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Delaware Debates 2010 10-year anniversary: U.S. Senate

Delaware Debates 2010 10-year anniversary: U.S. Senate


I’m Nancy of Janie and for Delaware first media. Good evening. I’m Wolf
Blitzer from CNN. Thank you so much for joining us for
what certain to be one of the most widely watched
events of this, the 2010 midterm
election season. Let’s introduce
the candidates are joining us for this
debate this evening. Democrat Chris *****. Welcome, Andrew. Republican Christine
O’Donnell. Welcome. Thank we
also want to thank AARP Delaware and the American
Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network for their support making
this debate possible. Let’s go through
some of the rules. So the ground rules for this 90 minute to debate>>divided into two parts. Following a two minute
opening statement from each candidate, Nancy and I will
pose questions, responses to that initial
question limited to two minutes with a
one-minute rebuttal from the other candidate. And then there will
be an opportunity for all of us to mix it up a little bit to get into a discussion and follow up. That’s the first hour, the first 60 minutes
of this debate. That will be followed by a 30 minute segment during which we turn to the students here at the University of Delaware. They have questions. Responses to
their questions will be limited
to one minute. Each candidate
will also have two minutes at the end for a closing statement. Our live audience here in Michel Hall understands. We hope that there will be no applause during
tonight’s debate. We want everyone
to be quiet and listen and learn from
these two candidates. A coin toss determined earlier the order
for this evening. We begin with two minute
opening statements from each of
the candidates. And we begin with Chris Koons
thanking thank you, President Harker,
to our moderators, Wolf Blitzer, Nancy care of genuine, and to our hosts, a Udi Center for
Political Communications and Delaware first media. There’s a great
deal at stake in this election
for our state, for our families,
and for our country. All of us, regardless of our
political leanings, recognized that
Washington is broken>>as I’ve traveled
up and down the state the last nine months
as a candidate, listening to
voters talk about the issues facing them
in their daily lives. I’ve heard again and again their
frustration with Washington and with elected officials who are
putting narrow, partisan agendas ahead of the good of our country
and doing little to help millions of
Americans out of work or on the verge
of losing their homes, or who are anxious
about their futures. The partisan gridlock
in Washington has real
implications for us. Here in Delaware, there’s more than 35
thousand Delaware and still out of work and nearly 3
thousand families that have faced
foreclosure this year. These aren’t just
numbers in Delaware. These are our
neighbors and we can’t simply stand by and watch Washington ignore us or them any longer. This election,
Delaware voters face a clear and
important choice between, on the one hand, my opponent, a candidate who wants to take
our state and country back to the failed economic
policies of the past. Who values partisan
bickering over compromised and
solutions and who I believe has extreme positions
that threaten vital education
programs and would abandon our commitment
to our veterans. And on the other
hand, in my case, a candidate with a
proven track record of balancing budgets, finding bipartisan
solutions, working with
Dolores businesses large and small, helping to create
jobs and spur growth. Over the next 90 minutes, I look forward to
the chance to share with you my ideas
and values. Delaware values
that I learned growing up in WHO? Caisson working here in New York with one of Delaware is most innovative
manufacturing companies and leading Delaware second
largest government. I take seriously the idea. This is a campaign. This campaign is
a job interview. And tonight’s debate is about giving
Delaware as voters and insight into which candidate has
the experience, the values, and the
ideas to best represent them and do the
hard work of fixing what’s broken
in washington. Thank you your
opening statement. Thank you. Thank you to our host and for everyone
being here tonight. I’m running because
I’m concerned about the direction
of our country, the America we knew
and grew up with his being threatened in
the most serious way. In just three years, we will be paying
$1 million a day>>interest alone on
our national debt. The common sense men and women in this room and all across Delaware know that this is not sustainable. Yet my opponent
wants to go to Washington and rubber stamp the failed spending bills that are coming
from that have cost us 2.5 million jobs. This is wrong. Uncle
Sam needs to be cut off with your vote
and your support. I want to go to
Washington to create jobs based on
private business, not your tax dollars. I want to fight to
have our nation become debt free. I want to stop
the tax hikes that are coming in January. I want to reach sustainable energy independence, support the military, and strengthen the security
of our homeland. I want to fight to safe guard social security, improve education, and protect our
constitutional liberties in an election year when
so much is at stake, just about every
candidate says this is what distinguishes one candidate from another or their proposed
solutions. To reach these goals, I very much look
forward to getting down to brass
tacks with all of you over the next 90
minutes because I believe there was a clear choice in this election. A vote for my opponent
will cost the average Delaware Family $10
thousand instantly, between the January
tax heights in his vote for
cap and trade. Most of us can’t
afford that. If you think that
government is too small and that
you’re taxed too little. If you’ve ever
questioned whether America is a beacon of
freedom and justice, then he’s your guy. But if you want a
US senator who will stand up to the
Washington elite who will put your interests ahead of the special interests and make the tough
decisions needed to rein in an out-of-control
Washington than I humbly ask you to vote O’Donnel
for US Senate. Alright, we’re
now getting into our question portion of the evening and I’ll begin with you, Mr. Koons, creating jobs to get
America back to work clearly has to be
a priority to do. Americans voted overwhelmingly for
democrats during the last election
because most felt that the democrats would be able to fix the failing economy. Unemployment is at 9.6%.>>Almost three quarters
of Americans in the most recent CNN Opinion Research
Corporation poll said that the economy is still in a recession. So why should the voters
of Delaware trust a Democrat This
time around? Well, Nancy, thanks
for your question. I think the voters
of Delaware should trust this democrat
because of my combination of
experience working in the private sector
and working with the private sector,
hands-on work, helping one of Delaware is most innovative companies expand and grow jobs and concrete and
engaged work as county executive
working with our chamber of commerce or business roundtable, the committee of a 100 lots of groups who represent businesses large and small to effectively
grow the economy. I’ve also presented as a candidate
for the Senate. Concrete and real ideas
there on my website, but I look forward
to the chance to go over them in some detail. Tonight I would
advocate for research and
development tax credit and expanded R&D tax credit that’s combined with a new manufacturing tax credit that advocates for companies that invent
things here and make them here getting
an extra incentive. I also think we
need to change the crazy tax policy in
Washington that gives an incentive to American companies to shut down operations here and
ship jobs overseas. There’s other things.
I’ve proposed expanding the Home
Office tax credit, expanding a tax credit for starting a new
business that employs folks within the
first couple of years fighting harder in
trade policy to make sure that we’re not letting our trading
partners take advantage of us in trade deals that were signed over previous years, doing more in investment
and innovation. At the end of the day,
I think Delaware has a long tradition
of inventing and manufacturing
world-class products. The best way for
us to get out of this recession is
through growth. And the best way
to growth is by taking advantage
of the skills and resources of a world-class university like this
one where we’re having this debate
this evening and tying that
to a stronger, more qualified, more
capable workforce, giving it the resources and the energy it needs.>>B, once again, the
leader in the world in creating high-quality, high-value
manufacturing jobs. Those are some of
the ideas I look forward to discussing
more this evening, thanking MSAA donaghey one minute for a rebuttal. Well, first of all,
we have to keep in mind that my opponent
has a history of promising not to
raise taxes on the campaign trail
and then breaking those promises as soon
as he takes office. Unemployment here in
New Castle County, rose almost doubled in
the last two years. Under his watch is new castle county
executive. Now, when it comes
to the policies that he has said on
the campaign trail, he will continue
to rubber stamp the spending policies
coming from Washington. We were promised that the stimulus bill
would create jobs, but instead it cost
us 2.6 million jobs. We were promised
that it would keep unemployment at 8%, but instead we see
unemployment at 9.7%. The Democrats are
bragging that unemployment has
leveled out. But while unemployment
has leveled out, more people than ever
are on food stamps and our welfare spending
is higher than ever. This is not the right move. This is not a move towards real economic recovery. This is a move
towards creating a culture of dependency. I believe the
best thing the government to,
that’s the time. Sorry, but now we do get to open it to discussion. Great. Well, what
specifically, miss O’Donnel, Would you do specifically to
