August 28, 2018
For now, it seems Pennsylvanians will get two debates between U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, the Democratic incumbent, and GOP challenger Lou Barletta ahead of November’s midterm elections. One will be in Philadelphia, and the other in Pittsburgh, and they seem to be ticketed for October.
Reports of the debates eked out Tuesday, and Barletta’s campaign confirmed in a release that it had accepted the two debates.
According to Laura Olson of the Morning Call, Casey’s camp also said it accepted the two debates.
Barletta's camp says they've also accepted "invites in principle" to debates in Harrisburg and Wilkes-Barre.— Laura Olson (@lauraolson) August 28, 2018
Casey's team cites schedule constraints with Senate session. They're sticking with two debates in the state's biggest media markets.
Barletta’s release Tuesday afternoon chastised Casey for not agreeing to more than two debates before the elections, with the challenger's senior communications adviser, Matthew Beynon, calling Casey’s decision to refuse debates in Harrisburg and Scranton “not surprising, but still disappointing.”
Then Beynon and Casey’s communications director, Max Steele, got into a bit of a back-and-forth on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
Steele began by pointing out how long it’s taken to actually schedule the debates between Casey and Barletta:
The #PASEN general election began 105 days ago. The @louforsenate team waited until an hour after finding out the number of debates the Casey campaign had agreed to to insist they wanted more.— Max Steele (@maxasteele) August 28, 2018
That's not how this works.
Beynon returned fire, citing a “bombastic” campaign from Casey that he apparently feels fizzled when it came time to plan debates:
Ultimately, Steele put an end to the exchange:
k— Max Steele (@maxasteele) August 28, 2018
Sparks are flying, but we still don’t know exactly when or where the two debates will be held.
The midterm elections will be held Nov. 6.