Wetterling seizes one issue but sidesteps another

DFLer Patty Wetterling held a news conference today to call for the resignation of anyone in Congress who knew that former Florida Congressman Mark Foley was e-mailing teenage pages. It’s an issue Wetterling knows well since her background is on child safety. You can read the stories in earlier posts.

But Wetterling, a candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s Sixth District, also declined to answer a legitimate question. Her Republican opponent Michele Bachmann is calling on Wetterling to pull her ad that criticizes Bachmann’s stand on a national sales tax. MPR’s Tim Pugmire asked her to comment on the issue. Wetterling responded:

“I’m not going to talk about that today. This is about a separate issue. I’ll talk to you about that afterwards.”

After the news conference, Pugmire says he approached Wetterling to follow up. Wetterling’s campaign manager stepped in and stopped her from answering. He said they wouldn’t talk about the ad today. It’s no wonder why they didn’t take the questions. Wetterling’s campaign wants the focus to be on her key issue — child protection. But that doesn’t excuse reporters from not pressing her on the ad. Full disclosure-I’m in the MSM and I’m proud of it. The key question for reporters is: Why did you let her get away with that? It’s not the biggest issue of the day but it is important.

It’s disappointing that a candidate for Congress isn’t willing to defend an ad she’s running and that reporters covering this race took the “no comment” for an answer.