DesJarlais spurns debate with GOP challenger who voted for Clinton (as Rush Limbaugh suggested)

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais has turned down a debate challenge from Republican challenger Jack Maddux in the 4th Congressional District on grounds he has voted for Hillary Clinton and is thus not a credible candidate, reports the Cleveland Daily Banner.  Maddux acknowledges he did so, but says that was at the request of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

The comment was a response to an inquiry by the Banner of DesJarlais why he had not responded to a letter sent by Maddux challenging the congressman to a debate.

… “Scott DesJarlais and his opponent have appeared together at recent events, where they’ve shared their views with voters. A proven conservative, Rep. DesJarlais expects more opportunities to talk about his votes for tax cuts, a stronger military and border security, but will not be accepting this invitation,” the statement (from DesJarlais’ campaign) said.

The statement also claimed Maddux voted for Hillary Clinton.

“[DesJarlais’] opponent voted for Hillary Clinton and is not a credible candidate in a Republican primary election,” the statement said. “DesJarlais, who has the support of major conservative organizations, the Republican Party and President Trump, is looking forward to upcoming events in Bradley County and across the 4th District.”

In a response, Maddux told the CDB he had voted for Clinton in the 2008 primaries, but not because he supported her candidacy. It was to cast a vote against then-candidate Barack Obama.

“I voted for her because Rush Limbaugh was telling Republicans to vote for Clinton during primaries,” Maddux said.

…DesJarlais knows Maddux has “always supported Republicans and conservatives, except for that one strategic vote,” Maddux’s statement said.

Maddux said he would like to ask DesJarlais in person, why he “disqualifies me from being a credible candidate.”

Limbaugh reportedly asked urged voters to “vote for Clinton to bloody up Obama politically and prolong the Democratic fight” for the nomination. The procedure, known as “party raiding,” is when a member of a party votes for the weaker candidate in an opposing party; therefore, helping their candidate face the weaker candidate in a general election.

… “Maddux learned while serving in the United States Navy and as a Chattanooga police officer that open communication between all sides of any issue is helpful in discovering solutions that benefit everyone,” his campaign statement said.

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