The Buzz

Chris Koster, Eric Greitens launch debate over...debates

Koster (left), Greitens
Koster (left), Greitens

An old political tradition reared its head Tuesday in Missouri — the debate over debates.

Democrat Chris Koster and Republican Eric Greitens have lit it up again over how many faceoffs they’ll attend.

There’s only been one so far, and that was on Friday afternoon in Branson before the Missouri Press Association. And it wasn’t televised live.

Koster, the race’s frontrunner, is holding out. But he says he’ll resume negotiations over the number of debates if Greitens releases his tax returns from 2012-2015. Koster has already done so.

Presumably, the Democrats suspect Greitens made some good money in connection with his work for The Mission Continues, the veterans advocacy group he founded. Koster has ripped Greitens in campaign ads for the salary he drew from that group.

Greitens’ camp, predictably, went nuts when it learned that Koster was suspending debate talks.

“You’re looking for an excuse to hide from the people — and it won’t work,” Greitens campaign manager Austin Chambers wrote in a letter to the Koster camp, which Chambers promptly released to the media.

(Koster’s decision to suspend negotiations was spelled out in a letter to Chambers and was promptly released to the media).

Greitens wants four televised debates before election day.

Prediction: Koster will never agree to four.

Prediction II: The debate over debates will roar on for days.

Prediction III: The public really won’t care.