Get your popcorn ready. Harry Reid and Sharron Angle are squaring off tonight in their only debate to be aired on C-SPAN at 9:00 p.m. EST. Moderator is Vegas PBS newsman Mitch Fox. Nevada political guru, Jon Ralston, will be live tweeting as well.
Link to C-SPAN coverage. Note: C-SPAN will be covering the WA Senate debate between Patty Murray after the Nevada Senate debate.
I'll be attempting to liveblog the debate here. Hopefully, my typing skills are up to it.
Here we go!!!
Reid: Growing up in searchlight I had some interesting times. My dad was a big man...times were tough...checks bounced. I have an idea what is like to struggle. When Wall Street collapsed, we fell really hard. There is a big hole there. My #1 job is to create jobs as a U.S. Senator. We reduced taxes for 95% for all Nevadans. We reduced taxes for small businesses 8 times. Wall Street reform. Mortgages. Homes are underwater. He worked hard to get $200mm for homeowners. Renewable energy. Economy - everything we talk about tonight relates to economy. We will fact check on twitter.
Angle: Big contrast between us. I am not a career politician. I live in a middle class home in Reno. Harry lives in Ritz-Carlton in DC. Reid voted for stimulus and unconstitional Obamacare. Nevada has the highest unemployment; bankruptcies; foreclosures. Harry Reid = Big Government. Angle = limited government.
Question 1: First question - immigration. Reid your policies have allowed thousands of immigrants to stream across the border. Why is it only this year you've talked about securing the border?
Reid: Immigration is a problem. System is broken and needs to be fixed. August of this year passed legislation to fix borders. We have helicopters, troops, etc. I am frustrated like everyone. We need comprehensive immigration reform. Pay taxes, don't demagogue.
Angle: We have an illegal alien problem. Every state should have a sheriff like Apario. Instead of suing Arizona, like Reid and Obama have. They allowed 11 foreign countries to sue Arizona. Reid you let 11 foreign governments to tell us what to do.
Reid: #1 issue is comprehensive immigration reform. He worked with McCain to work on this last Congress.
Question 2: Angle your ad about Reid giving social security benefits for illegal aliens was so untrue that the GOP Chair of the Hispanic denounced it. Will you denounce it or give voters evidence about its accuracy?
Angle: Reid voted to give social sec. to aliens. Not only did he vote for them to have it when citizens but he voted before they were citizens. We need to address social security. Keep promise to old people and have private accounts for young people.
Reid: My opponent didn't answer the question. Everything in that ad is false. I never voted for social security benefits for people who were here illegally. It's not true and she should stop saying it. That is why she moved over to social security.
Angle: I think that the ? has everything to do with SS and we haven't secured borders. Reid talks about comp. immigration reform. Reagan was WRONG in the 80s about amnesty.
Question 3: would you be in favor of a constitutional amendment in favor of english as our national language yes or no?
Reid: English is already the official language.
Question #4: According to the medicare actuary will actually increase costs including the addition of 100mm to Nevada Medicaid budget. In light of the expensive mandates on small business, why didn't you and Obama and focus on jobs and foreclosure crisis first instead of health care?
Reid: for a long time in this county, insurance companies have dominated. You pay your premium, get sick and they walk away from you. We passed Health Insurance Reform. According to the CBC, we will reduce debt by a ton. Pre-existing conditions not denied. It is something we had to do including extending the life of medicare for 12 years. We had to do it remain competitive and it creates jobs.
Jackass questioner: I am asking again, why didn't you and Obama focus on jobs/foreclosure first.
Reid: We did focus on foreclosure first. One of the first bills we passed was mortgage fraud blah, blah, blah. HIR adds jobs.
Angle: Obamacare cut a ton of money out of Medicare due to Medicare Advantage. A ton of new taxes. The solution to insurance reform is the free market. Get the government out. Go across statelines to have choices. Get rid of mandated coverages. Get the government out. Tort reform. Solution = Free market.
Reid: facts are wrong. Medicare Advantage will pay less in Nevada. My opponent is against colonscopy, mammagrams, autism coverage. That is extreme.
Question 5: Angle you voted against mandated coverage for everything. Is there anything you think insurance companies should have to cover?
