A day after their first debate, the candidates for Missouri’s open U.S. Senate seat were at it again.
The debate at the Lodge of Four Seasons at the Lake of the Ozarks Friday also featured Libertarian Party candidate Jonathan Dine and Constitution Party candidate Jerry Beck, who were not included in the Kansas City Public Television debate Thursday night
Candidates discussed many of the same issues in this debate as the one aired Thursday night, and Secretary of State Democrat Robin Carnahan and Republican Congressman Roy Blunt continued to lay into each other throughout.
The candidates got a question from a journalist in the audience asking them to identify their actual plans for job creation. Carnahan said the real focus has to be on small businesses.
“What we’ve been seeing in Washington too long is focusing on those that are ‘too big to fail.’ We know those are the wrong incentives and it doesn’t work. The second thing I’d do is focus on the middle class, that’s the folks who need tax breaks. The tax burden has shifted to them way too much over the last couple of decades. We need to get that back in line,” Carnahan said.
Meantime, Blunt said job creation is most effective in the private sector, not in government jobs. He recommended voters go online for more information on his plan.
“It’s, I think, 137 pages at royblunt.com… It’s things like more American energy of all kinds, more wind, more solar more nuclear, more biofuels, more renewables. Here’s an area where we use a lot more of something than we produce,” Blunt said.
One question asked for their opinions on the federal stimulus package and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Blunt defended his vote for TARP, and criticised the stimulus.
“I thought the stimulus package was a huge mistake, it was a huge waste of money. It didn’t have the impact on the economy that the President promised. We should have known from day one that it wouldn’t have. It had a good impact on Robin Carnahan’s brother’s wind farm, who got $107 million,” Blunt said.
Carnahan completely disagreed, defending the stimulus package and criticizing TARP.
“The Wall Street bailout failed to deliver as promised. Congressman Blunt was one of the leaders that pushed that. I understand why he did; he has lots of friends and supporters on Wall St. who have given him a million and a half dollars in his campaign. But it didn’t do as promised. It’s helped the balance sheets of the Wall St. banks, they’ve paid the biggest bonuses in their history and we’ve seen record profits again for the second year running. Didn’t help small businesses in our state and it certainly didn’t stop the foreclosure crisis,” Carnahan said.
The last question for the candidates was an interesting one: What’s one nice thing you can say about your opponent? Carnahan said this about Blunt:
“He did some good things as Secretary of State and I’ve continued some of those things. I think when he was here in Missouri he was a terrific public servant, did a lot of good things for us. Which is, to me, why I’m dissapointed it hasn’t worked out the same way in Washington. I’m sorry I had to put that in Congressman, but it’s true, you wonder what motivates me,” Carnahan said.
“Just couldn’t help yourself, right?” Blunt replied.
Blunt kept his praise pretty generic, saying he’s glad his opponents are running.
“It’s not all that easy, so anybody that participates in the process I have respect for. All three of these people have chosen to do that,” Blunt said.
Ycan listen to the full debate below, and follow this link to the story about the first debate (which also includes the complete audio of that debate).
AUDIO: Complete debate at the Lake of the Ozarks [52 min MP3]
(Note: two of the most heated sections of the debate are at the 23:45 and 40:00 marks of the audio file)