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Brown, Warren say they are eager to debate issues

Globe Staff (No Other Byline) / June 4, 2012
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The morning after his rival, Elizabeth Warren, overwhelmingly won the Democratic endorsement at the state party convention, Republican Senator Scott Brown wasted no time challenging his opponent to a debate.

“Over the next five months, voters will get a chance to hear from both of us through several debates and forums,” Brown wrote in a news release Sunday. “I have already accepted an invitation to debate from radio host Dan Rea of WBZ-AM in Boston. I look forward to meeting Professor Warren there for our first debate of the campaign.”

Rea, of course, is a conservative-leaning host on talk radio, a forum that is typically friendlier territory for Republicans than Democrats.

Brown’s challenge may have been prompted by Warren, who, in comments following her win on Saturday, told reporters: “I’d love to see some debates with Scott Brown. Let’s get started on this. I’m ready.’’

When a supporter shouted out, “Bring him on!” in reference to Brown, Warren even joked, “I think that guy back there just provoked him.”

In a statement Sunday, Warren said, “I am glad Scott Brown has accepted my challenge to debate. My campaign has received a number of requests from all over the Commonwealth, and we will be reaching out to the Brown campaign to discuss debates.

“Yesterday, I said that we need to have debates and I looked forward to the opportunity to talk about the real issues facing us,” she continued. “There are clear differences between Scott Brown and me: on economic opportunity, on accountability for Wall Street, on helping students attend college and on the future of our energy policy.”

Neither campaign has yet agreed to any formal debates; there has only been Brown’s expression of willingness to debate Warren on the Rea show.

Brown, in his statement Sunday, congratulated Warren on her endorsement, before offering up the debate challenge. “I look forward to a spirited campaign and a good discussion of the issues, particularly how we can best create jobs, reduce debt, and maintain America’s position as a global economic leader,” he wrote.

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