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The debate that was or wasn't a debate, is off

CBS-4 plans to inform its viewers that the hotly anticipated debate between Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Raul Martinez is off "because both parties were unable to agree on a time that would work for everyone involved."

Here's what "everyone involved" had to say: First up was Democrat Martinez, accusing Diaz-Balart of ending negotiations and refusing to debate, "after continuously lying about the existence of a televised debate on CBS4."

But Diaz-Balart says it was Martinez who quashed the debate "after months of desperate whining and complaining" that Diaz-Balart would not debate. Diaz-Balart's campaign sent out an e-mail from CBS-4 that thanked the parties for agreeing to participate in a debate -- to be held Friday night.

Martinez's camp says it hadn't ever agreed to a Friday night debate -- and already had another event scheduled. And it maintains the first time it ever heard about the CBS-4 debate is when Diaz-Balart told the Herald he had agreed to debate on CBS-4. Then, the campaign says, CBS-4 extended an invitation.

Confused yet? Stay tuned.

Diaz-Balart's campaign -- hammered by Democrats for failing (thus far) to debate, says Martinez should accept the Friday date.

"It's disengenous," said spokesman Carlos Curbelo. "They've been whining. Well Lincoln will be there, prime time on a network."

Jeff Garcia with Martinez's campaign says the mayor can't make it Friday. And he said the campaign offered three other opportunities, but no deal. It also noted that Diaz-Balart hasn't accepted a number of other debate invitations.

"The last time we cancelled an event for (Diaz-Balart)," Garcia said, "He didn't show."


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Hialeah Resident

Man this Lincoln Diaz-Balart is a real liar. If you watch Spanish Televison, which I do then you would know that all the local stations have offered debates for months along with Micheal Putney.

Lincoln is too much of a coward to show up on Spanish TV and debate Raul.

Micheal Putney

WPLG-10's Michael Putney has called it "indisputable" that Diaz-Balart has “found all kinds of reasons not to debate.”

SunPost Newspaper

Lincoln’s lie about the existence of a CBS4 debate was caught by the SunPost newspaper who reported “…neither Ileana Ros-Lehtinen nor the Diaz-Balart brothers, Lincoln and Mario, has thus far accepted an invitation to debate anyone, unless you count Lincoln’s acceptance of an invitation from CBS, which was never even extended in the first place.”

ABC Ch. 10

Micheal Putney’s comments about the debates here:


Herald Blog

Channel 10: Miami's three members of Congress "have more commitment issues than an aging bachelor"

WPLG-10 says it's hoping to televise three debates next month for South Florida's three congressional races, but the Republican candidates have yet to commit. "All three challengers say they're in," the station says today in an online editorial, "but all three incumbents have more commitment issues than an aging bachelor."

The editorial notes that Reps. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen aren't required to accept the invitation: "But we wonder why they wouldn't jump at the chance to give voters their position on the issues."

Read more here. And read more about the wrangling over the debates here.

I love Lincoln

Why is everyone giving Lincoln Diaz-Castro, I mean Balart such a hard time. I am sure he has his reason for not debating. If I were him I would hate to have defend my do-nothing record. Do you people think it is easy going around lying to himself and Curbello about what he has not done for 16 years in Washington? It's not. Give the guy a break.

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