create jobs? Well, what I think
the best thing the government can do
to get our economy back on real
economic recovery is for to get out of the way of the small
business owner, to get out of the way
of the entrepreneur. And the way you do
that is to make sure these tax hikes don’t
come in January, it begin to roll back some of the
regulation that’s forced them to to
close their doors. A couple things
that I’m proposing. A number one,
a temporary to your tax holiday on the capital gains
tax to give investors the money they
need to reinvest in business to permanently eliminate the death tax.>>It’s not only
an unjust bill because we paid taxes
while we saved it, but it will also create
1.5 million new job. Let me just remind
that we are in the discussion
portion so you can interject here as well as we continue to
discuss that point. I’m not sure I
understand what Ms. O’Donnel means when she says this is
simply creating a culture of dependency and that her primary
objective would be to end all the endless
regulation and red tape she denounces. The Obama
administration says It’s done nothing to
promote job growth. When, frankly, just
a few weeks ago, a new bill that
would provide expanded SBA loan capacity, $30 billion worth
of new lending>>capability, tarp funds that had been repaid
and are being repurposed towards small and midsize banks all over the United States. Real and concrete
steps are being taken. I also, frankly
can’t imagine where she found the numbers
that unemployment doubled in just
the past year. Under my watch, I suspect we’re going
to need to keep a close eye this evening on the numbers that
go flying back. Let’s ask, where
did you find that? The labor statistics. And we’ll have them on our website by tomorrow. But I want to
point out that he said that we’re not creating a culture
of dependency. How would you
explain what is happening when unemployment
is levelled out? But more and more people
are on food stamps. We’ve gotta ask ourselves, what do we want Delaware
to be receiving? Food stamps or paychecks? I say paychecks obviously we’d like to have
Americans the way able to receive
the benefits that they need to get through incredibly difficult times. But to simply denounce
people as being dependent because
they’re applying for and receiving
food stamps. Chris, That’s
amorphous fashion and that’s not fair of us, frankly, slandering
people who are in incredibly
difficult times. That’s not fair to say that because that’s not at all what I’m doing. I’m not the person who would cut the
tax benefits for disabled and low-income
senior citizens as you did as county
as county executive. But what I’m
proposing is to give these tax to make sure that the tax cut for all Delaware Aryans do not expire this January. You have said that you will stop the tax cuts for
the so-called rich. What you fail to
realize is that the so-called rich or the
small business owner, the dry cleaner
down the street, the pizza shop
owner who makes $300 thousand before they pay their four employees, before they feed
their family. Thank this has gone down two chlorines and
we’re going to try and have a conversation
here this evening rather than just
a diatribe. If we possibly
could, I think could be helpful for
us to be able to have an exchange of ideas and let each of
us take turns. So thank you for
moderating. Well,>>I think it’s
important for folks to look closely at some of the things
MSAA Donald’s thrown out on
her new website, most of them are untrue, some of them are
just flat out lies, some of them are miss
characterization, some of them are just
factually untrue. So I’m not going to stop every single time
there’s something she throws out
that I disagree with or I think it’s
factually untrue, but let me just
say at the outset that much of what
you’ve put out, much of how you’ve
characterized my record is incorrect. And if we simply
sit here this evening and say that’s not true, that’s not true. We’re not gonna
make much progress. Do you do support keeping the Bush
tax cuts for all Americans are only for those making under
$250 thousand. And I support extending the Bush tax cuts for the overwhelming majority
of Americans. I don’t think we should draw an arbitrary line at $250 thousand, but the value that I will apply as deciding
how much to extend, whether it goes
up to a million or 2 million or 5 million, is that we’ve got a
tough choice to make. Every increase, tax cut, every extension that’s giving is going to cost, it’s going to increase the deficit it
adds to the debt. And here’s the
primary value I would apply in deciding
whether to extend all of the
Bush tax cuts and for how long
I think we should do those tax cuts that have the best chance of getting our economy going again, or they’re out on the road, you’re gonna have an
opportunity to have an opportunity to get back into this
discussion because this is issue number one, jobs, jobs, jobs
also the deficit. And I want to get
into the deficit right now. You’ve
made the point,>>the national
debt is exploding, the budget deficit is
exploding right now. I want some specific
meaningful cuts. If you’re elected a
senator from delaware, what would you cut in
the federal budget? And don’t just say waste, fraud and abuse
because everybody says that what would you
cut specific like? That’s a great question
because first of all, we have got to tackle the deficit and
the debt because our deficit is almost becoming equal to
our national GDP. When your deficit, a country’s deficit
equals your GDP, that’s when your
currency collapses, your market collapses. We’ve gotta What
would your plastic measures first of all, cancel the unspent
stimulus bill? Second of all, put a freeze on on non
non discretionary, ON discretionary
spending, put a hiring freeze on non
security personnel. And then of course, when we’re talking about cutting government
spending, we’ve got to talk about waste, fraud, and abuse. A recent report came
out so that we spend over $1 billion
in Medicare, Medicaid, waste,
fraud and abuse. We’re talking
about pharmacies billing for prescriptions, giving to dead people. Were talking about home
health care companies billing for patients who were in the hospital. Senator Coburn
recently put out a report called
schoolhouse pork that disclosed millions of dollars that were supposed to go to to
education funding that instead went
to special favors. No special favors
or something that my opponent
knows very much about because he created 12 contingency
funds so that he could pay out favors to special interest groups. The courts forced him
to close 11 of them. But the one that
remained open, he paid $53 thousand in
a men’s fashion show. He paid another POW more than $50 thousand to appease liberal special
interest groups at a time when he brags
about balancing the budget by raising taxes, cutting
policemen pay>>This is how he chooses to spend our tax dollars. We’ve gotta ask, do we want to send this gentlemen to Washington DC?
I would say no. He’s a career politician
who has proven he knows how to play the
outer add to your back, you scratch mine, you have a minute
to respond. There’s so much
to respond to. Both emitted may
not be enough. Let me get back to the focus of the
question, which is, what would you do to tackle the deficit
and the debt? I think we have some very large challenges
in front of us. The overwhelming majority
federal spending is made up by
defense spending, Medicare, Medicaid,
Social Security, and interest on the debt. While the President has proposed and I would
seriously consider supporting a freeze on non-defense discretionary spending for three years, which would achieve
significant reductions. I’ve also identified
on my website a series of reductions
that I would support. Some of them are in agricultural
price supports, some of them are in
federal office space, for example, or hiring. And several of them are
in defense programs, defense acquisition that the Pentagon
itself has already said they no longer need the C 17 program. For example,
where the second engine for the F35. There’s a variety
of platforms and programs that
I think we can simply do away with
as we invest in making our defense and our military more modern, more flexible,
more responsive to the real threats we face
in the modern world. And as we continue to
achieve some savings,>>the brac program
and other things that have shown at real
capacity to say. Let’s open the
discussion on correcting some of the
financial issues here by talking about some of your own personal
financial problems. And most people know
about it by now, including an IRS
lien that was for about $12 thousand in taxes and penalties from 2005. There was the 2008 mortgage default judgement
on your home. You just received
your bachelor degree, as you said, because it took
you a decade to pay off the tuition. Question then is, how can voters rely upon
your thoughts on how to manage the
deficit if you’re having such personal
financial issues of your own move. First of all, that
IRS tackling, the IRS already
admitted that it was a computer era and
in my opponent should not be
bringing that up because as I’ve gone up and down the campaign trail, I’ve discovered
that there are thousands of
Delaware Aryans who are, who, who have
faced the same thing. An IRS mistake has
caused them greatly, which is all the
more reason why we need to reform the IRS, not put them in control
of our health care. Second of all, you
mentioned education. I don’t have a trust fund. I didn’t come from
a privileged, sheltered background is my opponent says he
didn’t let Hey, there my issue of
i ang bills I on a fine and I paid for my own college education. I also have a graduate
fellowship in constitutional government from the Claremont
Institute. I know how hard it is to earn and keep the $1.1. Of the reasons
why the Delaware and should be able to trust me is because when I
did in this economy, I worked for
non-profit groups. Non-profit groups were the first to have been hurt when I when I fell
upon difficult times, I made the sacrifices needed to set things right. I sold my house and I sold a lot of my
