Republican Congressman Steve King and Democrat Christie Vilsack made clear to voters Thursday night, they have two very different choices come election day.
The congressional candidates clashed on hot button issues, like national debt and immigration. They also squared off on social issues, such as gun control and same sex marriage.
It was clear Congressman Steve King and Christie Vilsack don't share a lot of common ground.
Democrat Christie Vilsack came out swinging against Congressman Steve King, questioning his record in Washington.
"Congressman King has been in Congress for 10 years and hasn't gotten the job done," said Vilsack.
Meanwhile, King called Vilsack "partially informed." When it came to the issues like the economy, Vilsack said the 4th District's representative needs to make a case to keep young people from leaving the state, and she said rural innovation is key.
"We can make anything in this room out of corn, and we need to create the small business that will rely on those products," said Vilsack.
King argued for less government to spur economic growth.
"Let's keep it up and keep taxes low and predictable and let's have less government regulations, and less intrusions in our lives," said King.
The candidates were asked about their plans for immigration.
"It's important that we shut off the bleeding at the border, that we shut off the jobs magnet, that we preserve and protect the rule of law," answered King.
"We need to make sure lawful citizens get the first chance at jobs, but we also need to make sure that people have a path to citizenship," argued Vilsack.
The future of the farm bill affects many Iowans. A non-partisan issue that Vilsack said turned political by lawmakers like King.
"I have one question for Congressman King: Where's the farm bill?" asked Vilsack.
"I expect to be on the conference committee, and we'll have the voice of Iowa there when we hammer the last bill out," King retorted.
The two candidates sparred on social issues.
"All of our human points toward the very best way to raise a family is a mom and a dad joined together in holy matrimony," said King.
"It's particularly hard for my generation when we're talking about same sex marriage, but I think when two people love each other they should be allowed to marry," Vilsack answered.
Debating on the Northwestern College Campus, students got to ask the questions they care about.
"As a huge supporter of the 2nd amendment, I'm curious what your positions on gun control are, especially in light of the many shootings that have occurred since the Aurora, Colorado tragedy," Northwestern Junior Jonathan De Reus, asked from the crowd.
"I think I'm just the kind of person, someone who understand that people have the right to collect and own and use guns, but also someone who realizes the potential for harm," Vilsack explained.
"The person who pulls the trigger is responsible, it's not the gun that's responsible," pointed out King.
Another place King and Vilsack disagreed was health care.
Vilsack has said she doesn't agree with all parts of the Affordable Care Act, but called it a good starting point. King said he's leading the charge to repeal the entire law, and says only then can Congress start building a bipartisan bill.
If you missed the debate and watch it on our homepage.
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