The first of Meet the Press‘ in-studio 2010 debate series has been called off.
The kickoff event — a Florida Senate face-off — was to have been held tomorrow, featuring Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek and Republican Marco Rubio (Independent candidate Charlie Crist had declined to participate).
“We have to cancel our Florida Senate Debate this Sunday,” reads an update on MTP‘s Facebook page. “Sadly, Marco Rubio’s dad is very ill. We’ll try to reschedule.”
The Miami Herald reports that Rubio’s 83 year-old father has emphysema and lung cancer and that his health deteriorated this week. “As a result,” a Rubio spokesman says, “Marco plans to stay with his father and family during this time, and will be unable to participate in this Sunday’s debate on Meet the Press.”
Instead tomorrow, MTP will feature its main guests — Sen. Lindsey Graham and political strategist David Plouffe — and a new “all-star roundtable” featuring CNBC’s Erin Burnett, among others.