Comments about ‘Orrin Hatch continues to rebuff Dan Liljenquist's calls for TV debate’

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Published: Wednesday, May 16 2012 8:00 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, Utah

The candidate who is behind has everything to gain and nothing to lose in calling for TV debates. Hatch sees no need to give Mr. Liljenquist free air time and I don't blame him. And yes, the voters will send Hatch back to Washington this coming November.


This is a very hypocritical move by Hatch. He was the one who called for eight debates against his last primary opponent 36 years ago. He even criticized Obama for not debating McCain enough in '08. If he can't answer questions about his record to Utah voters he shouldn't be our senator.

Scott Curtis
Bountiful, UT

The people of Utah deserve a TV debate!

Conservative Voice

As a former undecided voter this has turned me to Dan. It seems as though Hatch is hiding something and he doesn't want Utahns to know what it is. How can we expect him to fight the biggest battles of our lifetime against Liberals in Washington if he can't he debate Dan Liljenquist and articulately outline his vision for another 6-years. Bad move by Hatch and he just lost the 4 votes in my house because of it.

Woods Cross, UT

At least Linjenquist will not have the opportunity to tell Hatch the same things Hatch told Frank Moss 36 years ago. Dang, I was looking forward to that.

South Jordan, UT

Please, Deseret News and KSL, hold 8 debates!

Schedule them.

Invite both candidates.

If only one has the sense to show up, then let the moderator, audience, and the one brave candidate have a televised "debate" so we can at least learn about that one candidate! Even if one of the candidates initially declines, if you move forward with the debate plan, he may decide at the last minute that it is in his best interest to come out of hiding.

It is a service to all the Republican voters of Utah to have these debates, and a disservice for a candidate to run from them and hide with his head in the sand.

Farmington, UT

So Dan is articulate? Is that why he wants to debate Hatch? So is Obama. Look past the glitter and see that youth and inexperience is just about worthless in Washington DC. Why should Hatch be required to have a TV debate? There's nothing in the Constitution or party platform that requires it. Dan is just lucky Orrin didn't hit the 60% at the convention. If you let this issue decide your vote then your logic is shallow indeed, in my view. Just remember that Dan L. was in the party in power that decided to scuttle the public's right to know with the passage of HB 477, slamming the door on GRAMMA. His willingness to do that says more than a refusal to debate on TV by Sen. Hatch.......way more!

Somewhere in Time, UT

Clearly, Hatch believes he is leading in the polls. You only have to debate when you're behind. There's no reason for him to give liljenquist a free forum to attack him. He's forcing Liljenquist to pay for his own media. He's not going to give it to him for free.

Hatch isn't hiding anything. He's just using smart campaign strategy.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

One would think that a great orator like Hatch who has been in the senate for decades would have no problem in a debate.
Hatch has all that background information and all those years persuading fellow congressmen. A debate would be easy for him.
Besides, we'd all love to hear what he has to say.
Doesn't he realize we are all tired of politicians who hide from the voters when it suits them?

Elk River, MN

Hatch's record is so bad, he'd get creamed. The more he can keep voters in the dark about what he's been doing, the better.

Joey D

Dan Liljenquist should debate a paper cut out of Orrin Hatch using his own congressional record. I see Orrin going down just like Richard Lugar. The people of Utah deserve to have an honest debate!


It certainly is common practice for the incumbent not to debate.

Doesn't make sense, except ethically.

I don't believe Deseret News allows links to be published in the comments page (for good reason), but they should, themselves, at least publish the address to the debate that happened earlier. It is on YouTube. Just search for Hatch Liljenquist debate. Senator Hatch doesn't do very well in this debate. He seems to have lost his edge.

Doesn't it seem odd that since there are only 100 people in the entire nation who are U.S. senators, that it should be someone who can hold their own in a debate, incumbent or not?

Editorial Notes
At Home In, UT

The Doug Wright show? That's a nice, neutral, unbiased platform that the majority of Utahns will be able to listen to - if they have the radio on... at work or running errands, in the middle of their day. Maybe Representative Chaffetz or Senator Lee could moderate - since Doug is such a big fan of theirs. I'm sure they'd work well together.

You would think, being so proud of his record, Sen. Hatch would welcome the opportunity to place his senatorial service history before Utahns, look them in the eye and say, "Please place your trust in me just one more time." Just reminding people of his votes in favor of TARP*, SCHIP, the debt ceiling increases, Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsburg, Sunstein, Bernanke, Geitner, Holder - I'm sure it wouldn't be a tough sell.

Time will tell how well he makes his case to Utahns.

*As I understand the procedures, he voted for TARP#1 and didn't vote to stop TARP#2 (that would be GM, Chrysler, Fannie and Freddie) by voting "present" thus extending a "courtesy vote" to the Democrats.

Kearns, UT

Debates don't do anything for anyone. Just look at all the presidential debates with all of the Republican candidates. I've never seen anything more boring. All the candidates essentially said the same thing. That is what would happen with Hatch and Liljenquist. You'd hear the same thing from both of them. Their positions would be in near total agreement. The only thing that could be debated, and it's a non-issue with me is Hatch's longevity. Other than that, debates are pointless. They provide no new information, just the potential for a gotcha moment.

Kaysville, UT

I hope hatch doesn't waste his time with Liljenquist. Hatch needs to return to Washington and Liljenquist needs to just plain retire. When Liljenquist runs it's anybody but Liljenquist to include Super Dave over Liljenquist. He's bad bad bad for Utah. Did I tell you he is bad for Utah. Mike Lee needs to join him and retire.

Salt Lake City, UT

Great, Good, or Bad... Bottom Line... 42 Years is Too Long.

Orem, UT

Why should Orrin Hatch give any credibility to Liljenquist by debating him on TV. It was a group of extremists at the convention that forced a primary and they constitute a small percentage of the population of Utah, thank goodness. If Liljenquist was a credible candidate in the first place, there would be a debate. Liljenquist has nothing to offer the state and does not deserve to be placed as a senator. He is no Mike Lee.

Smithfield, UT

Too busy for the people of Utah? Debates ONLY benefit the challenger, . . . huh? I believe an informed electorate is the goal for a democratic society. How are the people to make an informed choice without seeing and hearing from the candidates? Of course, if you are NOT proud of your record, if you think exposure might further erode your chances for victory, and you've nothing new to share, fine. The message here folks is, "just re-elect me, I'm too busy earning that $175,000.00 annual salary I get to be bothered with constituents!" I'm outraged! How does a US Senator neglect the people who put him in office in the first place? Yes, there will be consequences to Hatch's defiance. Hatch has placed the "political noose" over his head. I liken this to a job interview. If you have two applicants and ONE is willing to interview and the other in NOT, who do you give the job to? NOT the ONE in seclusion! Say ALL you want, you HATCH supporters, about what a super job he has done for Utah in the past. It's TIME to play ball, where's Senator Hatch?

Eagle Mountain, UT

It's sad to see our process has become so cynical that we think in terms of how debates can harm or help candidates rather than the voters.

When Hatch last had a primary race he called for 8 debates all over the state, from Monticello to Vernal to Logan. But apparently 36 years in Washington DC changes a person.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Debates aren't an indication of anything except who is the best debater. They don't show who would be the best Senator. That's just it plain and simple.

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