Clark: Is Bachmann afraid to talk to me?

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On Tuesday, DFLer Tarryl Clark challenged her opponent, Rep. Michele Bachmann, to a series of eight “Main Street Forums.” The Clark campaign said that only one of the three debates that Bachmann has agreed to is in the 6th Congressional District. Clark asked reporters during a conference call, “Is she afraid of coming and talking to me? Is she afraid of the people?”

“I join countless 6th District voters in calling on Congresswoman Bachmann to be a part of the democracy that our founders envisioned,” said Clark in a statement read to reporters. “Voters have the right to talk to and hear from their candidates for elected office, and especially their Members of Congress. Today, I’m asking Congresswoman Bachmann to attend these Main Street Forums so that we can finally have the kind of honest discussion of the issues that 6th District voters deserve.”

“She is not making herself available,” she added. “And I hear this from Republicans, Democrats and independents.”

“If I have the honor of serving the 6th District in Congress, I pledge to continue to hold these kinds of open meetings for as long as I am in Congress,” concluded Clark.

The Clark campaign is organizing the forums across the district, but said each one would have an independent moderator.

“We want voters to be able to fairly compare Bachmann and Clark,” said campaign spokeswoman Carrie Lucking. “All we are doing is setting up the logistical work.”

She said that Clark will attend the forums whether Bachmann shows up or not.

Clark said that Bachmann has declined an invitation to attend a debate on Tuesday evening in Stillwater.

“She did the today show this morning; I think she should be able to show up tonight,” said Clark.

She added, “She must be afraid of something. I can’t figure out what that is.”

In addition to two debates outside the district – at Minnesota Public Radio and on At Issue, Bachmann has agreed to participate in the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce one week before the election on Oct. 26.