Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is facing some criticism for challenging Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera to a debate on immigration while seemingly declining to debate his Democratic opponent in the Lieutenant Governor's race.
Patrick issued the challenge at the conclusion of an interview on Fox's America's Newsroom after talking about the murder of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts. A 24-year-old undocumented immigrant was arrested for allegedly killing the 20-year-old woman while she was out on a jog in rural Iowa.
Patrick proposed Sept. 4 or Sept. 5 as potential dates to debate Rivera on immigration. Meanwhile, he has not responded to requests for a debate against Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Mike Collier, ahead of the November election.
Collier accepted an invitation from a Houston TV station to debate Patrick and the Lt. Gov. did not respond.
"Wait... so Dan Patrick has agreed to a debate on Fox, but with Geraldo Rivera," Collier questioned on his own Twitter page. "Texans see right past this clown. Dan is so scared of facing Texas voters, he refuses to debate the issues in the state where he holds office and against his actual opponent, me. There’s no need to get Sean Hannity to book anything. We have an open offer from Fox on the table right now, and neither of us has to travel. Quit the stunts Dan, and stand up for yourself right here. Or are you not Texan enough? If Dan Patrick had an ounce of respect for Texas voters, he would agree to the debate that has already been offered to each of us by Fox. Agreeing to debate a TV personality instead of his opponent shows a blatant disregard for the people he serves. Hey Dan, don’t spit in your constituents’ faces and tell them it’s raining.”
Matt Mackowiak, a Republican consultant, looks at it as a strategic move for Patrick as the election closes in.
"If the Lieutenant Governor agreed to debate his opponent, he would be giving his opponent an advantage," said Mackowiak ."His opponent has almost no name identification across the state. He's raising very little money and getting almost no traction whatsoever."