possessions in order to pay off my
personal debt and to become in a in a
stronger position. I have worked hard in order to get to the
position that I am so I can relate to
the thousands of delaware families
that are suffering right now and I’m
stronger for it. I made it through
to the other side. And that’s where leadership doesn’t count in
whether or not you fall accounts
and whether or not you’ve gotten up and that’s what I’ve done. But let, let’s
just remember we’re in the
discussion portion. So if you have anything that you
want to address within that response or things that
have been said.>>This topic with
thus far go for it. Well, Nancy, I frankly think that we
need to focus in this debate this evening
and in the campaign not on personal financial difficulties or
background issues, but really on the
issues in front of us. The things that Delaware ends are concerned about, how do we tackle the
deficit and debt? How do we get Delaware
back to work? There’s been lots
of discussion in the national media about
things my opponent has said or done that I frankly think or
distraction from the core issues that
Delaware and ask about ask both of us about
your what do you do? I don’t want
Saturday Night Live. I’m I’m dying to see
if he’s going to well, let let let let’s
other serious note, let you through some
of the accusations that she’d will
give you a chance>>despite that on the idea that somehow I was the one responsible
for and being sued for creating
1112 to it. She’s confusing me
with my predecessor. We’re talking about
as county executive near Castle
County Executive, you raised property taxes, according to
reports, three times 25% hike in the
last fiscal year. You’ve proposed new
taxes on hotels, paramedic services, even 9-1-1 calls
from cell phones. Is that true? No, it’s not true that we proposed>>tax calls to the 9-1-1
center AND NOT say, research into
that would reveal that it’s difficult,
it’s complicated, but I’ll tell
you when you’re already are
dominant on taxes, did you increase taxes as the county executive? Well, if let me
walk you through it for a moment,
what’s happened? Because one of the
attacks my opponents made repeatedly is
that I’ve driven the county to the
edge of bankruptcy. That’s on her
newest attack. It nothing could be
further from the truth. Today. New Castle
County has a surplus when I became executive and 05 it had a deficit. I have worked hard over
six years to defend a very significant
reserve which has made it possible for us
to continue to have a AAA bond rating. Out of 3 thousand, roughly 3 thousand
counties in America, roughly 30 have a
AAA bond rating.>>I reached a bi-partisan silly says stop that more and spending
than was raised in a quick response
to them will movie, you can criticized
for saying that you brought the county to a triple a bond rating. You inherited
that good rating. And how would you
justify cutting the tax exemption for low-income seniors
and disabled seniors? Cutting our policeman pay. When you wastefully spent so much money on appeasing the special
interest groups. You simply can’t
justify that that is a career politician,
that is cronyism. We don’t need anymore very quickly because we’ve got to move to the next
series of questions. Do you want to
respond to that? There’s a lot to
respond to it, do it in 30 seconds. That’s going to
be difficult,>>but I’ll tell you
that I am proud of my record is New Castle
County Executive. The very hard
choices that had to be made to clean
up the government. Every time you get
a bond rating, you earn the bond rating. Msaa Donald’s not familiar with how bond ratings work. Each time you
go to the bond market, you are reradiate. Moody’s in their letter of rating just two weeks ago, said that it was because of the conservative
fiscal policies of my administration
that we had Ray earned a AAA bond rating from all
three agencies. Or let’s move on to the next series
of questions. Uh, national security,
foreign policy, right? No. A 100 thousand
American men and women are serving
in the military in Afghanistan right now. The President
of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai has now acknowledged he’s in direct talks
with the Taliban>>Leadership wants
to create what he calls a peace council. Here’s the question and
it goes to Mr. Koons. Would you support a
negotiated settlement in Afghanistan that includes Taliban representation? Would that be
acceptable to you? A deal between Hamid Karzai on the tall Taliban. Well, if I’m
concerned about the security of
our troops in the field and
about honoring the service and the sacrifice of
our veterans. The war in Afghanistan is the war of the two that we’ve been engaged in,
Iraq and Afghanistan, that I think was
justified by a direct attack on
the United States by the Taliban who were offering harbor
to Al-Qaeda, who were the authors
of the 9-11 attack,>>I think in
our tenth year now on the ground
in Afghanistan, we have to look hard at whether we’re continuing to contribute to
America’s security. By having a 100 thousand troops
on the ground, I would support a
negotiated resolution to the war that
allowed us to leave security and
intelligence assets in place and that
allowed us the opportunity to
re-engage should the Taliban take
control again or allow al Qaeda to reemerge as a real threat to the region or to
the United States. We’ve spent $1.3 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has significantly
contributed to our debt. We have lost 5 thousand American servicemen
and women. And I’ve got folks who
I am personally close to who are deployed now for the third or fourth tour, we have asked a lot of our men and
women in the field, they have delivered
brilliantly. But frankly, the
mission has exceeded the scope that I
think we could initially reasonably
expect of them. I’m far more concerned
about the threats to our security posed by
an unstable Pakistan, posed by Iran, and posed by an endless
war in a country where we’re trying
to build a nation where there really hasn’t been one in modern times. You have one
minute to respond. Well, I would
ask him if he’s serious about
making sure that Afghanistan doesn’t become a safe haven
for terrorists. Why on the campaign trail, he has said that
he supports this random time withdraw. We have to support our men and women who are risking their lives. Many of them have already given their lives
over there. A random withdraw that he has said he support.>>We’ll simply embolden the terrorists to
come out after us. Even more, saying, I’ve chased away the superpower. When we withdraw from Iraq, we need to make
sure that there are benchmarks and place those benchmarks are making sure that there
is a government, that a representative government over there that serves the needs of the people and that
can defend themselves. When we’ve reached
these benchmarks, that’s when we withdraw. You want to respond
to that? You know, she said withdraw
from Iraq. I suspect you
meant withdrawal momentum and
again, a stand. Did I say Rackham?
Sorry. Thank you, Chris for tone and understand and
yeah. Thank you. You know, frankly, I come from a
family veterans. I come from a
family that has dedicated a lot to the
service of our nation.>>I wear a flag pin every day to remind
me of the young man who grew up next door
to me who was killed in Iraq in December 2005. I never take lightly the enormous
sacrifices that our service men and
women have made now. And then we ask them
to continue making. I don’t know how
long is too long, but ten years strikes
me as awfully long. And I question whether
your standard, whether your principles
give us any hope of winding up this war on any reasonable timeline. Because frankly,
the government of Hamid Karzai has
proven itself to be largely corrupt
and to be frankly ineffective at establishing control over the
whole country. We are doing our best. We have dedicated>>Billions hundreds of billions of dollars
to this conflict. And I’m frankly deeply
concerned that it’s a conflict without a
reasonable end insight. There are times in
history say you measure, we don’t honor the
sacrifice of service, men and women, is
to come up with a plan to responsibly
wind down a conflict. And that plan
should be based on those benchmarks
of benchmarks, that means that we
have had success. Again, you’re saying
hallo rhetoric when you say that your top priority
is the concern for the safety of us
on the homeland. If you seriously support this random time, withdraw. Because again, all we’re
gonna do is embolden the terrorists
to think that they have more
power than they do. And I would ask
you a couple times whether
it’s the tax cuts or even here in
this kind of>>vail. And
you’ve gone back and forth in what
you just said. And in Afghanistan, do you support
the President or don’t you support
the president with the tax cuts? You’re saying that
you don’t support the president held. Let’s do phone comes on. Let’s stay focused on the issue in front of us, which is Afghanistan unit. Just to go on to say,
benchmarks were staying focused on the issue
of Afghanistan rather than jumping
on the other hand, he says that’s not an issue because
he’s finishes. The core issue here is what reasonable
prospect you have for these gauzy benchmarks
and timelines you suggest to ever actually result in a withdrawal. In Iraq, there was
a modern nation, there was a central
government, there was infrastructure in place in Afghanistan. There hasn’t been a
nation in decades. And so despite our ten years of
incredible effort,>>we’re not succeeding and building a nation
as you’ve put it, if the benchmark is
self-governance, stability, security, we had a decent
shot at that. And when we were
fighting the Soviets over there in Afghanistan in the eighties
and nineties, we did not finish the job. So now we have a responsibility
to finish the job. And if you’re going to make these politically
correct statements that it’s costing
us too much money. You are threatening
the secure. We’re about to wrap
up this topic. Let’s just get there
real quickly and ask yes or no answer, or is this nation more secure than it was
under President Bush? Yes or no? Yes.
