Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Chuck Purgason said he was "tired and angry" when he proposed debating Congressman Roy Blunt and is now calling for his primary opponent to take part in less "controversial" roundtable discussions.
"I wrote a press release when I was tired and angry. In hindsight, this was not the thing I should have done. All of us in the Republican party must strive to remember that Congressman Blunt and I are in the same party," Purgason wrote in a press release Monday. "All of us in the Republican party must strive to remember that Congressman Blunt and I are in the same party. We should not have a debate because debates tend to be more controversial as both candidates try to get each other in that "gotcha" moment that campaign reporters and political pundits try to focus on," he said.
But now the Howell County State Senator is proposing Blunt join him in roundtable discussions.
"I deserve a chance to speak and be heard by the leaders of my party and a chance to be included in the discussions on the future of our party. These discussions would be between the two of us with a moderator to keep the conversation on the point of focus. The topic of these discussions would be how each of us would put forth our ideas and beliefs and the direction we feel our party needs to adhere to put forth our agenda for America," Purgason said. "I do not want to turn these into debates, but I will work along with Congressman Blunt to put forth meaningful conversations on the direction we think we would lead our party and nation if elected into office. I, along with the people who work hard within our party day in and day out, deserve this dialogue. I await Congressman Blunt’s answer to this proposal," he concluded.
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"I gave my answers to many, many questions on where I stand on the issues. My reasons. How I would vote and why. My ideas and proposals for the future," Blunt wrote in an e-mail to supporters Monday. Every candidate is a job applicant. That’s what I was taught about democracy. It helped guide me as a classroom teacher when I taught high school history. It’s how I ran for local office and since then. If you can’t stand the heat, then you aren't ready for work in the kitchen," he added.
"If you want to be hired by the people, then present yourself to your fellow citizens, look people in the eye, and answer their questions to the best of your ability. If you want people’s trust, then earn it," Blunt said.