Cotton and Pryor Trade Exchanges Over Wealthy Donors and Debating

Sep 16, 2014

Arkansas’s congressional delegation is back in Washington this month and the debate over debating foreign policy continues. Senator Mark Pryor on Tuesday also continued one of his consistent critiques of Republican challenger Tom Cotton’ for his association with wealthy politically-minded individuals who fund an important part of conservative campaigns.

Pryor criticized Cotton for a trip he took Monday away from Washington D.C. to Texas for fundraising. 

“Instead of being there on the House floor and voting, which is what we expect in Arkansas, he’s down in Houston with his wealthy donors. It raises the question of who is he working for?"

Pryor contended Cotton has exhibited a pattern of skipping votes, 13 in this instance, and traditionally important Arkansas events to attend out of state meetings held by wealthy donors and fundraisers


In a statement Representative Cotton characterized Pryor as refusing to talk about national security issues at an October debate in Fayetteville. In a phone conference Pryor said the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce sponsored debate proposed three topics and he agreed to them. They don’t include foreign policy. Cotton's campaign told a conservative opinion writer at Talk Business and Politics that Pryor refused to discuss foreign policy at the Fayetteville debate. 

Speaking to reporters Pryor referred to another October debate on AETN that Cotton has not agreed to as evidence Cotton is unwilling to debate.

“Anything and everything is open for discussion and I think we’re going to have two very good debates, very robust debates. You know interestingly enough my opponent has been very critical of me not agreeing to debates. But as you all know, because y’all have been watching and paying attention. I agreed to these two statewide televised debates basically immediately after they were offered,” said Pryor.

The AETN debate includes Green Party candidate Mark Swaney and Libertarian Nathan LaFrance. In a statement, Cotton said he wanted to debate Pryor on foreign policy in a one-on-one setting.