State Sen. Russ Fulcher (pictured), the most threatening primary challenger to Otter, said in a statement that the video of the debate, featuring Fulcher, Otter, as well as long shot candidates Harley Brown and Walt Bayes was exactly what Otter wanted: to turn the debate into a sort of circus. Otter explicitly asked for Bayes and Brown to be included in the debate earlier this week.
Here's Fulcher's statement:
Although they did not meet the debate’s qualifying criteria, governor Otter demanded inclusion of two perennial candidates, Walt Bayes and Harley Brown, as a contingency of his participation in the only debate he would agree to. As a result, the ‘debate’ turned from a serious discussion regarding the position for Idaho’s Chief Executive, to a mockery of the republican party and of Idaho. Clearly, the governor wanted to take time away from me and minimize exposure to his failed record as governor. Apparently, governor Otter is content to have Idaho be a laughing stock so long as it improves his chance of winning an election.
Video of the hour-long debate as well as mashed up clips gained wide attention on Thursday, mostly because of various points during the debate where Hayes or Brown spoke. Brown, in particular, is known for making outlandish and provocative comments which caused debate organizers to institute a 30-second delay for airing the debate.
(H/t: The Washington Examiner)