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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist nightmare? Rubio agrees to seven debates



Soon after Charlie Crist agreed to participate in an Oct. 24 debate presented by CNN and the St. Petersburg Times, Marco Rubio upped the ante by agreeing to that debate - and six more. The first would be on NBC's Meet the Press Sept. 5.

Charlie Crist is almost always good on TV, but this poses a real problem for him. In a three-person debate, it would be Rubio and Meek each taking turns hitting Crist and pressing him on flip-flops and inconsistencies. It's hard to stay above the fray when you're the main target.

But skipping most of the debates is equally problematic. If Meek agrees to these debates and the networks agree to televise them with or without all three candidates, Crist would be letting Meek raise his profile as the Democratic alternative to Rubio.

“I am the only candidate for Senate who has outlined specific ideas and proposals as a clear alternative to the wrong direction that Washington politicians are taking our country,” said Rubio in a statement.  “I enthusiastically accept these opportunities to debate my opponents and present Floridians with the clear choice they have between a faithful loyalist of Washington’s agenda, a say-and-do anything opportunist who only cares about winning, and the clear, idea-based alternative I am offering."
Here's the proposed debate schedule

Sunday, September 5
NBC’s Meet The Press Debate
Moderated by David Gregory
Washington, DC

Friday, September 17
WLTV-Univision 23 Debate
Miami, FL

Tuesday, September 28
WTVT-FOX 13 Tampa Bay Debate
Tampa, FL

Wednesday, October 6
ABC News, WFTV-ABC 9 Orlando & WFTS-ABC 28 Tampa
Moderated by George Stephanopoulos and two local media panelists
Orlando, FL

Wednesday, October 20
Leadership Florida Debate
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Sunday, October 24
CNN/St. Petersburg Times Debate
Moderated by Candy Crowley
Tampa, FL

Tuesday, October 26
NBC News & WESH-NBC 2 Orlando Debate
Moderated by David Gregory
Orlando, FL

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:24am]


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