Today? Yes. No. Okay. We’ll move on to
our next topic. And this question
goes to MISO dot. And I can I say Why we
mean we are moieties, relatives attack on or
we do need to move on. I know that we’ve said that these statements out in the national media, the Saturday
Night Live skit are distractions. I appreciate that. But to the voter
in Delaware, It is the message that
they are receiving. So we would be remiss if we did not address
this issue. So the comments that
you’ve made in the past, which are in
your own words, because they’re
on the videotape, have become the fodder for the late night TV shows. Even released an
ad that opened up by saying I am not a witch. And a local
newspaper column has said that the comments
that you have been seen to be making make Delaware Ian’s cringe. So what do you
say to voters who want the change but are uncomfortable
by these remarks? This election cycle should not be about comments I made on a comedy show over a decade
and a half ago. This election
cycle should be about what is important to the people of Delaware, how we’re gonna get real jobs back to Delaware, how we’re going to get our economy back on track, how we’re gonna protect our senior citizens and safeguard our
social security. These are the issues that Delaware ands are
concerned about. You know, as Wolff,
You can attest, I have not Welcome to
this media attention. You’ve been asking
for an interview for quite a long time. My priority has been getting back to the
Delaware voters, meeting as many voters, go into his many
community forums as possible so that we can
counter these things. My opponent has said
that the statements that we made in
our twenties should be off the table. And after he made
that statement, days later, he
started running ads in his own
campaign materials. He’s going back
on his word using those statements to to misrepresent
my character. So again, I thank you
for the opportunity for the Delaware voters
to get to know who I am and what
I’m all about. Because what I
can assure them as While I I made statements might my faith has matured over the years, but regardless of
my personal faith, when I go down to
Washington DC, it is the constitution
that I will defend. And it is by the
Constitution by that I will make all of my decisions and that will be the
standard bearer for every piece of legislation that i will vote on. Mr. Koons, you have a
one-minute rebuttal. I was surprised to see in the newspaper
in an interview profile of both of us, MSAA Donald’s
statement pretty similar to what you
just heard from her, that she would not have
her faith be central>>a driver of her
decisions if elected. And I’m interested if
we can explore further your suggestion that
the Constitution would be your guide. Because I’m interested in hearing whether it’s the Constitution is
passed by the founders. The constitution
of 19201930, the constitution of 1975, the constitution of today, because to me, protecting a woman’s right to choose, protecting
reproductive freedom and making sure that we’ve got on the record
missile donald views on things like prayer, abortion, evolution
is important. These aren’t just
random statements on some late night TV show. These are relevant to her service to the United
States Senate. What sort of
judge issue would confirm what sort of issues she would take up. I’m someone who
stands firmly behind the Constitution
as it stands today. I respect stare decisis, the decided cases, the case law that
governs United States. Sorry, but let’s go to
the issue of faith and politics because you are a student pastor at Yale. You also said in an
interview once that you thought you would either
end up at preacher, a professor, or
a politician. You have occasionally been a guest speaker at some of the churches here
in our community, Baptist churches, Presbyterian churches
to name a few. So how much of an
influence does this faith in your life have on your politics? Faith is a central part of how my wife and I are raising her
three children, of why we decide to do community service and the outreach that we do. But ours is a faith that we think is a general
motivation, public service towards
trying to create a community that’s
more tolerant, inclusive, and just. And towards the sort of
forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation that we think is the central
message of our faith. But I also think as someone who’s been elected
ten years, I’ve learned to reach a balance where
my private faith, the aspects of
my faith that our religious
doctrine don’t influence the decisions
that I’ve made for the public in my ten years in
county office. Well, let let let
let’s get will give you a chance to respond to some of
the things she said. Because in a television appearance back in 1998 on Bill Maher show a use that evolution
is a myth. Do you believe
evolution is a myth?>>I believe that
the local well, I was talking about what a local school
taught and that should be taught that to be decided on the
local community. But please let me respond to what
he just said. He will let you respond but answer the question though, evolution is a myth, local, local school should
make that decision. I made that remark base what do you, what do you, But
what do you, what I believe
is irrelevant because what voters
want or what you would I will
support and Washington DC is
the ability for the local school
system to decide what is taught in their,
in their classrooms. And what I was
talking about on that show was a
classroom that was not allowed to
teach creationism as an equal theory
as evolution that is against their constitutional
rights and that is an overreaching arm
of the government. But please allow me at least the full minute to respond to what
he said because he said these
statements that we made should be taken into consideration when casting
your your vote. So then I would be remiss not to bring
up the fact that my opponent has recently said that it was studying under a Marxist professor that made him
become a Democrat. So when you look
at his position on things like raising taxes, which is one of the
tenants of Marxism. Not supporting eliminating
the death tax, which is a tenant
of Marxism. I would argue
that there are more people who support
my Catholic faith, faith and his
Marxist beliefs. And i’m yielding
let his arm bards that were
going to wear to clarity because
a lot of people remember because they’ve learned in
the last few weeks. You did once describe yourself when you were in college a long time ago
as a bearded Marxist. Great question Wolf. I hope folks will go and
read the article. It’s an article
that I wrote as a senior the day of our
commencement speech. And the title and
the content of that clearly makes it obvious
that it was a joke.>>There was a group
of folks who I had shared a room with my roommates junior year, who were in the
young Republican Club and who thought when I returned from Kenya and registered as a Democrat, that doing so is
proof that I’d gone all the way over to
the far left end. And so they jokingly called me a
bearded Marxist. If you take five minutes and read the article, it’s clear on the face
of it, it was a joke. Despite that my opponent
and lots of folks in the right-wing media have endlessly spun this. I am not now nor
have I ever been anything but a clean
shaven capitalist. Well, I would I
would I would stand to disagree because
first of all, if you’re saying
what I said on a comedy show is relevant
to this election.>>Absolutely. You
writing an article, forget the bearded
Marxist comment. You writing an article saying that you learned your belief is
from inarticulate, intelligent
Marxist professor. And that’s what made
you become a Democrat. That should send chills up the spine of every
Delaware voter. Because then if you compare that to where you’re
hopefully there for which you I’d agree but that sound accurate as you can not and will not be. The last you said
that totally issue that you brought up about being Schools. And this goes to you
first, Mr. Koons. And this is the issue of education in our country and in many public
school districts all across America, as they’re trying to get in accountability in
the classroom. It is very difficult.>>Dismiss an
under-performing teacher because of the stringent contracts
that had been negotiated with
the individual school districts
and teacher unions. So do you feel that teacher unions
are too powerful? Nancy, one of the
things that I’ve complimented both
dollar teachers and Dolores governor for is their remarkable
progress under the Race To The
Top Program. One of, I think
the best parts of the obama biden
administration’s progress on education. I like both the process
and the outcome. They set a very high bar. They offered a Federal
pot of money that was available for those states that were willing to make significant changes. In Delaware, in Tennessee, where two states that
may then progress, Delaware teachers
union, the DMCA, came to the table. The leadership of
Governor Mark hill made significant changes, things that a lot of folks predicted
they wouldn’t do to embrace charters and to make them
more powerful, to make it possible for schools that are
underperforming to be shut down or restructured and to change the
system so that teacher compensation
could be tied towards improvement by students in
the classroom. I think our teachers
deserve our support. And I think our
teachers have a long tradition of contributing significantly, not just to educating
our children, but to building a stronger and
better community. My own mother and grandmother were
school teachers and I deeply respect the hard work that they do. Earlier today, I was
at Eisenberg School in New Castle because this is National
School Lunch week. The work that
our teachers do, the work that’s done in
early education from headstart to full
day kindergarten through K through
12 education. The work that’s
done here and at other great public
universities around the state and country is critical to laying the groundwork
for our future. And I have no problem with recognizing that the folks who do the hard work, the teachers and the
pair professionals are entitled to a good
standard of living, are entitled to
be able to live a life where they
have healthcare, they have a pension, and they have job security. I do think there
are issues that we have to tackle
and I think Race To The Top
made significant progress in them in making sure that
our schools are performing as
best they can. Your mother will notice he didn’t answer
the question as to whether or not
he thought the teachers unions
were too powerful. And that’s probably because he got their endorsement.>>I would say that
what we need to do, especially here in
Delaware where we spent so much money on education, it ends up going to the
six figure salaries of our bureaucrats and
our superintendent, not to the teachers
in the classroom. It’s appalling that in
a state where we spent so much federal and state dollars on education, good teachers
who want to get extra materials have to do so out of their pocket. I’ve met many teachers. I’ve sat down with
them and talk to them about their
concerns with race from the top and whether they’re Democrat
or Republican. A lot of them
express that we’re not spending our education dollars
appropriately. We’re not helping
the classroom. And what’s going to
happen when this Race to the Top
funding dries up. We have a broken system, especially in Wilmington
where I live, we have an extremely
high dropout rate. Throwing more money on a broken system is
not going to work. Instead, what we
need to do is sit down and have conversations with
the teacher’s, not the unions
about what they need us to do to help
them in their cloud. Over the years, a number of conservatives have proposed eliminating the
Department of Education in Washington. Do you support eliminating the Department
of Education? I don’t think that
we need to go to that drastic of a step. But they’re as I
said, Senator Coburn has released a report that shows where millions
of dollars and department department
of education money Has been abused. That’s the kind of
stuff we have to stop. We also have to make
sure that the money we are putting in to education does go
to the classroom and make them
more effective. That’s something
that we’re ignoring. Every time that
there’s a problem, we just throw
more money in it to appease the special
interest groups. We’re not getting to the
root of the problem. And that’s what
we need to do. Start getting to the
root of the problem, which means talking
to the teachers. And not only that,
putting the power back to the parents over where they send their
children to school. In a recent survey of 30 industrialized
countries, the United States>>ranked 25th in math,
21st and science. Finland was first in math, South Korea was
first in science. Specifically,
what would you do to make the
United States number one once again in math and science?
Great question. And as someone who
spent 20 years working with a
non-profit foundation, the I Have a
Dream Foundation, that raises money from private individuals
and helps provide scholarships
for students, for teachers, and for
a college education. I’ve been hands-on
and engage with some of the toughest
schools in America and some teachers who
are significantly under supported by
their districts and who needed
additional resources to deliver on the promise of an effective education. I think there’s a
significant role though for the federal government
in providing financial support
and encouragement scholarships for those
teachers in sta, and science and technology and engineering and math, we need a new generation of teachers who are
fully prepared, fully qualified to
engage their students in the classroom to use the latest teaching tools and media to teach to the standards that
No Child Left Behind established and
that need to be modernized and made more flexible
and responsive. And we frankly need to use collaborative
learning techniques. And I’m sorry, but we’re
tired heaping here. I’ll give you a very
quick just respond. What would you
do specifically to make the United
States number one? Again, what I would say, to improve our education, we have to empower
the teachers>>to do what they need to do to be more effective. They’re the ones on the first line of defense. They’re the ones who
have the most influence over our students, but we also have to
empower the parents. So I support charter
schools and I support a student vouchers or school voucher so that
it gives parents, regardless of income, regardless of status
and opportunity for their students
to have a shot at a great education until our public schools
do improve. Let’s switch gears and talk
about health care, which is such an
important issue to millions and millions
of Americans right now under the
new health care law that was recently signed into law by the President.>>Children now can
stay on their parents insurance policy
until the age of 26. People can no
longer be denied coverage for
preexisting conditions. Ensures the big insurance companies
are prohibited from resending coverage if a customer becomes sick. And they can’t impose
any lifetime limits on essential benefits like hospital stays are
expensive treatments. You say you want to
repeal all of that. Well, first of all,
unknowns disputing that our health care
system before Obamacare didn’t
need reform. Those are very
important things that a part of insurance reform not
healthcare reform. In the course of
the public debate over health care reform>>Began to confuse
coverage with care. Our goal should be to make health care more
affordable. Even with Obamacare are most vulnerable
in Delaware are still left uninsured and still left without access to quality health care. When we passed obamacare, we were promised that it would make more
people insured. While recent CBO report
say that it’s not, it’s actually causing
businesses to drop their policies because compliance standards
are so high. Our laws, especially when it comes
to health care, should not force businesses to break our laws. Second of all,
we were promised that more people
health care costs would be lowered.
