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Press Release - Letter From Dole Campaign to Clinton Campaign About Debates

September 26, 1996

I received your letter of September 25 regarding the upcoming debates.

We understand why you do not wish to have the time of debate on the 16th moved in the event of a Major League Baseball playoff game competing with it. We know President Clinton's highest priority is to have the least number of debates before the smallest possible audience. Mickey Kantor threw Ross Perot overboard at approximately 9:05 a.m. Saturday, making it abundantly clear the only reason the Clinton/Gore campaign made noises about including Perot in the debate was as a negotiating tactic to achieve your goal of the fewest debates seen by the fewest people.

However, we have indications from Major League Baseball that they would willing to move the start time of their playoff game on the 16th by 45 minutes if we would start our debate at 8:15 instead of 9:00 P.M. Given that Major League Baseball is willing to accommodate the cause of democracy by not competing with the debate on the 16th, surely the President can agree to a debate 45 minutes earlier than previously agreed to. If he does not, then we will know that your only goal is to have few people watching the President and Bob Dole debate the issues.

We are prepared to have the Commission determine the makeup of the audience at the September 16 debate, as well as the shape of the stage.

More troubling, however, is the arrogance and deceitfulness of Mickey Kantor regarding the writing platform to be used by the candidates, at the second debate. As was made clear on Saturday, Senator Dole has a disability, which he acquired defending his country when he was called upon to do so. That you campaign refuses to accommodate his need for a particular writing platform is contrary to the indications given on Saturday. I was in the room when your team accepted our having a mutually agreed upon writing platform. Not for the first time, what Mickey Kantor has been quoted saying does not jibe with what happened.

These issues should be resolved today. Please call me at your earliest convenience. We understand Major League Baseball is anxious to know if their generous offer to move the time of a previously- scheduled game is to be accepted by the President

Sincerely

Scott W. Reed

Robert Dole, Press Release - Letter From Dole Campaign to Clinton Campaign About Debates Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/316499

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