Angle: America is a country of choices not forcing people to buy things they don't need. We can add coverages we need. I taught autistic children. I know this is a real problem and it needs its own insruance code. The mandate only covers 25% of children. Stop making bandaid applications and look at real solution and forcing someone to buy something they don't need.
Moderator Re-phrasing question: Is there anything at all that the insurance companies should be mandated to cover at all?
Angle: Free market. Let the people decide. You don't have to force anyone to offer a product no one wants.
Reid: Insurance cos don't do things out of the goodness of their hearts but for profits. they almost destoryed our economy. If we didn't do HIR, it would break us. We need to force them to cover mammagrams. there is a reason we see pink ribbons. People dread breast cancer and you detect it with mammagrams, etc. We need to make ins. cos do this. It will save money in the long run.
Angle: Pink ribbons are not going to make people have better insrunce plans. we need more competition. free market, free market, free market. Obamacare is destroying our economy. 5 PEOPLE WERE LAID OFF BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE!!!!
Q: Yes or no, do you think the heath care act should include health care coverage for abortion?
R: Hyde Amendment.
Q: Nevada has highest foreclosure. Las Vegas has highest unemployment. Since Obama took office unemployment up 5%. (ed. note - this guy is a rightwing tool). Will you stop putting the blame on Bush and blame Obama?
R: There's plenty of blame to go around. I've done a lot to help. 200mm to help with NV mortgages. 48,000 NV have homes thanks to first-time homeowners tax credit. Thanks to my pressure on Bank of America we have no more foreclosure moratorium. B/C of Wall Street reform, they can't do this again.
Q: (ed. note - this guy is a jackass). Does Obama share as much blame as Bush?
R: Of course not. When Bush took office he had a massive surplus. We were paying down debt. We are in a hole and trying to dig out of it. We lost 8mm jobs during the Bush years. We created 3.5mm of them. Let's realize where we were and how far we've come.
A: The housing bubble was caused before this recession. It is the Senate's fault. We need an audit of the federal reserve. Freddy Mae/Mac are evil and it has been swept under the rug. WS Reform didn't deal with Mae/Mac. This problem has been going on ever since the evil Reid has been in leadership (ed note - this is all Reid's fault? Really?)
R: We have a commission. I called for a fed reserve audit in the '80s. Mac/Mae - need to be dealt with but can't be done away with or we could not sustain our housing market.
Q: You were quoted as saying you can make on unemployment than going down there and getting one of those jobs. We have put so much entitlement in government our citizens are spoiled. Do you think the unemployed are spoiled? What will you do to fix the unemployment problem especially since you believe that getting jobs is not your job?
A: I don't think unemployed are spoiled. My opponent twisted that. She is chuckling now and said something about selfish children??? We need to get Nevada back to work. Encourage the private sector to do what they do best by having policies that move us forward. they are in a cloud of uncertainty and are holding back 2T because of taxation and regulation coming out of Senator Reid's administrative policies. (ed note - she gets that Reid doesn't have an administration right?)
Q: Follow-up - do you think that getting jobs for Nevadans is not your job?
A: I believe my job is to create the policies to encourage the private sector to do what they do best which is create jobs.
Moderator: That's be a no. (ok - that was awesome).
R: We had a company come here from China to hire 1,000 people to make windmills. That is due to my tax policy that I put into effect. we have a $2b of work in renewal energy in nevada due to tax incentives. Airport has a $3b project going on there. (ed note - Reid is bragging about his pork). My opponent is against that. She wouldn't do that. my job is to create jobs. What she is talking about is extreme. We have to do this. We've been doing this for 81 years when we built some dam.
A: Once again, Harry Reid it is not your job to create jobs (ed note - I can't believe she doubled-down on that idiocy and why is she chuckling??). Your job is to create policies that create confidence in the private sector so they'll create jobs. They've lost confidence because of Obamacare. OBAMACARE CAUSED 5 PEOPLE TO GET LAID-OFF. Obamacare is crushing our economy.
Q: Name a former/current Supreme court appointee who you approve of and who never should have been approved by the Senate?
R: Scalia I don't agree with but he has a bright mind. Let me say my opponent keeps talking about Obamacare - remember small businesses get a big tax credit under Obamacare. I'd be willing to sit down with anyone who is letting go their employees due to health care reform - it isn't necessary.