It hasn’t, it has increased
healthcare cost according to
recent reports. So what I want to do
is to fight to fully repeal that so that we can begin to enact real reform. And that real reform
would include allowing policy portability when you change jobs, allowing Delaware
ion’s to get policies across state lines right now we only have
three options. That’s not right.
And I would also fight for some sort
of tort reform that allowed doctors to
not have to worry and practice medicine
to prepare for the courtroom as opposed to the examination room. But at the same time,
this tort reform has to protect those patients
who are victims>>medical malpractice. You have one
minute to respond. So much to say, i support the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. I think it made
significant advances in you outlined
many of them, but there’s additional
investments in the bill to
make sure that there’s a breadth
of coverage to rural areas through the
health services core. By recruiting and training a whole new generation
of doctors and nurses. By expanding support for community
health centers and by also improving the efficiency of our
health care system. It makes a landmark
investment of $350 million over a decade to try and fight
waste, fraud, and abuse and to
increase those savings. And there were
strategic investments in electronic medical
systems that would allow electronic medical
records to reduce injuries
to patients, mistaken diagnoses and
mistaken treatments. All of these in
combination, I think, argue
for extending, perfecting and implementing this landmark bill.
It’s not perfect. There’s problems with it, but I think rather than turning it back
and repealing and going for
another year or two of endless partisan
bickering. This was a critical
piece of legislation, not a pretty process
that passed it, but I would stand for it and implement
it responsible. Well, we’re now into that part of the
discussion on it. So let me just ask you
then, the issue was brought up about
malpractice reform.>>And Democrats are often accused of being too
close to trial lawyers. And republicans
say that’s why, that there has not been the opportunity for reform in this area and
why it was not included in the
health care bill. If you were elected, would you work to
amend that bill to include
malpractice reform? I think it is critical that folks in this country be able to stand up to and take on
powerful interests. And where individuals
are harmed,>>they’re able
to go into court and to seek redress
whether they’re harmed by someone who misled them in a
securities investment, a product that
they purchase that hurt them because it wasn’t designed or
delivered right or a medical procedure that
went horribly wrong. I don’t support putting caps on liability
because I frankly think in our current system it is only the threat of a significant recovery that allows protection
for consumers, for patients,
for investors. I frankly think that’s
an important part of the American legal system. I do think, as I
just mentioned, there’s significant
advances in this bill that allow us to make healthcare safer, stronger, more transparent. And if I’ve got
a major concern about this bill it
set we’re going to reduce costs without
squelching innovation.>>Delaware. And
this country has made it inevitable
that discussion. Okay. That’s what I
was trying to okay. First of all, you
say that you’re concerned about
reducing cost, but reports have showed that this health care bill has caused costs skyrocket. Second of all, you say that I don’t know what
rewards David. It’s IR does in
Rubin’s arrangement. But one out of four
Democrats have gone on record saying that
they oppose Obamacare. They’ve realized that
we made a bad mistake. And what this bill
does is it gives a mass going out of control or grants over
our house of hair. It does not am as you know, role is coming in the
examination room, coming between you
and your Xander. And that’s exactly
an example of how that’s a
great slogan. You toss it around
everywhere you go. How does this
bill actually put Uncle Sam in the
examination room to ask everyone kind of. And if so, why did the organization
that fights foreign represents
America’s nurses, America’s seniors,
America’s hospitals in America’s doctors
all endorse. And in many of those branches on
the state level, including here in Delaware, have said that we don’t support with the national
office has done. It gives the government
the ability to say what kind of treatment a doctor can and can’t do, what kind it will fund. It forces businesses you have to comply to these standards where
many businesses, especially here
in Delaware, have said that they can afford to it and
it’s cheaper to pay the nice O’Donnel IN a state change
that’s harder. So cut this this
health care bill has Catlin and let’s get going out
because we’re down into the last 30 seconds
of this discussion. I was just going
to say the State Chamber of Commerce
and Christiana Care hosted a debate
earlier today. I was sorry you chose
not to join us. It would’ve been
great to hear the response of
the physicians and the nurses and the hospital
administrators to your suggesting that they didn’t support a bill
they lobbied for? I just I want
to be precise. And this specific health
care related issue, you oppose the
government mandating>>everyone must purchase health insurance,
is that right? Yes. Because we’re confusing
coverage with care, our goal needs
to be to make health care affordable.
Here’s the question. Let’s say someone decides not to purchase
health insurance, makes that
conscientious decision, even though this person can afford to buy
health insurance but decides
doesn’t want to. This person gets
critically ill, is rushed to an
emergency room, should we people who pay for health
insurance provide him or her with that kind of treatment or should we kick them out of
the emergency room? Said you made a decision you’re not going to
get this kind of treatment if we do
the things that I said that will help to address that I’m proposing>>that will
help to address the issue of health care, then that person
can afford to buy a catastrophic only
policy from across state lines there’ll be able what if that person doesn’t want to buy it? Well, then we
should take care of that person and we
have to address that. We don’t know how to pay for the upper
anything that they do when they have another
bill that they can’t pay, make them pay it, hold them
accountable for that before right now, well, that’s up to the hospital, but right now we’re
forcing them to, we’re forcing them
that they have to give care to
illegal aliens This is something
that we’re already doing what I’m proposing. You’re also talking about a very small hypothetical, using scare tactics to make people support
this health care bill. What I’m proposing and the health care
reforms that I’m proposing will help address
those situations and help alleviate
those situations. It’s just a small reminder. Nobody should be forced to pay for anyone
else’s healthcare. And that’s what
Obamacare is doing. And that’s what’s
happening today. Before the health care
reform bill passed, all of us who have
health insurance, who have health
coverage have been bearing the costs, paying the freight
for those who don’t have insurance and who don’t have coverage,>>they’re getting
health care through emergency rooms. Now that’s partly why small businesses
employers like New Castle County have face double digit increases in our insurance costs year after year after year because that’s how
we provide care now. It’s inefficient, it’s inhumane, and it’s
not effective. We have to examine
out anyway, nice that ObamaCare said, let’s move on to
immigration, Right? No. And this question
will be from Mr. Koons, a pathway to citizenship for
illegal immigrants. You support that right now? I support a pathway to
being here legally. And let me take a moment. Effect was that your
whole question? The question is, what
is your position on a pathway to
citizenship? Citizenship for
illegal immigrants? We’ve got roughly 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States today. This is a huge problem and immigration is a
federal responsibility. And I think we
should look to the federal government
to step up and fix it. The federal
government has failed states like Arizona, like Delaware,
like many others. But we need to recognize the situation we’re in. There are whole
industries that rely on the labor of those
who are here illegally. And there is a long
tradition of failing to deliver the
border security that our country needs. The current administration has stepped up and invested millions of dollars
in additional troops and
additional services, additional support
at the border. My path forward
on immigration would be strengthened. The borders make it much
tougher for folks to come here illegally
and increase the penalties when they do. Second, hold employers
accountable, particularly those
who routinely employ folks who
are here illegally, by giving them real ID that can work that is much more difficult
to counterfeit. And then holding
them accountable if they repeatedly
violate that by employing those
who are here illegally and then
allow those who are here illegally
and do not commit further crimes to come
out of the shadows. If they will pay taxes, learn English. Pay a fine. Say I committed a crime and pay a fine and go to the back of the line behind those who applied to
come here legally, I would give them a path towards legal residents. I think there’s
more they’d have to do to ever earn
citizenship. I respect the
tradition of those who go and serve our
nation overseas, for example, being offered a chance at citizenship. But in my view,
the pathway I’m suggesting is one
towards legal residence. I want to see us focus our resources, law
enforcement resources, on finding and deporting those who pose
a real threat to our community as someone responsible for a County
Police Department. I’ve seen over and
over instances where neighborhoods are
threatened by people who are
here illegally.>>The ICE does not have the resources to deport them when we deliver
them to them. That should be
our top priority. Again, he’s backtracking
on things that he has said earlier on
the campaign trail. And I would ask you, when you say
that you support border enforcement, this administration
recently stopped the efforts to
put a virtual fence on our border. When Barack
Obama’s standing with you on the campaign
trail this Friday, you’re going to
tell him that you disagree with him on his immigration
reform efforts. I believe, however, that securing our borders should be our first priority. Before we get into
any discussion of whether we’re
going to give social security benefits
to illegal aliens. America is a
magnet for those all over the country who do believe all
over the world, who do believe
that America does stand as a beacon of hope and justice
for the world. And therefore, I support a legal pathway to those who are
