Just days after challenger Baron Hill signaled that he might refuse to debate Rep. Mike Sodrel because the two could not agree on a format, Hill today said the debate will go forward as planned on August 31.
In a letter distributed to Indiana news outlets, Hill denies that he ever threatened to back away from a general, standardized format, but writes that he did agree to a different format that he favors: four, single-topic debates.
"I don't believe that a typical debate ... that covers the universe of issues is informative, educational, or even particularly useful," Hill writes. "Between the political posturing, the two-minute answers with one-minute rebuttals, and the introductions and closings, we might get to spend four minutes on any single issue."
But after a wave of unwelcome media reports that Hill would not agree to the standard, generalized format offered by host TV station WTIU in Bloomington, Hill has changed course.
His campaign announced today that he will debate Sodrel as WTIU proposed.
The news is a win to Sodrel's campaign, which prefers the generalized debate.
"While I look forward to spirited, issues-focused debates, I am disappointed that we won't get to spend the appropriate amount of time on the issues that will bring about the change that Hoosier families need," Hill writes.