Congressman Kevin Cramer joined my radio show today for his weekly open phones segment, and I asked him about his opponent Senator Heidi Heitkamp telling the Bismarck Tribune about what she described as “Cramer’s unwillingness to schedule debates, including a nationally televised Fox News debate.”
Cramer talks about about his accessibility to the public, and rightfully so. He’s got a sterling reputation of accessibility with the media. He regularly holds town hall events where citizens can come and ask him questions directly. He also goes on a number of radio shows, like mine, every week for open segments where he talks questions from the audience. Heitkamp’s assertion that Cramer is turning down debates seemed out of character for him.
“It’s not my job to make her accessible,” Cramer told me when I asked him about it, saying Heitkamp’s sudden concern about debates is an effort to “dig out from 5 1/2 years” of being inaccessible.
Cramer says it’s not so much that he’s turned down debates but rather in scheduling them. He also said he’s not very interested in a debate which would be hosted by Fox News saying it doesn’t make much sense to address a national audience when really it’s only North Dakotans who matter in this race.
During the interview Cramer did say he’s still considering the Fox News debate, though the Bismarck Tribune quotes his campaign spokesman Tim Rasmussen as saying they “elected not to participate in a Fox News debate.”
Today’s show also featured Michael Budkie from the group Stop Animal Exploitation Now about their accusations against North Dakota State University over animal abuse.
Here’s the full audio of today’s show. If you can’t listen live, get the podcast.