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How News Orgs Covered Sunday’s Buck-Bennet TV Debate


Source: MSNBC.Com
Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC featured a debate between Ken Buck and Michael Bennet. The full program can be played above. The debate begins at 18:30.

STATE BILL COLORADO

Senate appointee Michael Bennet and challenger Ken Buck traded barbs on TV’s “Meet the Press.” Here’s how major media covered it.

Wall Street Journal: Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck of Colorado said that homosexuality is a choice, but allowed that being gay – “like alcoholism” – has a genetic component to it. “You can choose who your partner is,” said Mr. Buck, a tea-party favorite. He has a slight edge over Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, a close ally of President Barack Obama, according to analysis of various polls by RealClearPolitics.com.

Bloomberg: Colorado’s Democratic Senator Michael Bennet accused his Republican opponent, Ken Buck, of showing insensitivity in handling an alleged date-rape case as district attorney in Weld County. Buck used the term “buyer’s remorse” to describe how a jury might view the woman’s change of heart about the man she accused of the rape. That’s the “wrong way to talk about these issues” for a prosecutor, Bennet, 45, said during a joint appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

CQ-Roll Call: Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and his challenger, Republican Ken Buck, faced off Sunday in a debate focusing largely on their differences over gay rights, the tea party and Afghanistan. Buck, who supports the military ban on gay service members, said in the debate on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he believes being gay is a lifestyle choice. “You can choose who your partner is,” Buck said. “I think that birth has an influence over, like, alcoholism and some other things, but I think that, basically, you have a choice.”

CNN: Colorado voters have a clear choice in the state’s upcoming Senate election, as demonstrated by a nationally televised debate Sunday. Republican Ken Buck, a conservative backed by the Tea Party movement, said in the debate broadcast on the NBC program “Meet the Press” that homosexuality is a choice and that he favors a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.

Fox News: Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck of Colorado fired back Sunday at claims from Democrats that he has shifted to the center in his contest to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. Buck said in a debate with Bennet on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “it’s not fair” how Democrats have accused him of abandoning far-right positions in hopes of appealing to moderate voters.

The Atlantic: It’s a fascinating turning point. Senator Michael Bennet is using the gay issue to his advantage against his Republican rival in Colorado. Buck recently compared being gay to being born with a tendency to alcoholism.

The Greeley Tribune: Weld District Attorney and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck strayed from his campaign’s focus on economic issues when he compared homosexuality to alcoholism Sunday in a nationally televised debate. “The homosexuality question occupied all of maybe 20 seconds of the debate, and yet it’s going to produce most of the headlines out of the debate,” independent Denver-based political analyst Eric Sondermann said. “Those are not the headlines Ken Buck wanted.”

The Washington Post: Colorado’s Republican Senate candidate, under pressure to defend himself against allegations he has abandoned the far-right in favor of appealing to moderate voters, compared homosexuality to alcoholism in a televised debate with the man he’s trying to unseat. Ken Buck spent much of a debate against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet on NBC’s “Meet The Press” insisting that he hasn’t changed his positions to appeal to moderate voters in a Senate contest that has become one of the nation’s most competitive.

Politico: Colorado Republican Ken Buck stood by a pair of controversial statements Sunday during a shaky nationally televised debate with Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. Pressed by “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory, Buck said he believed that being gay was a lifestyle choice and expressed no regrets about his four-year-old characterization of an alleged rape as “buyer’s remorse.”

The Denver Post: Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck suddenly elevated the culture wars from minor player to center stage in the Senate race Sunday when he compared homosexuality to alcoholism during a nationally televised debate. Appearing with Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in a 27-minute showdown on “Meet the Press,” Buck responded to a question from host David Gregory by saying he believed homosexuality was a choice but had limited biological influences “like alcoholism and some other things.”

The Durango Herald: Sen. Michael Bennet and Ken Buck endured one of the hottest seats in politics Sunday morning in a debate on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Host David Gregory peppered Republican Buck with questions about his opinion on homosexuality and his explanations for why he refused to prosecute a date-rape case as Weld County district attorney.

The Colorado Independent: Polling now puts the U.S. Senate race in Colorado pitting Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet against GOP Weld County DA Ken Buck as a dead heat, with the momentum swinging toward Bennet. Rasmussen, which has put Buck ahead for months, now labels the race a toss up and Public Policy Polling reports that moderate and women voters may well decide the election, two groups now going for Bennet in big numbers. How is the Bennet campaign seizing on the reported momentum?

Denver Daily News: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck stirred controversy yesterday when he said on “Meet the Press” that he believes being gay is a choice. Also, when questioned by host David Gregory if he believes being gay is determined at birth, Buck responded: “I think that birth has an influence over (it) like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice.”

The Hill: Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Republican Ken Buck sparred over government spending, deficits and the policies of President Obama Sunday, but the meeting between the two candidates on NBC’s “Meet the Press” was ultimately dominated by Buck’s answer to a question on homosexuality. Buck said Sunday that he thinks homosexuality is a choice, a remark that Bennet’s campaign immediately jumped on post-debate. Asked during the debate if he believes that being gay is a lifestyle choice, Buck answered, “I do.”

Westword: From a style perspective, Ken Buck acquitted himself well in his nationally televised debate with Senator Michael Bennet on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday. He came across as forceful and direct, in contrast to Bennet’s occasionally halting hemming and hawing. But Buck made the key mistake of giving the Bennet camp a headline by comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.

National Journal: Republican Ken Buck was on the defensive against Sen. Michael Bennet (D) during Sunday’s “Meet the Press” Colorado Senate debate, stumbling at several points on both economic and social issues. At one point, Buck opened the door to a potential Democratic attack ad when he compared being gay to the disease of alcoholism. When asked if being gay is a choice, Buck said yes, and went on to add: “I think that birth has an influence…like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically, you have a choice.”

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