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2008 Presidential Candidates “Speechless” On Key Issues

November 15, 2007

Sacramento, CA – With the California Primary less than three months away, voters are trying to understand where candidates stand on hot-button issues, including abortion and immigration. But if a presidential candidate is asked directly about such issues, it's not likely they will answer. That's the result of a new report released today by Project Vote Smart.

All 202 candidates running for president were sent a list of voter questions, and about 60 percent refused to answer, including some of the highest profile candidates. Mike Wessler, media director for Project Vote Smart says candidates told them they were afraid opponents would use the information against them, and they wanted to have more control over their message. He says California voters shouldn't buy those excuses.

"While I do understand those concerns, I think they are minor compared to the importance of getting voters information about where candidates stand on these issues."

He says over the past ten years, candidates have been less and less willing to fill out voter questionnaires about issues. This year, Clinton, Obama, Romney, and Giuliani all refused to respond to the survey, and Wessler says the results indicate a money connection.

"We've found that, generally, the campaigns that have the ability to raise the most money are the least willing to put this information out."

To learn more about the survey results, visit www.votesmart.org.

Lori Abbott/John Robinson, Public News Service - CA