Lobbyist-turned-Congressman ducked June debate, refused to defend record
BILLINGS, Mont.—Montanans looking to use the upcoming Senate debates to hear directly from their U.S. Senate candidates are hoping for one thing—that Congressman Dennis Rehberg shows up this time.
Rehberg and Tester are scheduled to debate each other this Monday, Oct. 8, in Billings.
But in June, Rehberg abruptly backed out of a long-planned Montana Broadcasting Association debate in Whitefish, Mont.
Although he and Tester were invited months earlier, Rehberg claimed he was “never notified” about the debate and could not attend due to a “scheduling conflict.”
The Montana Television Network immediately questioned Rehberg’s claim, reporting that a reporter had “seen an internal memo from the Montana Broadcasters Association that says the group began working with the Rehberg campaign on the debate date and time seven months ago.”
It turns out that Rehberg choose to attend an out-of-state fundraiser instead of debating Tester, refusing to hold himself accountable to Montanans.
Rehberg’s disappearance also prompted a popular web video that was featured on national TV. The video features a chicken searching Washington, DC and Montana for Rehberg with signs that read: “Where is Dennis Rehberg?” and “Too chicken to debate?”
“We join all Montanans in hoping Congressman Dennis Rehberg won’t pull the same stunt on us that he did earlier this summer,” said Montanans for Tester spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff. “Montanans deserve to see for themselves the clear contrast between Jon’s record of always putting Montana first, and Congressman Rehberg’s record of relying on lobbyists and answering to special interests.”