While Heitkamp Hides From Tough Questions Her Campaign Uses Cramer’s Accessibility Against Him

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. Dave Wallis / The Forum

Last week and over the weekend the Democrats created some negative headlines for Senate candidate Kevin Cramer by clipping audio from the open phones segments he does on talk radio shows like mine and pitching the audio to the national media.

For instance, NBC News used comments Cramer made about the oil export ban on my show. They weren’t even trying to hide the fact that Democrats had pitched the audio to them. To source Cramer’s comments the folks at NBC literally linked to a clip the North Dakota Democratic Party had made and uploaded to YouTube.

Cramer’s comments about the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh also made national news over the weekend, and again those comments were clipped from an appearance on a local talk radio show. This time it was the Jarrod Thomas Show from KNOX in Grand Forks.

…while Cramer appears regularly on talk radio shows broadcasting all over the state to take questions and comments, Heitkamp largely avoids that sort of candid interaction with the electorate.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using things a given politician has actually said as the basis of criticism against him or her (though I wish sometimes these national media outlets were a little less reliant on the content pitched to them by partisan sources), but there is a deep sort of cynicism and hypocrisy involved when Heitkamp does it.

Because while Cramer appears regularly on talk radio shows broadcasting all over the state to take questions and comments, Heitkamp largely avoids that sort of candid interaction with the electorate.

I have had Cramer on my show to take unscreened calls pretty much every week since I began broadcasting for WDAY. He also appears weekly with Thomas, television host Chris Berg, and Scott Hennen whose show is syndicated on stations across the state. There may be others as well. These are just the ones I’m aware of.

But Heitkamp? Hosts like Thomas, Berg, Hennen, and myself are all literally on the Senator’s enemies list. Not only does she not book time on our shows to take calls and questions, but she hasn’t allowed her advertising to run during our broadcasts.

As I’ve mentioned often, I start each Monday with an email to Heitkamp’s Senate and campaign staff requesting an interview. Every Monday my request goes unanswered.

So, in review, Heitkamp is happy to see her opponent Kevin Cramer attacked using clips of the things he says during the very frequent opportunities he provides for the public to question him. I’ll even say, when Cramer is on with me, it seems like we usually get a planted question or two from Heitkamp’s political allies based on the way the questioner will sound like they’re reading from a script.

Yet Heitkamp herself eschews that same sort of accessibility.

That’s something for voters to keep in mind.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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