Mitchell was challenged on his views during the Live Prime Time debate, chaired by Miriam O’Callaghan who also asked the former Lord Mayor of Dublin to explain his association with Alveda King, a relative of Martin Luther King and radical anti-abortion campaigner.
The Presidential hopeful claimed that his would be an inclusive Presidency that would concentrate on changing Ireland’s image abroad.
“I will persuade people that Ireland is open for business and is on the cusp of a massive recovery if the right decisions are taken.”
The Fine Gael candidate attempted to capitalise on Sean Gallagher’s reluctance to identify with Fianna Fail by appealing to the grass roots membership of the party to back him in his quest to succeed Mary McAleese as the ninth President of the Ireland.
“Fianna Fail`s footsoldiers contributed alot to democracy what I am saying to them is this if anyone is disowning you here vote for me.” said the candidate in a direct attempt to hoover up votes of dissaffected grass roots membership of the former ruling party.
He also was forced to deny persistant rumours that his own party were not fully behind his candidacy and claimed that he had the full backing of the parliamentary party.