Ige and Abercrombie trade blows over kupuna

The Abercrombie campaign responds to criticism by David Ige over the governor's cancellation of three AARP debates.

Will Caron

Gubernatorial candidate David Ige criticized incumbent Neil Abercrombie for backing out of three of four debates sponsored by AARP on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island in a press release sent out yesterday. The state senator said, “Citizens are losing important opportunities to compare the top two candidates for the state’s highest office in face-to-face meetings. Cancelling so late after arrangements have already been made by AARP and their members is disrespectful to our kupuna.”

The governor’s campaign cites scheduling conflicts as the reason for cancelling the three debates. Governor Abercrombie’s campaign manager Bill Kaneko sent a statement to the Independent in response to Senator Ige’s criticism:

The two candidates will have more appearances together than any other opponents in a major race during this election cycle. It’s disappointing that our opponent seeks to make this an issue since he hurt kupuna by not advancing the Governor’s tax breaks for seniors this past session. At the end of the day, Gov. Abercrombie has fought hard to help Hawaii’s seniors, including increasing funding for Kupuna Care and the Executive Office on Aging, and proposing generous tax relief for needy seniors.