The debate over debates is starting in the Massachusetts Senate race.
Eager to appear more willing than his Democratic rival to face off on the issues, Senator Scott Brown said on Monday that he has accepted his second invitation to debate Elizabeth Warren on the radio.
Warren, who has yet to accept an invitation, said she, too, is eager to debate Brown, but is waiting until her aides can meet with Brown’s aides to sort through the many invitations they have received.
The early jockeying reflects the intense public relations battle surrounding the debate schedule.
Warren, a Harvard Law School professor and former Obama administration official, had first signaled at the Democratic convention on Saturday that she wanted to debate Brown, starting soon. Brown, a Wrentham Republican, countered by quickly accepting two invitations to debate, albeit on the radio, which draws a fraction of the audience and attention of a prime-time television debate.
In a statement on Monday, Brown said he is willing to debate Warren on the WTKK-FM show hosted by Jim Braude, a former Democratic city councilor from Cambridge, and Margery Eagan, a Boston Herald columnist. Brown had already accepted an invitation to debate Warren on the WBZ-AM show hosted by Dan Rea, a conservative-leaning host who bills himself as “the voice of reason.”
“Debates are an opportunity to get beyond the sound bites and find out where the candidates really stand,” Brown said.
He charged that Warren has “very radical ideas” and said, “I hope she accepts these first two debates so that we can more fully discuss our differences.”
Warren’s spokeswoman, Alethea Harney, released a statement saying the Democrat looks forward to tangling with Brown.
“We have received more than a dozen requests from potential hosts across Massachusetts,” Harney said. “Since the convention, we’ve heard from other organizations that plan on submitting requests soon. We look forward to discussing these opportunities with Scott Brown’s campaign and reached out to them today on the subject. We have yet to hear back from them.”