A: She is laughing again. She admires Clarence Thomas (seriously??) because he understands his role and doesn't legislate from the bench. I would have voted against Kagan or Sonia. NEITHER ONE OF THEM UNDERSTAND THE CONSTITUTION.
R: Stop running down the Supreme Court.I believe in the constitution and I have a copy in my pocket.
Q: A federal judge halted Don't ask don't tell? Don't you think it is time to end discrimination? How do you feel about Cheney/Bush in favor of gay rights.
A: Wait for the military review. Senator Reid tried to jump ahead of the military. We define marriage between man and woman. They have the right to be in favor of gay rights.
R: My opponent is an idiot. Explains the DADT repeal bill.
A: Review first, then bill. I do know what I am talking about it dang it.
Q: Angle says you raided the SS fund? Did you?
R: I took on Bush when he tried to privatize it. SS is solvent.
A: Man up Harry Reid! You need to understand that there is a problem with SS. Money was stolen. Reid you left IOUs that are in a filing cabinet. Put money back in trust fund. Privatization, privatization.
R: These are extreme ideas. The CBO said there was plenty of money in the fund. In the clinton years we didn't touch it. She is wrong.
Q: You said we need to phase out the SS and medicare and privatize it. Now you are saying "personalize". Why did you change your langugage?
A: personalize = public and private money together just like Harry Reid. We are in the red.
R: I repeat for the 3rd time. We are fine. The CBO says that there is money for 40 years. She has talked about getting rid of SS for years and is trying to lie now. She said why don't we have a plan like chile.
Q: Angle says you are demonizing Yucca Mountain. Are you in favor of Yucca Mountain?
R: It is bad for Nevada. It is dead. Use it for something else. Angle wants to build a nuclear reactor here but we don't have the water for it.
A: I've voted against Yucca. But, stop demonizing the nuclear industry.
Q: Angle you said you wanted to eliminate the department of education? really?
A: Incorrect. I was a teacher. federal dept of education takes our money and skims off money and returns it to us in unfunded mandates. Keep our money here it is our 10th amendment right.
R: Dept of education has done wonderful stuff for our state. student loans/grants increased. money for K-12 (more bragging about pork). Protect dept of education. Reagan realized it was wrong to get rid of Dept of education.
Q: Reid do you believe that your statement saying the "war was lost" demoralized troops in Iraq?
R: I made that statement b/c we could not win with military only. Petraeous is my friend. I've supported the troops. I was endorsed by VFW.
A: I don't have security briefings. I didn't get to vote for those wars like Reid did. Support our military.
R: My opponent wants to privatize the VA. I've tons for the vets.
Q: Did you offer favors to the tea-party guy when you promised juice?
A: No, don't be silly. Back to the VA. My dad is a vet and spends $800/mo on drugs. We could do better.
R: Her dad should come to my office because that isn't right. My friend has berated health care all night. I have health ins. I want others to have health ins like mine. Angle has a pension from the govt. She has health care from the fed government just like mine. Exchanges will come in 3 yrs for you to choose.
A: Obamacare is nothing like the policy me and my husband has. Obamacare offers no choices.
Q: Bush tax cuts will expire at year-end. Why do you want to raise taxes during the recession?
R: There will be no increase for middle class. I am not in favor of giving billionaires tax cuts. More defense of the HC bill.
A: Could you repeat the ? The taxes for all should be saved. We can't trust you Senator with our taxes. You came from Searchlight with no money now you are one of the richest men in the Senate. On behalf of taxpayers, how did you become so wealthy on a federal employee's salary?
R: That is a low blow. I was a very successful lawyer and I was a good investor. I've lived off a fixed income since going to the public sector. I live off the income I earned in the private sector. I put 5 kids through school. Her suggestion is false and I am disappointed she would say that. We have a deficit problem. $4T if they are all extended.
Q: Do tax cuts place an unfair burden on our children because of our debt?
A: It's our money. Those tax cuts create confidence for businesses to provide jobs.
R: We reduced the deficit during Clinton. Bush jacked up the deficit. We need to re-establish pay-go.
R: My opponent loves ins. cos., oil cos, etc. I will fight for the middle class.
A: I am like Reagan because I smile so much and with God's help we will take back our economy by appealing Obamacare. Lower taxes, less regulations, stop the spending.