Republican candidate Karl Snow is "pleased" about the number of joint appearances and debates scheduled with Democratic contender Bill Orton during the next month.
But Orton says those meetings do little more than give each candidate the opportunity to spout a little rhetoric. He still wants Snow, who he calls the "stealth candidate," to meet him in several substantive debates.None of the scheduled meetings between the two candidates is comparable to the Liberty Mint debate held Aug. 21, in which Orton, Snow and primary candidate John Harmer discussed issues and took questions from the audience for several hours, Orton said.
"I'm glad we can be on TV . . . and that the public can get a very short glimpse into each of us," Orton said.
But television appearances don't give the public an opportunity to hear each candidate discuss issues, problems and solutions in-depth, Orton said. Orton maintains that Snow agreed publicly during the Liberty Mint debate to appear in several substantive debates.
Snow said that few of the people attending the Liberty Mint debate were undecided voters.
"My challenge to Karl is to keep his commitment," Orton said. "Join me in public debate."
Snow said that with the "large number of joint appearances and debates I'm sure that my opponent and I will be able to reach a broad section of the population of the Third District, especially with the television viewing audiences that will be watching us."
Snow campaign manager Clark Caras said other "obligations and party responsibilities" prevent Snow from engaging in additional debates with Orton."The reality of the situation is that with just four weeks to the election, we have got to get to the people in the rural areas and meet the voters in those towns and cities," Caras said. "We have scheduled at least 16 joint appearances and eight debates in the short time before the election. I think that is more than adequate."
But Orton says voters, especially those in the 3rd District's outlying areas, should have the opportunity to see the two candidates display their understanding of major problems and possible solutions and ask them questions in live debates.
The problem with television debates, joint appearances and participation on radio call-in shows is "it's easy," Orton said. "You don't have to know anything about an issue to deliver a 90-second comment on television. You can prepare and memorize that speech. Time is so restricted, you really don't have to know anything about the issues.
"In the amount of time you have to respond (on TV or radio) you can't do anything more than show the public a little bit of your style," Orton said.
He said that repeated efforts by himself and his staff to set up substantive debates with Snow have been rebuffed.
Schedule of debates
Republican Karl Snow and Democrat Bill Orton will discuss issues in the following forums:
Oct. 2: The Utah County Auto Dealers Association meeting at the Riverside Country Club, 2701 North University Ave., at noon.
Oct. 2: A taped debate for KXIV Channel 14 to be aired on Oct. 7, 1990.
Oct. 4: The Women's Legislative Council of Utah County at the Provo Women's Center, 270 W. 500 North, Provo at 9:30 a.m.
Oct. 4: The Provo Rotary Club meeting at the Provo Elks Lodge, 1000 S. University Ave., at noon.
Oct. 8: KSL-TV's "Focus" program, live at 7:30 a.m.
For additional debate dates see B2.