Two men, incumbent Michael Bennet (D) and Ken Buck (R) went toe-to-toe in a debate Thursday night in a bid for a U.S. Senate seat.
The debate, which lasted an hour, was held at Centennial High School in Pueblo. It may have started off amicably, with Buck admonishing some of his supporters by asking them not to laugh at or ridicule his opponent while he spoke, but by the end of it both men were taking shots at each other.
The questions asked during the debate touched on areas such as health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, securing our countries southern border, job creation, the economy, and several others.
There were no surprises, as both men answered the questions as they were expected too. A few times, Bennet even conceded that Buck was correct in making a statement.
Buck likewise vilified Republican supporters for using misinformation in advertisements targeting Bennet, while Congress was in the process of trying to pass health care reform. However, with the next breath he did accuse Bennet of doing the same thing to him during this campaign.
While Buck used Bennet's voting record against him, Bennet used comments Buck has made during his campaign to his favor.
Both men sided with farmers over whether or not to expand the Army's presence in Pinon Canyon, and both thanked our military personnel for the sacrifices they have made overseas.
When asked, "What would you do in Congress to create jobs and turn the economy around," both men said the key would be small businesses. Buck said, "As a leader in Washington DC I would do everything that I can to make sure that our small business people have a lower tax burden. That those small business people know that we aren't going to pass cap and trade, and cause their energy bills to go up. That we aren't going to let regulators legislate in administrative settings rather than to have the United State Congress legislating. That we are going to give our small businesses the kind of stability that they need." To which Bennet fired back by saying, "Two weeks ago, I voted to cut taxes on small businesses in this country by $12 billion. And that bill was opposed by my opponent in this race."
To give you a taste of the debate, I've attached video files of responses from both candidates to three questions. The questions are:
1. RE: Health care legislation: would you keep it as it is, change it, or repeal it?
2. RE: The war in Afghanistan: Do you think the current U.S. strategy is making progress, do you support a greater military effort there, or the withdrawal of American troops?
3. How would you make Social Security and Medicare solvent over the long haul?