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Brown Withdraws from Vicki Kennedy-MSNBC Debate

4:24 PM, Jun 19, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Republican senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts has decided not to participate in a televised debate with his opponent, Democrat Elizabeth Warren, after the one of the debate's sponsors, Vicki Kennedy of the Kennedy Institute, refused to promise to stay neutral in the Senate race. The Boston Herald reports:

After learning that Vicki Kennedy had rejected the Brown camp’s non-endorsement demand, Brown campaign manager Jim Barnett, issued the following statement today: “We respect Vicki Kennedy’s decision but we regret that we cannot accept a debate invitation from someone who plans to endorse Scott Brown’s opponent. The Kennedy Institute cannot hold itself out as a nonpartisan debate sponsor while the president of its board of trustees gets involved in the race on behalf of one of the candidates.”

Officials with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute had sent a letter earlier today saying Vicki Kennedy would not abide by Brown’s condition.

Vicki Kennedy was the second wife of the late senator Edward Kennedy, a Democrat, whose former Senate seat Brown won in a special election in 2010. The Brown campaign had also requested that one of the other sponsors, liberal cable news network MSNBC, be dropped from the debate.

Brown has agreed to four other debates--two televised, two on radio. The Warren campaign has also agreed to the TV debates, though they have no yet confirmed Warren's participation in the radio debates.

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