete, it’s time to stop monkeying around with this campaign. It’s time to let these candidates fully debate the issues.
I look forward to your immediate response, and Congressman Mack looks forward to the next debate(s) with Senator Nelson in the days and weeks ahead. 

[Last modified: Thursday, October 18, 2012 3:29pm]


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