Moseley Braun, Chico call for Emanuel to debate

December 15, 2010 12:28:29 PM PST
Groups trying to set up Chicago mayoral debates say the toughest candidate to book so far is reported frontrunner Rahm Emanuel.Two of his opponents said Thursday that Emanuel's reluctance to appear with them is a disservice to the voters.

"The citizens of Chicago deserve debates - it's for them - this election is about them and about this city and where its going to go," said mayoral candidate and former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun.

Carol Moseley Braun and Gery Chico were an unknowing team Thursday.

"Elections are about more than a 30-second spot," "voters cannot question a television set," said mayoral candidate Gery Chico.

From two different locations, they joined to demand that former congressman and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel debate the other candidates for mayor. Chico questioned whether Emanuel is tough enough to run Chicago.

"The next mayor has got to be tough enough to be able to... explain themselves and defend their positions alongside the other candidates in the neighborhoods of our city," said Chico.

Braun called Emanuel a "scaredy cat" and made another animal reference: "For somebody not to want to debate is just chicken."

Emanuel has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on television ads. A campaign spokesman says he has taken his case directly to the people while touring Chicago neighborhoods.

Ben Labolt also wrote: "It's ironic that the same candidates who are questioning whether Rahm should even have a place on the ballot are demanding that he appear with them. Rahm has already agreed to participate in debates."

Chico maintains the agreed-upon sessions will happen too close to Election Day, and Braun says that people need to hear more from Emanuel, who made his political name in Washington.

"I don't think any Chicagoan wants someone to just parachute in, buy the election, and not at least talk to them about what they believe," said Braun.

There are still no definite dates and places set for debates between the mayoral candidates, but the Emanuel campaign says that negotiations are under way.

It seems that as long as pre-election polls suggest that Emanuel is ahead in the race, he is probably unlikely to share a stage with the other candidates.


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