Gov. Bobby Jindal and Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu have asked the top four
presidential contenders to debate in New Orleans this summer. A joint
letter sent to Sen. John McCain, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Hillary
Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama asks the candidates to attend "a Town
Hall meeting" in June and assures them that "New Orleans is open and
ready for business." The letter reads in part:
We believe that it is incumbent upon national figures and
those who seek the office of the presidency in particular to shine the
national spotlight on the people and places in our country which
deserve to be highlighted. The people of the Gulf Coast continue to
recover and rebuild from the devastating storms of 2005 and those
efforts are an incredible window into the many challenges facing not
just New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast, but our entire country.
In November, the commission on presidential debates passed over New
Orleans as a site for debates, claiming that the city didn't measure
up. The Times-Picayune called the decision "a shameful rebuff" and The New York Times wrote that "a disservice has been done to the electorate and the nation." The letter also adds:
As you know, the presidential Debate Commission did not
select New Orleans as one of their official sites. This was a terrible
misjudgment and their reasoning that the city was somehow not ready to
host a large scale event was flat wrong.
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