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Congress' 'Mr. No' Thomas Massie to Moderate Free and Equal Presidential Debate

Thomas Massie
Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr. Creative Commons license.
Created: 07 June, 2024
2 min read

Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr

 

The Free and Equal Election Foundation is slated to host its second presidential debate of 2024 on July 12, and it will be co-moderated by a member of Congress who is no stranger to challenging the status quo – US Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky).

The debate will be a part of FreedomFest in Las Vegas. Massie will join Free and Equal Founder Christina Tobin in moderating. “We are honored to have Congressman Massie moderate the third debate in our 2024 Presidential debate series," said Tobin. 

"Having a publicly elected Congressman moderate a presidential debate is historic and underscores our commitment to opening up a respectful dialogue."

Free and Equal is a nonpartisan organization with the stated mission of opening the US electoral system "into one that is fair, transparent, and inclusive for all Americans."

Massie, who has represented Kentucky’s 4th District since November 2012,  quickly developed a reputation in Congress as a rebellious lawmaker who was not afraid to vote against his own party on a variety of topics including spending, domestic surveillance, war, sanctions, and more. 

One of his first major votes was voting against the re-election of John Boehner as Speaker of the House in 2013.

Massie voted “no” on so many bills that by June 2014 people started to call him “Mr. No,” likely in reference to Dr. Ron Paul whose contrarian approach to legislating earned him the nickname, “Dr. No.” 

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“As someone who’s voted for third-party presidential candidates in past elections, I look forward to helping broaden the national discussion by moderating this important debate,” said Massie.

To date, three candidates have been confirmed for the debate, including Libertarian Party nominee Chase Oliver, Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein, and Constitution Party nominee Randall Terry. 

The list of candidates has shrunk compared to Free and Equal’s first debate, which aired on C-SPAN, now that most national parties have picked their nominees. 

Invitations have also been sent to Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Robert F Kennedy Jr, and Dr. Cornel West. Candidates who have not confirmed with Free and Equal have until the end of June to respond in order to appear on the debate stage.

Free and Equal uses a cumulative debate format, which gives each candidate more time than a traditional debate to elaborate on their policy positions. The group says this format ensures “a fair and comprehensive discussion on pressing issues of the current times.”

Candidates will not be limited to two minutes to discuss complex political matters as seen in presidential debates hosted by national news networks. Instead, the debate will offer nuance over being merely a spectacle of one-liners and partisan attacks. 

People can attend the debate in person by purchasing a conference pass with FreedomFest. Or, they can watch online via a livestream on Rumble. Free and Equal says more broadcast partners could be announced later this month. 

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