Sorry Ryan, It’s Not Your Week (Again).

Sorry Ryan, It’s Not Your Week (Again).

Former SOFA PAC Chairman Ryan Zinke has fled to Washington D.C. in an attempt to duck bad headlines across Montana for ducking debates with John Lewis.

Zinke has come under fire in the papers for his unwillingness to debate Lewis in a public forum.  Zinke ducked a scheduled debate for September 29th put on by the Billings Gazette Yellowstone Public Radio and has yet to explain what suddenly came up on his calendar that is preventing him from debating. Multiple newspapers across Montana have chastised Zinke for his lack of political courage, even though he had the courage to send a misleading fundraising e-mail that claimed he had a role in the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Three separate Montana papers chastised Zinke for his lack of political courage.

Dodging debates was not the only misstep for a reeling Zinke campaign. He was also criticized for sending a fundraising e-mail that claimed he had a role in the killing of Osama bin Laden.

“In between avoiding the tough questions and misleading Montana voters it’s no wonder Ryan Zinke doesn’t want to debate.  I would love to know what Mr. Zinke thinks is more important than debating the issues in front of Montana voters,” said Bryan Watt, a Montana Democratic Party spokesperson.  “The voters of Montana deserve to see their candidates debate.  I hope Mr. Zinke can squeeze the people of Montana in between his fancy out-of-state fundraisers.”

Zinke’s Bad Headlines

Billings Gazette: Zinke flunks political courage test

“So when the opportunity arises for the candidates to appear live before a statewide audience for free, why wouldn’t Republican Ryan Zinke accept the invitation? The invitation to appear for an hour of evening prime time on Montana PBS television, Yellowstone Public Radio and live video stream on Why wouldn’t he agree to debate Democrat John Lewis before a live audience at Petro Theater in Billings? Why wouldn’t Zinke agree to stand beside Lewis and answer news reporters’ questions about the issues that are important to Montanans?”

Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Zinke wrong to cancel PBS debate with Lewis

“Congressional candidate Ryan Zinke is doing voters a disservice by refusing to participate in a televised debate with his opponent… We suspect that Zinke’s refusal to participate is based on some political calculation that he has more to lose than he has to gain in debating his opponent.”

Missoulian: U.S. House candidates won’t debate in Billings after Zinke backs out

“For the first time in decades, candidates for Montana’s lone congressional seat won’t debate in Billings. Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke, who had earlier agreed to a statewide televised debate in Billings on Sept. 29, is no longer available, according to campaign manager Alan Mikkelsen.”

Bozeman Daily Chronicle: GOP House candidate Zinke says bin Laden email misunderstood

“Helena's John Hollow, 70, received Zinke's email. He is a former Navy SEAL who saw action in Vietnam in 1969-1970 with SEAL Team One. The SEAL veteran said Zinke was acting inappropriately and that he received the email because the UDT-SEAL Association, a nonprofit veterans support organization, gave Zinke a list of former special warfare personnel when Zinke was chair of the Special Operations for America political action committee.”

Missoulian: Daines, Zinke must not mislead Montanans about veterans

“Unfortunately, two of Montana’s candidates for congressional office have recently, in their zeal to appear as supportive of veterans as possible, mislead Montanans and damaged their credibility with voters.”

Billings Gazette: Political debates strengthen our democracy

“In our democracy, having an “informed” electorate is essential to the proper functioning of our government and to the free elections which are its hallmark…If the result of these efforts is more 2014 campaign debates, our democracy will be strengthened.”

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