Wednesday night’s debate of Republican U.S. Senate candidates in Gig Harbor offered plenty of red meat for the crowd.
With 10 candidates invited, I wasn’t expecting much: sound bites, jabs at Sen. Patty Murray. But thanks to pretty specific and intelligent questions, and tight time control from moderator Kirby Wilbur, it was a substantive debate that allowed the seven men who showed up to explain their beliefs and even differentiate themselves a bit.
That often meant competing to be the most ready to shake the foundations of the federal government. Read the story in today’s paper.
One question asked about how to tackle the growing cost of entitlements like Medicare. From their answers:
- Craig Williams: “We have to reduce spending in order to stem the tide … Entitlements are part of the equation that must be addressed.”
- Ed Torres: “Eliminate them one by one, look at them and start eliminating entitlements.”
- Don Benton: “It’s not the federal government’s job to provide entitlements to people. We got off down the wrong road, there. We’ve got to address this somehow. We’ve got to get it back to where individuals are responsible for their lives instead of government being responsible for our lives.”
- Art Coday: “I do think that long term, constitutionally, we need to phase out these programs, but we’ve made a promise to our seniors and we can’t renege on it.”
- Clint Didier: “Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security: Sooner or later, they’re going to have to be phased out, but we do got to take care of those people that are in need of them, that have paid into them. … These entitlements are encouraging (illegal immigrants) to come to our country, and we’ve got to revisit the 14th Amendment. Anchor babies.”
- Skip Mercer: “Entitlements are really just a part of the broad liberal agenda to move this country toward socialism.”
- Chris Widener: “One man’s pork is another man’s barbecue sandwich … We all get certain things from the government. … Everybody looks and says, ‘Well you guys are getting money from the government,’ but ‘Don’t touch my stuff.’ We’ve all got to realize we’re in this together and we’re all going to have to cut back, from the oldest of us, to the youngest of us”