Steve King and Christie Vilsack used Tuesday night's debate, in Sioux City, to pick up right where they left off two weeks ago during KTIV's debate in Orange City. Iowa.
The two traded barbs for an hour on the Morningside College campus. And, the atmosphere was anything but collegial.
A handshake. The first, and last, time Steve King and Christie Vilsack would agree on anything during Tuesday night's debate.
As with past debates, Vilsack attacked King's record in Washington. Christie Vilsack, (D) Congressional Candidate says, "We have no farm bill, we have no infrastructure bill, we have no education bill, we have no immigration reform. What has he done?"
The question was actually about the one and only bill King's sponsored, and successfully passed in Congress. King invoked the name of a former president to answer. Rep. Steve King, (R) Congressional Candidate says, "Ronald Reagan once said, 'it's amazing what you can get accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit."
On immigration, Vilsack took exception to King's characterization of her plan as "amnesty." Christie Vilsack, (D) Congressional Candidate says, "We need to find a way to make sure that people, who have come here illegally, go to the back of the line and pay a fine... if they've done something illegal. But, they need a path to citizenship."
Rep. Steve King, (R) Congressional Candidate says, "If you don't enforce the rule of law, then you favor amnesty, and that's been the centerpiece of our discussion."
On voter ID? Vilsack says "no." Christie Vilsack, (D) Congressional Candidate says, "I think we have to do whatever we can to make sure that everybody in this country who can lawfully vote gets an opportunity to do so."
Steve King? Rep. Steve King, (R) Congressional Candidate says, "Yes. I think they need to have a picture ID. Not only that, they had an election in Venezuela the other day, and you needed a picture ID to vote for Hugo Chavez. Can't we get that in America?"
An audience question, about the student loan debt crisis, quickly shifted to each student's share of the national debt.
Rep. Steve King, (R) Congressional Candidate says, "Those babies that are born in America today... the price of their first breath is $52,288. And, it's wrong for us to continue this national debt."
Vilsack countered with King's record, again. Christie Vilsack, (D) Congressional Candidate says, "The national debt was $6-trillion when Congressman King took office. It's $16-trillion now."
A question later, King brought the debt back while answering a question about balancing the federal budget.
Rep. Steve King, (R) Congressional Candidate says, "If you want to criticize me for not balancing the budget... I voted for $17.4-trillion in cuts. That's 10 different votes out there that would have not only balanced the budget, it would have paid off the national debt."
The next debate is supposed to be in Fort Dodge on October 23rd. But, late last week, King told the Fort Dodge Messenger newspaper that he's not sure it will happen. He's asked for a Lincoln-Douglas style debate, which would be a more "open" format that would allow for discussion of a single topic for up to 15-minutes.
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