coming over here, especially for
political asylum, to seek a better life than they do in
our country. And to reward
those who break our laws is to cheat
those who honor them. And this is not a message
that our federal, its own version of it. Because you say
that you agree to the pathway to citizenship, citizenship for
legal, but you don’t want to
provide amnesty? I don’t want to
provide amnesty but one without the other. Because what I’m
saying is we have to get rid of all
the bureaucratic masses that make the
legal pathway difficult. But when someone
willingly breaks are laws that sends a message that don’t worry about the
laws that we’ve set up. Don’t worry about those who are on long
waiting lists for political asylum
break our laws and we’ll grant you
these benefits. It’s sending the
wrong message. It’s economically
hurting us and it’s also a national, gosh, annuity
is MSAA Donald. But I do it’s just quite responsible or
almost as Arthur, I do respond, I do support responsible guest
worker programs. And that’s the difference. If you can reconcile
all those comments. Urine even more
talented reporter than I think
you are, Nancy,>>one of the
challenges that we face is getting past the endless bickering in the partisan
divide on this. Senator John McCain
was someone who before this election
cycle had been a real advocate for working with the
business community, working with Democrats in Congress to find a path forward as the years and years have rolled by, the number of folks who are here illegally and who pose real
threats to our community continue to grow. And we are not taking
the actions we need to take to
separate those who are willing
to pay a fine to accept responsibility
for coming here illegally and to
begin paying taxes and contributing to
our community and the benefits that
they’re earning. I would rather have us begin to provide a
path so that those who are here illegally all stand up and take
responsibility for that>>or are
deported. That way we can make progress. While he just took a
hardline position. Again, I would ask you, Are you going to tell
President Obama that, that you disagree with
him and you think that illegal aliens
should be deported. But we have to keep
in mind that when we tried amnesty in the eighties, it backfired. It only increased
the problem. So we’ve got to address the issue of securing
our borders. And this is something that President Obama’s
administration stopped this year. We’ve got to
secure our borders first and then begin the discussion on guest worker
programs and how to>>Eliminate some of the bureaucracies that keep the legal pathway to citizenship so difficult. We’re gonna get to
student questions in a moment we’re
going to get to another question
that I have. But I just want to
clarify one thing on the national security
front on China, which is a huge issue
right now in 2006. And correct me
if I’m wrong, you said that
China has, quote, a carefully thought out and strategic plan to
take over America. And if they pretend
to be our friend, it’s because they’ve got something up their sleeve. You also said you wish you weren’t
privy to some of the classified
information I am privy to. I’d like,>>if possible for you to clarify what you bend. Well, first of
all, I was talking about when I was working with a humanitarian group that was going to China. We are given some
security briefs about China’s position with some potentially
hostile nations and some security
threats that my clients would be facing. But we do have
to look at China very seriously
because we ohms, so they own so
much of our debt. It prohibits a
lot of decisions that we need to make in regard to our
foreign policy. Number one is around
with nuclear weapons. China’s stands in
a big way there. These gasoline
sanctions that we have are not as four, enforced as strictly
as they could be because we have allies
like France and Italy participating in the
gasoline embargo. But then China comes in and swoops up all
that business. We need to be putting sanctions on those
Chinese companies. Because right now when it comes around getting nuclear weapons is
our biggest threat to our national security. And when we go to
China and we say, please stop
these companies, they probably smirk
because we’re not economically in a position to really hold
them to that. China could be
a bigger ally with us in North Korea. But they’re not,
they’re not putting the pressure on North
Korea that they could. So first of all, we have got to tackle that
national debt. We’ve got to stop these
things like these reckless spending
bills coming from Washington that
only contribute to, to further our
national debt because it is
putting or nauseam terrorists in the quote that you said that China has a plan to take
over America. Do you know
about this poor? They misquoted me at
the time, I believe. But look at what’s
going on right now. Monetarily, China
could take us up over monetarily before
they could military. You wanna quickly respond
because I know that we want to get to the
students questions. It’s hard for me to respond effectively wolf to all
the different issues that by opponents raised in previous
statements. And I’ll just
let that stand. I don’t have any
classified information about China or its plants. But what I think we
really need to focus on>>this debate on this
particular question. Is the steady degradation of our security posture
in the pacific rim. The Australian
Navy engaged and joint exercises
with the Chinese and specifically
excluded us. Recently, a dramatic shift in the Australian policy. And as the Chinese
have become economically stronger, they’re seeking to become militarily stronger. They’re pushing the
envelope on issues from Taiwan to trade to
intellectual property. It is a profound threat not just to the vitality of our economy and
our innovation and our manufacturing
businesses, but also to our
safety and security.>>Have widespread
counterfeiting of everything from
pharmaceuticals to aircraft parts, the garments going on
in China without our standing up and fighting against that out
of ten trade war, we’re out of
time at this far years saying that China, we’re going to close out this conversation
and move on to the student questions
because we do want to involve the University
of Delaware students. And first up, we have a question from a student who brings us the issue of
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I was wondering if
you’re planning on bringing back up the
issue of don’t ask, don’t tell as
possible appeal. Mr. Koons, your
response? One minute. I would move swiftly as a senator to repeal.
Don’t ask, don’t tell.>>I think it is discrimination,
plain and simple. I’ve met with and spoken
to veterans here in Delaware who
served our nation honorably for decades, server with top
secret clearances, but who could do so only at the expense of denying who they were and the relationships that
they wanted to have. In my view, we should
be making progress in this country
towards recognizing the full range of
human experience. And repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to me is an important next step in the civil
rights movement. A federal judge recently ruled that we
had to overturn. Don’t ask, don’t tell.
There are a couple of things we need
to say about that. First of all,
judges should not be legislating
from the bench. Second of all, it’s up to the military to set
the policy that the military believes is in the best interests of
unit cohesiveness,>>military readiness. The military
already regulates personal behavior
and that it doesn’t allow affairs to go on within your chain
of command. It doesn’t allow if
you’re married to have an adulterous affair
within the military. So the military
already regulates personal behavior
because it feels that it is in the
best interest of our military readiness. I don’t think that
Congress should be forcing a social agenda onto
our military thing. We should leave that to the military to decide. We have another student
question on the issue of embryonic stem
cell research. And this quotient
is recouped. What are your view on the federal
allocation of funds for stem cell research?>>I would support
stem cell research. And I were talking about embryonic stem cell grit. I would support
federal funding for medical research
that includes embryonic stem
cell research. I think there are
critical advances that are being made
and can be made in addressing some of the most difficult diseases that affect millions
of Americans. And I frankly think if it is possible to do so, we ought to be
investing and making progress in this critical
area of research. I think if we took an intellectually
honest look at the research that’s
been put out there, you will see that there’s
incredible advances with adult stem
cell research, not as much with embryonic stem cell research though. That’s where this, we’re on the private sector, that’s where
investors would be putting their money. Second evolved
the government. The federal
government should not be in the business>>creating life
simply to destroy it. And when it comes
to the issue of so-called medical waste, I would point to a program called the
snowflake babies, where they’ve had
incredible success adopting these human embryos that are gonna be discarded
from medical waste, where they’ve given
millions, or I’m sorry, hundreds and potentially thousands of
infertile couples. The opportunity
to have babies. Snowflake program. It’s
a wonderful program. And I suggest everyone
take a look at our next student
question brings is the issue of abortion. What is your stance on a course that including in case afraid for you, I believe that
there has been a profound loss of a Respect for the
dignity of human life. And that’s reflected in a lot of our policies, whether it’s cutting
tax exemptions for disabled low-income
citizens in New Castle County
or with the boss. And I respect the human dignity
on all levels, the unrepeatable, precious human dignity
on all levels. And my opponent and
others will use the scare tactic
about rape and incest when that is
less than 1% of all abortions
performed in America. Mr. Koons, I strongly support a woman’s
right to choose. It is settled
constitutional law. It is an important part of our nation and
its freedoms. I personally am
opposed to abortion, but I don’t think it is my place to put that view.>>Women, I think
abortion should be safe, legal and rare. Let, let’s get into some of these issues and then
we’ll go back and get some more students
questions on the issues of gays serving openly in the
United States military. Almost all of
the nato allies allow gays to serve
openly in the military. Israel, which has a
fine military, is, you know, allows gays to serve openly in
the military. Why specifically do
you believe gays should not be
allowed to serve openly in our military? Because it’s a
military policy that our military
set forth. It’s the same thing as
