2010 Archives

Debate Deadline Looms


The following is from the September 13, 2010, edition of KERA Public Radio. SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

September 14, 2010

By Shelley Kofler

DALLAS, TX (KERA) — By the end of this week Texans should know whether gubernatorial candidates Bill White and Rick Perry will face off in a televised debate. Both candidates will be campaigning in North Texas Tuesday. KERA's Shelley Kofler has the latest.

Wednesday is the deadline Rick Perry has given Bill White. Perry says he will refuse to debate White if the former Houston Mayor doesn't release tax returns from the 1990's when he served as deputy energy secretary in the Clinton administration. . .

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson says Perry's strategy is a conventional one: don't risk making a mistake on statewide television when you're already in the lead. But Jillson says that strategy shortchanges voters.

Jillson: "A debate offers voters an opportunity to see the candidates side by side asking the same questions. And not just listening to the answers but watching their body language, watching their comfort level, getting to know these candidates. And without that opportunity a lot of voters are going to base their votes on scattered information."

Read the full story or listen to the report. audio icon

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