Paul’s being mean to me. He sucks.
It was not exactly a performance that would get either of them nominated to the US Supreme Court. Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher and former federal prosecutor JB Van Hollen debated live on the radio on WTMJ-AM 620 on Charlie Sykes’ program.
Bucher at one point asked JB Van Hollen if he is stupid and Van Hollen told Bucher off the air, “You suck.” When they came back from the first break Van Hollen complained Bucher’s leadership style “sucks.”
Van Hollen was unhappy with the way Bucher was attacking Van Hollen’s record (or lack thereof) and complained he wasn’t attacking Bucher’s record. The personal attacks on Bucher are okay apparently, and telling Bucher he sucks is okay, but their records should be off limits, dammit. (By the way, that’s just an absurd statement by Van Hollen completely repudiating the attacks he has made on Bucher’s record.)
I will agree with Owen at Boots and Sabers when he says it’s pointless of Bucher to complain about Van Hollen ducking debates when they were currently debating on the biggest radio station in the state.
But I think the Bucher people have discovered something about Van Hollen that maybe he’s not as cool and collected as he’s made out to be. “You suck” is pretty juvenile, and to a large segment of the WTMJ audience still language too rough for politicians to use.
Bucher might be accused of being prickly, even over aggressive, but even he was a little taken aback by Van Hollen’s juvenile outburst.
And for the record, we still did not hear from JB Van Hollen which cranberry marsh Osama Bin Laden is hiding in. But I’m sure Goober, Gomer, Barney and the boys are on the case.
‘Round the horn: Dad29 comments on the Bucher debate style, Fred at Real Debate thinks Bucher sounded a little desperate but remains undecided, Spring City Chronicle live-blogged the event (update #1, update #2, update #3, update #4)
Update! More commentary on the debate and the pre-debate from Patrick at Badger Blogger.
Update! First coverage from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Bucher, Waukesha County district attorney, had demanded that Van Hollen apologize for saying earlier in the campaign that terrorists were training and raising funds in Wisconsin.
When Van Hollen tried to explain his position and Bucher interrupted, Van Hollen responded: “Will you ever listen? That’s why you suck, Paul, because you only listen to people who agree with you.”
The exchange occurred off the air during a commercial break, but Bucher informed listeners as soon as the live on-air debate resumed.
“I don’t suck. I resent that,” he told Van Hollen. “If we’re going to denigrate into that, you go first.”
Update! Listen to the Charlie Sykes/Jeff Wagner podcast talking about the debate.
Update! It’s become the “You suck!” heard around the world. The Associated Press has picked it up and it’s made the Duluth News Tribune. Well, it certainly gets Van Hollen some name recognition.
Update! Van Hollen’s camp claims victory in playground fight. However,
Van Hollen admitted the debate was quite heated. “After Paul continued to interrupt and scream and display a complete lack of composure, I told him, off the air, that I thought his behavior and style ‘sucked,’” said Van Hollen. “The voters deserve an honest debate on the issues that matter and I regret that I lowered myself to his level with my language choice. I regret it and apologize.”
I remember the raised voices and interuptions, but I don’t remember screaming, unless you count Brian Fraley in the background after the “you suck” remark.
Update! Relatively new blogger Kinda Cranky also weighs in.
Apparently, JB Van Hollen has once again shown why he is unfit to be our Attorney General. If he is not making wild statements about terror camps in Wisconsin, he is acting childishly with name calling.
Update! Bill Christofferson compares the boys to Beavis and Butthead.
Update! JB Van Hollen apologized for telling Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher “you suck” and Bucher accepted.
Update! Oops, not quite an apology, not quite an acceptance (8/11)
Update!WTMJ’s Jeff Wagner tells the candidates to grow up. Kevin at Lakeshore Laments doesn’t think Van Hollen sucks. And Dennis York discovers a new endorsement for Paul Bucher.
Update! 8/11/06 The debate fallout continues. Aaron & Jenna discuss the debate in an “emergency podcast.” Meanwhile, Van Hollen sent an open letter today setting some ground rules: Bucher is no longer allowed to speak at debates.
By the way, if the debate was no good for either candidate, will the Van Hollen campaign retract their press release claiming victory yesterday?