On the day when a debate scheduled by the Montana Broadcasters Association between incumbent Democratic Senator Jon Tester and his Republican opponent Matt Rosendale did not occur, Tester showed up and spoke at length with broadcast news reporters.

After fielding questions ranging from money in politics to healthcare to his feelings about President Donald Trump’s recent diplomatic meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Tester was asked about his perceptions regarding Rosendale’s decision to back out of the debate citing family obligations on Father’s Day.

“First of all, I want to say that I appreciate the fact that you guys do this debate,” said Tester. “I think it’s a real opportunity for Montanans to be able to see and hear a debate that they ordinarily wouldn’t be able to see and hear. When I was in the State Legislature, I remember sitting on my tractor on a Sunday morning and listening to this debate. It was helpful for me to be able to form an opinion about who I was going to vote for.”

Tester said Rosendale and the public missed a golden opportunity to compare the two candidates.

“That’s what is critically missing in all of this,” he said. “This was an opportunity to be able to see and or hear us and get an idea about some of the issues we discussed here already today that I think Montanans are really concerned about. In Montana, your word’s your bond. If you tell somebody something, you live up to it. Its part of who we are, so to say you’re going to be there and then you’re not going to be there, that’s a problem, because it takes away from your credibility.”

Tester said if there were not a debate scheduled for Sunday with the Montana Broadcasters, he probably would have spent his time with his family.

“So, we scheduled five debates, but will there really be five debates?” he said. “I appreciate the broadcasters and letting people know who I am, and working for an economy that will benefit our kids and our grandkids.”

KGVO Radio was there, and asked Senator Tester personally to appear on Talk Back, and he said he would try to find time in his schedule.

Outside the venue at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake, there were a handful of protesters castigating Rosendale for backing out of the debate.