Andrews challenges Lautenberg to seven debates

Dissatisfied by incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s posture in the week-old Democratic primary, his challenger, Rep. Rob Andrews, issued a statement today calling on Lautenberg to join him in a series of debates across the state.

“Senator Lautenberg has made it clear to the people of New Jersey that he should be anointed to their Senate seat rather than face his opponent in fair and open debates on the issues that matter most to our families,” said Andrews. “I sincerely hope he changes his mind and shows the voters the respect they deserve as they decide who is better equipped to represent them in the United States Senate.”

Andrews wants to hold seven debates against the 84-year-old incumbent, to be hosted by the state’s seven largest regional newspapers. The papers would decide the format of the debates.

The people of New Jersey who are working harder than ever to make ends meet for themselves and their families deserve no less,” said Andrews. “The ball is in your court Senator.”

Lautenberg campaign manager Brendan Gill responded that Lautenberg supports having debates, and will evaluate the proposed ones.

“Senator Lautenberg believes debates are an important way to illustrate the lear differences between himself and Congressman Andrews,” he said. “We are happy to consider proposals from prospective debate sponsors and we will consider them all.”