I said in my remarks about adultery not being allowed in the military. It’s a military policy
that they regulate because they believe that is in the best interests of unit cohesiveness and are effective military. So if the Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says he believes gays should be allowed to serve
our military. Would that be good
enough for you? If all foreheads,
if the heads of all four branches of the military said that, and it would be up to them, not me as a US
senator to impose my social agenda
whether it’s for or against ONE asked, well what
about that? What if the Chairman
of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force,
and Marine Corps, the respective chairman
said, you know what, we’ll do whatever
the commander in chief tells us to do. But we don’t think
it’s a good idea because of these issues>>that the missile
donald raises, unit cohesion and those other issues, what
would you say? The, one of my real
heroes is Harry Truman. Harry Truman made a very difficult decision
to compel the racial
integration of the United States Armed Forces at a point when most
of the leadership, most of the generals said for exactly the same
sorts of reasons, unit cohesion, performance in
the battlefield. We should not have a racially
integrated Military. That was a brave decision. It was an important
decision and the ultimate long-term
impact has made our United States
military One of the most progressive in
terms of promotion, advancement opportunities for
racial minorities of any organization
in our country. As you said
earlier, most of our nato allies
have long ago realized that we are giving>>in the service
of thousands of potential volunteers
who could be serving our nation
at home and abroad. I don’t think it makes
any sense because of a narrow social
agenda to continue to exclude them from open service and
our military. Our next video we’re
going to, we don’t, we’re not necessarily going to open discussion on that right now because
we want to get the student questions in. Our next student
question comes on the issue of campaign
finance reform. What is your position on campaign finance reform? And what is your
reaction to the recent Supreme
Court ruling allowing corporations to donate political
campaign. Mr. Koons, your
first one minute>>I think the Citizens
United decision, the decision to
which the students referring wasn’t unfortunate and ill
decided decision. One that opens
the floodgates to increased corporate
contributions that could have the
unintended consequence, I think unintended
In the decision of significantly distorting our
electoral process here in the United States. And I would support
reforms that further disclose who’s behind
these shadowy groups, whether individuals
or corporations that are trying to influence our elections by pouring money into it. Sunshine is the
best disinfectant. And in politics it is best for us to disclose as fully and as broadly as possible who’s making
contributions. And yet the legislative
efforts to do exactly that have
failed to do that. The disclose Act>>that Harry Reid, which he’s called my
opponent, his pet, has put out there
to do just that, has exempt the major corporations
from disclosing it. Instead, what these efforts do is only serve to infringe on the
First Amendment right of private citizens. I’ll use my own campaign as an example from
our FEC reports. My supporters have been getting harassing
phone calls, not just from reporters, but from all
kinds of people who oppose my candidacy. They’re using intimidation tactics because we are forced to disclose who is contributing to
my campaign. So this so-called
campaign finance or finance reform is, is exempting
the corporations, whether on the
left or the right. It’s those who are in
Washington already, those who are over
ten years old, who have over a 0.5 million members and who are
already playing, playing in the
backroom deals. So this is a
misguided idea. How do the American
people have a right to know
where all this money in these campaigns
is coming from? Yes and no. I believe that there
are ways to do that where we can
report to the FEC, but we don’t have
to make them public unless there’s a
question of corruption. And then that would
prevent a lot of their harassment that my supporters are getting. That would prevent a lot of the discussion about our first amendment rights. We can disclose
that to the FEC, but they don’t have to put it up on a website
that makes anyone vulnerable to further fund
raise and calls. I mean, over and over, that’s a repeated
violation. And many campaigns,
not my own, but even my own party has said go look on someone’s>>FEC report and call them up for a donation? I’ve said absolutely not. That’s against the
law to recruited. These so-called disclosure attempts are being abused. I just there’s so much there. Well, I don’t know. Frankly, I support full disclosure of
campaign contributions. As I said before,
I think it is the best way to ensure
that we’ve got fair, open, and clean campaigns. Folks should know who the folks are who are contributing
to campaigns. It’s an important
way to hold candidates and elected
officials accountable. We have another
student question on the sensitive issue of
religion in America. In the light of the events in the past decade, Islam has been
viewed as a religion for extremists
and terrorists Muslims, including
myself, can attest that Islam
is far from that. Recently there has been
much controversy over the Mosque being built in the vicinity
of Ground Zero. And also the Florida
passed or make an outrageous remarks
about the Godhead. Now my question to
you is as Senator, where’s the line
between the freedom of speech and the respect
of other religions, both of which
freedoms are found in the first amendment
of the constitution. Mr. Koons, a great question and a
difficult one. The Florida pastor who caused a lot of outrage
by threatening to burn the Qur’an showed a profound
misunderstanding of the difference between the Islamic
terrorists, the extremists who
genuinely tact America and I think
deserve our condemnation. And the vast
majority of Muslims who participate
in a religion whose fundamental
principle is commitment to peace and to embracing the
rest of humanity. If that Florida pastor wanted to make
the right point, he should have
threatened to burn the readings and
the teachings of Osama bin Laden
or other folks who are part of the Islamist
extremist groups. It is an important
challenge, a key role for the United States
Supreme Court to continue to
draw the line in the First Amendment between those who would do the equivalent of calling fire in a crowded theater, who would be inciting
to attack and right, such as Osama
Bin Laden has in some extremist and
hateful writings. And those who
have scripture religious
traditions that are deserving and worthy
of broad support. Those are difficult
lines to police. And that’s a
central world that the Supreme Court plays
in our democracy.>>I would agree
the Supreme Court has said that there are restrictions on our
first amendment rights. Again, you know, you
can’t, as you said, go into a crowded
theater and yell fire. You can’t stand up on a plane and yell hijacked, you can’t slander
and liable someone. However, where the question has come between what is protected free
speech and what not has what has not
protected free speech. The Supreme Court
has always route, ruled that the communities, the local community has
the right to decide. And then the issue
with the 911 mosque, that’s exactly
where the battle is being fought by the community
members WHO were impacted by that.
And I support that>>he submitted the
community members have at least the city council
mayor representatives elected representative
support. This mosque and
community center that’s supposed to
be built near nodal. And a lot of the people
on the ground do not. And they’re going
to have a lot to face from their
constituents and maybe the re-election is even going to be jeopardize should this Cultural Center and most nearer
911 be built. There’s already culture,
there’s already mosques in many
locations in Manhattan. And as you mentioned,
I would defer to the decision of the local land-use
authorities, the folks who
were elected by that community to make
decisions about where, when, and how things
ought to be built. I don’t think it was a wise choice of location, but I can’t stand
here and say that we should
prevent folks>>from practicing
their religion anywhere in the United
States to say that we will say You can’t build a mosque here
violates one of our most fundamental
principles while talking about
the Supreme Court. And obviously a United
States senator has the opportunity to
determine in a way, the makeup of that court. So what opinions of late that have come
from our high court do you most object
to oh, gosh. Give me a specific
one. I’m sorry. Actually, I can’t because I need you to tell me which
ones you object to. I’m very sorry.
Right off the top of my head I know that
there are a lot, but I’ll put it up on my website, I promise you. We know you disagree
with Roe versus Wade. Yeah, but that was that she said a recent one. Well, it’s really late. Yeah. Well, Roe versus Wade would not put the power. It’s 30-some
since there are no Supreme Court decision. And let me say about
Roe versus Wade. Roe versus Wade, if
that were overturned, would not make abortion illegal in the
United States. It would put the power
back to the States. But besides that decision, anything else you disagree with? Oh, there
were several. When it comes
to ***********, when it comes to court
decisions to not to Supreme Court but
federal court decisions to give terrorist
Mirandize rights. I mean, there’s a lot of things that I believe that this this
California decision to overturn, don’t
ask, don’t tell. I believe that there
are a lot of federal judges who are
legislating from that. That wasn’t the
Supreme Court said. That was a federal judge. That’s what I said
in California. Which Supreme
Court decisions, if any, do you do? Do you disagree with?
The most recent one?>>I’ve been
engaged and we’ve talked about
citizens united. I think the Citizens
United case takes a sort of logical
extension in the law, but takes it to a
ridiculous extreme. Corporations really
aren’t entitled to the same free speech rights in my view as people. And in Delaware, America’s
corporate capital, you would think we
would be fighting for the rights
of corporations. But in terms of
political contributions, the free speech rights of corporations,
I don’t think, deserve the same
protections as the free speech rights of real living, breathing,
voting humans. And so I would disagree with
that decision and I would act to try and
find ways to limited, narrow it or even
overturn everything else. That’s the most
important. Let’s take another question
from a student on energy right now. My question is, where do you think funding
should be place or to move towards the United States
decreasing its carbon footprint.
