JIM GRANSBERRY: Well, we're almost to time, and here's a question, and I asked this one last on purpose because it says, "why do you refuse to debate your opponent, Monica Lindeen, in a public forum? Don't you think the citizens of Montana have a right to have both candidates answer questions in a debate format? Or are you afraid of having to defend your ideas and positions in person?" This comes from Jaime in Helena.
DENNIS REHBERG: Well, thank you, Jaime, because it once again gives me an opportunity to for me to correct blogs - blogs are something we're going to have to deal with in the future. You can write or say anything. Uh, Jim, you know as well as I do that - what was it, two months ago? You asked me to do a debate in Billings and I said, "yes."
This is not Rehberg's first brush with the First Amendment. He was one of the Republican House members that signed a June letter criticizing The New York Times for running a story on the administration's program of sifting through financial records without oversight:
Each of us swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, which includes the power of a free press. We also believe that this power comes with great responsibility, especially in wartime when the lives of millions of Americans are at stake. We believe that this power was abused by the New York Times for the most cynical of reasons: to end American involvement in Iraq no matter the long term cost in lives and national security.
From this letter it's obvious Rehberg and the other Republicans believe a free press is a priviledge, not a right.
What exactly Rehberg plans to do about the blogs remains a mystery. What isn't a mystery is that his opponent, Democrat Monica Lindeen deserves your support.