Patriots may score first Rossi-Didier debate
The Republicans are in town — 2,000 or more of them, filling the city’s hotels and meeting rooms at the Hilton. It’s a big deal for the party, and for Vancouver.
But a loose-knit coalition of groups linked by the Patriot Hub website may steal the show Friday if it succeeds in getting Republican U.S. Senate candidates Dino Rossi and Clint Didier to debate — or at least answer the same slate of questions — at a parallel event away from the convention proper.
If it happens, it will be the first joint appearance by the two front-runners in the campaign to take on U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in the fall.
Rossi hasn’t responded to invitations from the local tea party group, We the People Vancouver, to submit to a vetting. Didier has. But if all goes according to plan, both will answer questions at 2 p.m. Friday at the Red Lion Inn at the Quay.
The event is being sponsored by several Patriot groups, including the Tea Party, We the People, the Reagan Wing and the Campaign for Liberty.
Didier, a farmer and a former pro football player, has been endorsed by former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a champion of Tea Party candidates. Rossi has been widely assumed to be the front runner since he entered the race two weeks ago.
Didier seemed unaware of the forum when quizzed about it Thursday night, but quipped, “I’ll take him on. I don’t need no prep work.”
Patriot groups also plan to plot strategy for introducing various out-of-the-mainstream resolutions and platform planks at the convention Saturday.
Stay tuned for more.