ICYMI: Editorials Across Ohio: Mike DeWine Shirking Duty By Cheating Ohio Voters Out of Debate with Nan Whaley
September 28, 2022
“DeWine should debate Whaley. He owes it to Ohio voters.”
Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, the USA Today Network Ohio is running editorials in papers across Ohio taking Mike DeWine to task over his refusal to face Mayor Nan Whaley on the debate stage this year. Last week, DeWine officially ducked statewide debates Whaley repeatedly called for, knowing his record of betraying voters would be deeply unpopular with voters ahead of one of the most important elections in Ohio history. The move has become a pattern for DeWine. After debating opponents in the past, he also dodged a debate with his primary opponents earlier this year showing just how scared he is to defend his record of selling out Ohioans to hold onto power.
“Candidates who say no to debates shirk this responsibility and set a dangerous precedent in refusing to even engage with the other side. This is a move away from the tradition of civic debate and dissent and, therefore, a move away from democratic norms that form the bedrock of our nation,” wrote USA Today Ohio Network’s editorial board.
- Watch ODP’s recap of all the times Mike DeWine dodged debate questions HERE.
“Mike DeWine is blowing off Ohio voters and ducking debates. He needs to be held accountable for it. DeWine’s weakness is hurting Ohio on issues ranging from abortion to gun violence to redistricting. A lack of any debates in the governor’s race is just the latest example of how Ohioans are paying the price for DeWine’s cowardice,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Matt Keyes.
Read more from USA Today Ohio’s editorial board here and below:
- Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision to skip debates leading up to the Nov. 8 election is a slap in the face of his Democratic challenger Nan Whaley.
- That’s one thing. Far more outrageous, his actions show contempt for the will of Ohio voters and the democratic process.
- The refusal to publicly debate is also part of a disturbing trend, nationally, by Democrats and Republicans, departing from traditional American norms.
- The people want and need a debate, but it seems DeWine is content to run out the clock until Election Day. A recent USA TODAY Network Ohio/Suffolk University poll shows 84% of likely Ohio voters want candidates for the state’s top political posts to face off in one-on-one debates.
- Our boards are left to conclude DeWine is so confident the fundamentals of the race are in his favor, that he doesn’t have to care what you think.
- Last week, DeWine and Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance officially declined to participate in Ohio Debate Commission debates planned for October. DeWine argued Ohioans already know where he stands on key issues from the economy to guns and abortion.
- DeWine owes voters no less. This would be only the second time since 1978 that there’s not been a gubernatorial debate.
- The fact that DeWine is refusing to debate the first woman ever nominated for governor reflects poorly on him and robs both Whaley and Ohioans of a truly historical moment.
- The incumbent governor likely isn’t eager at this stage to defend attacks on his record or answer questions about former President Donald Trump, abortion, gun control or his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- But none of those are good reasons for cheating voters. DeWine must consider the value of the debates to voters over his only personal and political gains.
- Debates are the equivalent of a job interview for candidates running for office.
- They allow voters a chance to see how quickly candidates can think on their feet, handle criticism and answer tough questions. Voters can compare and contrast candidates’ style in real-time.
- Candidates need to be willing to publicly debate and not shy away from them out of fear of scrutiny, fact-checking or blowing a big lead in the polls. They should be prepared to argue the issues and stand on their convictions, policy positions and the accuracy of their statements regardless of their opponent or the forum in which these things might be challenged.
- Participating in debates shows a respect for the democratic process and voters.
- Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown understand this, which is why both still debated opponents in their last elections despite holding sizable leads in the polls.
- Both stood up to attacks on their record and personal lives and answered tough questions, despite having little to gain personally from the debates.
- Candidates who say no to debates shirk this responsibility and set a dangerous precedent in refusing to even engage with the other side. This is a move away from the tradition of civic debate and dissent and, therefore, a move away from democratic norms that form the bedrock of our nation.
- As our society becomes an increasingly closed off echo chamber, we need more conversation across political ideologies and more thoughtful debate and discussion, not less.
- DeWine should debate Whaley. He owes it to Ohio voters.