Congressman Todd Rokita continues to face criticism for refusing to participate in a debate with two other GOP candidates in the Indiana primary– this time from Indiana conservative radio hosts Tony Katz and Abdul Hakim-Shabazz.
Katz blasted Rokita on his show today saying Rokita’s reasoning for not appearing in a debate because of “questions from liberal media figures” simply does not ring true since the debate will be hosted by a nonpartisan organization and moderated by a Republican.
Rokita’s excuse for not participating in the debate was “scheduling conflicts” and this statement: “The Rokita campaign believes debates in the Republican primary should be hosted by conservative and Republican organizations which get into issues Republicans care about, not leftist propaganda and gotcha questions from liberal media figures, liberal college professors, or other parties interested in attacking Republicans and re-electing Joe Donnelly.”
The moderator for the debate in question? Hakim-Shabazz, an Indiana blogger, conservative radio host, and Republican. The nonpartisan group sponsoring the debate said Rokita is the first candidate in their 10-year history to decline to participate.
Rokita went on the radio after Katz’s show to explain himself, doubling down on his criticism of Hakim-Shabazz.
“Even Republicans agree that Todd Rokita’s excuse for not debating the other candidates in Indiana’s GOP Senate primary is laughably transparent,” said American Bridge spokesperson Allison Teixeira Sulier. “Here’s the truth: Rokita is running scared from debates because he’s a gaffe machine who constantly puts his foot in his mouth and is totally out of step with Hoosier values.”