Vitter’s absence at TV debates rankles competitors
They accuse Vitter, a U.S. senator, of refusing to attend unscripted events, engage in real policy debates or interact directly with voters. They say he doesn’t want to participate in question-and-answer sessions where he can’t see the questions in advance or control the forum style.
Vitter’s also got high unfavorable numbers in polls and the baggage of an eight-year-old prostitution scandal, which threaten his ability to make the Nov. 21 runoff, so he needs to hang onto his core base of support.
Unscripted, wide-open TV debates are a risk that a candidate can be forced off-message or pushed to answer uncomfortable questions.