South Carolina Senate candidate Jaime Harrison (D) has skipped out on a debate against Sen. Lindsey Graham because Graham “refused” to take a COVID-19 test.
The debate, which was originally scheduled for Friday evening, was abruptly canceled and transitioned into a forum after Graham declined Harrison’s request to get tested. Later Friday evening it was announced that both Harrison and Graham would “take part in individual interviews … where they will be asked a series of questions from the forum moderator and panelists.”
Harrison announced on Twitter to his supporters that there was no debate – which both parties agreed to two weeks ago – just moments after it was set to conclude.
“Folks, I was looking forward to debating @LindseyGrahamSC tonight. But because of his refusal to take a basic COVID test, we weren’t able to be on stage together, debating the issues that are so important to our state,” Harrison wrote in a tweet that contained a video message from him. “It’s my hope that we’ll be able to change this next time.”
Folks, I was looking forward to debating @LindseyGrahamSC tonight. But because of his refusal to take a basic COVID test, we weren't able to be on stage together, debating the issues that are so important to our state.
It's my hope that we'll be able to change this next time. pic.twitter.com/s4lktXHuJS
— Jaime Harrison (@harrisonjaime) October 10, 2020
According to Harrison, the debate was not held because Lindsey Graham “refused” to get tested for the coronavirus.
“Everyone that was going to participate tonight got a test,” Harrison said in the video. “I got a test, I was negative. Lindsey refused to do so. I don’t understand why… why he believes he’s so special. Mike Pence got a test. … Why couldn’t Lindsey Graham get a test?”
Shortly after the forums concluded, the South Carolina Republican Party released a statement and claimed Harrison is “scared to face” Graham.
SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick said:
Associate Chairman of the national Democrat Party, Jaime Harrison, is scared to face Senator Lindsey Graham and answer the tough questions, plain and simple. He doesn’t meet with voters, he doesn’t talk to South Carolina press, he doesn’t do anything but raise close to $50 million from Hollywood elites and out-of-state liberals.
We saw the stark difference between Harrison’s radical ideas and Graham’s proven record tonight–Harrison is for packing the court and abolishing the Electoral College but Senator Graham is for constitutionalists on the court and making sure South Carolina has a voice.
“Appears @harrisonjaime is skipping tonights debate,” Graham wrote in a tweet earlier on Friday. “Mr. Harrision is ducking the debate because the more we know about his radical policies, the less likely he is to win. It’s not about medicine, its politics.”
Appears @harrisonjaime is skipping tonights debate.
Mr. Harrision is ducking the debate because the more we know about his radical policies, the less likely he is to win. It's not about medicine, its politics.
His liberal views are a loser in South Carolina – and he knows it!
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 9, 2020
“His liberal views are a loser in South Carolina – and he knows it,” Graham added.