Mr. Koons? Well, the most
effective investment in reducing emissions
of CO2 and other things that cause greenhouse gas warming is energy efficiency
and conservation. There was a significant
investment in the stimulus bill in getting municipality’s
local governments, the private sector to invest in efficiency
and conservation. And those are
investments that reduce emissions, put people to work, and can develop cutting edge technologies that make our systems operate better and to reduce not
just the emissions, but also the
operating expenses. In New Castle County, we took $3.8 million and E CBG grants and
combined it with $4 million of our own and retrofit 20
county buildings. We reduced our
operating costs, we reduced our
emissions, and we ultimately put folks to work here in our
own community. As you look at those kinds of investments
around the country, they’re the most important that they have the
most impact of anything you can
do that will actually reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. There’s many more things we need to do to improve the efficiency
of operation of the minify our power
plants. Excuse me. While I think
the best way to address it that
is most relevant to this US Senate
race is to talk about the issue
of cap and trade. Because the winner of
this US Senate race can be immediately sworn in and servant in Harry
Reid’s lame-duck session and vote on cap and trade>>While I do
believe that we have to be good stewards
of this Earth. We don’t need to do it at the expense of
our citizens. And cap and trade will do that, whether it’s farmers, senior citizens, or
real leaders who are concerned about its green compliance
standards. Nobody wants this bill. This bill is a national energy tax that will ration energy use and increase
our utility bills. Senior citizens are
concerned about the cost of their
utility bills going up. Farmers are concerned about the green compliant
standards and the raised utility bills shutting down
their operations. And realtors are
concerned about the green compliant
standards hurting and already
hurting housing market. But I would have
to ask my opponent Speaking of cap and trade, family business stand to financially benefit from some environmental
legislation under, under Bush, the min-width, let’s toss this way
or your business. A fascinating question that really makes no sense yet. So if you’d like
to because I think what she’s
talking about I’d like to know if your
family business stands to have a
financial gain of cap and trade
has passed. And if so, would you
recuse yourself in the lame duck session from voting with Harry Reid? A fascinating question. No, to the best
of my knowledge, there is no direct
financial benefit. And I do think it’s
important for folks in public office to conduct themselves
ethically, to be transparent and
to be accountable for decisions they make and provokes that they cast.>>I am someone who thinks that
greenhouse gases are a concern or a problem
for the long-term. And I think we need to take steps to reign them in and to deal with the
environmental consequences that
they might present. Well, let me ask a
missile, donald, what evidence do you have any family business that he has wood desk
stand to gain from a cap and trade
because they make fuel cells whose WL Gore, they make some of the
stuff that will be required by
these businesses to regulate cap and trade. So is that truth, that’s quite a stretch. Gore makes over
1000 products. It was difficult for
me to understand from her question what
she was talking about. I’m Gore is a company that makes lots and
lots of products from implantable
medical devices to dental floss to some membranes that are component parts
that go into systems that go
into fuel cells. Fuel cells are
not currently fielded broadly in
the United States. It’s a cutting edge
technology that someday has the
promise of being a significant
contributor to making a more energy efficient, cleaner transportation
future. But to me, the impact is so distant from any particular proposal on cap and trade. It took a couple of minutes to even understand, which aren’t talking on
this issue of energy. And let’s just wrap up this section with this. Yesterday the Obama Administration
announced it was lifting the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling>>the Gulf of
Mexico. Do you support this kind of
offshore oil drilling? Well that that has raised the issue of
whether or not we supported here in
Delaware because that move by Obama
would allow that. No, I don’t want to say oil rigs off the
State of Delaware. However, it should be up to the states to decide. And if Governor Mark Cal in our state legislature’s in Dover were to pass
legislation for that, then the I shouldn’t
as a congressman Over step a, states
rights Virginia wants it. And not only that, we
have got to begin to wean ourselves off
of foreign oil. We are dependent on, on potentially
hostile countries like Russia and Venezuela. While our own homeland is rich with natural
resources, whether it’s oil
or natural gas. And there are
states that do want to begin exploration. Alaska, Virginia. We as a government need to support those states
who do want it. You agree or disagree? Am I opposed the President’s
proposal to open the Outer Continental
Shelf off of Delaware to oil drilling when it was first
made months ago. I frankly think that Delaware world-class
beaches shouldn’t be at risk of being
spoiled by oil spills.>>We depend on tourism,
on our fisheries. There’s lots of
reasons, I think why it just doesn’t make sense for most of the Atlantic Coast. I do think there
are natural energy resources
in this country. We can and should
beginning, begin to explore
it more fully. But I’d also prioritize investments in alternative energy
technologies. The University of
Delaware has long been a world leader in solar
power, for example, and has a key role to play in making wind power, real offshore wind
power, solar power. These are the sorts
of areas where I’d prefer to see
federal investment and new innovative
opportunities that could create good jobs for
the long-term. That’s made time
to throw in one more issue here. When we go to
closing statements, we are kind of
drilling down on time.>>This is an issue that I think that can really illustrate the differences perhaps between
the two of you. And that is what
specifically would you and could you
do to actually help? And any of the
bitter part IS bipartisan non partisanship
in Washington. So what would you
be able to do as an individual once you
arrive in Washington? While I’ve had to
fight my party to be here on this stage
to win the nomination. And to some extent I’m still fighting my party. So my when I go
to Washington, my allegiance will be to the voters of Delaware, not any special interests. My whole campaign has been about returning the
political process back to the people
of Delaware. And to me that’s
a great thing. So what I would
do is I would stand strong ON legislation that benefits the
interest of our citizens, not the special interests
in Washington DC. And I would stand
there not just vote against a piece
of legislation, but make the floor speeches that would try to convince my colleagues on both
sides of the aisle who’ve lost their
way and given in to, to partisanship so much
that it has caused several stalemates
as to why this is in the
best interests of their constituents. And I would stand firm regardless of what kind
of pressure was ami from either party
to stand firm and doing what is right for the people of Delaware, not the interests
in Washington.>>I frankly don’t
think my opponent can or has pointed to one single example
where she supports the current
administration or an initiative of the
democratic party. I has a real
practical record of having reach
bipartisan solutions here and county government, of working with the elected Republicans who’ve
served with me on County Council and on council while I’ve
been County Executive, I’ve got a real
hands-on record here in the private
sector and in my service in partnership with the private sector of reaching out to folks from different
political backgrounds, from different
experiences and from different
worldviews to work with them to
find solutions. I think that’s the kind of record the della orderings
we’ll look at in judging whether or not I’ve got the capacity to address some of
this endless parts on this specific issue. And this O’Donnel
raised it earlier. I’ll give you a chance to clarify, to explain. She says that Harry Reid, the Senate Majority
Leader, has called you his pen. I don’t know why Harry Reid said that. I’m
nobody’s PET. I’m going to be a
bulldog FOR delaware. I’m running to represent all Delaware rings
of whatever party, not just the Democrats. And I’ve got a
significant amount of support from
independence, from Republicans,
from Democrats, from all three counties. I’ve got a record
of independence and fighting for the
public interest as county executive. And I would continue
that in Washington. And just to clarify another point from earlier, just to make sure
we tie this up. Earlier you said you didn’t want to
have to talk about comments you made years ago about witchcraft and
stuff like that.>>This commercial
that’s so widely seen, you begin the commercial
with the words, I am not a witch. Put, what would you think to put it to
rest, to put it. But didn’t you
realize if you do that in a
commercially would just revive that everybody
would be talking about, well, we’re
moving past that. We’re talking
about the issues I’d like to address, what my opponent just
said about being a bulldog FOR delaware yet and a
fundraising letter. He promises to
support the read obama pelosi agenda
lockstep and barrel. That’s not
nonpartisan ship. And again, why are why is the Democratic
Party pulling out all the stops to
get him elected? Because they see him as a rubber stamp
for their agenda. There are many things
that I have publicly said that I support the Obama
administration on. I support Obama’s decision to send troops
to Afghanistan. I support Obama’s
decision for drones. I support Obama’s
decision to treat the American
whose recruiting terrorists on
American soil. He’s hiding in Yemen. I support the decision for our intelligence
agencies to do whatever it takes
to take him out. So there are things that I would proudly support when it is in the best interest
of Delaware Aryans. But I believe that a lot of the policies coming from this administration are not in the best interest
of Delaware. And and most of them are the failed
stimulus bills where we’ve been promised one thing and then
received another. But breaking promises
is something that my opponent is very
comfortable doing. But even local
party leaders have questioned
your candidacy, especially after
the primary. You criticized the man you beat in that
primary for being someone who went with what he felt was in
the best interest of Delaware and for
being someone who was borrowing republican
principles but going with the democrats. So how can you rationalize what I did and the
Republican Primary? And what I will
continue to do is bust up the backroom deals. We have a lot
of our leaders have an IM noxious
sense of entitlement about who should
get an office and who should represent
them on the balcony. What my camp pain did is I need to
interrupt just because we have to get to
the closing state and we will begin the
closing statements. Both of you will
have a chance to make your
final comments. We’ll begin with
ms. are done. Thank you. Once again, I’d like to thank
the host of this debate and
Nancy and Wolf. And I hope now that the Delaware voters better understand the clear choice we face in November, my opponent has a record of raising taxes
and a record of wasting wasteful
spending like so many career politicians. He says he will do
one thing and then only breaks His promises after he’s assumed office. My opponent will
rubber stamp the same failed
policies that have caused
unemployment and our national debt
to sky rocket. He’s in lock step with Barack Obama
and Harry Reid. And that’s why Harry Reid has called him his pet. Not a Democrat. But I know that what’s
happening in this country right now is not what
my democratic friends voted for when they voted
for change in 2008. What washington needs
now are new voices and new ideas that look to the people and not
to the government, to the solutions to
our economic problems. My opponent is addicted to a culture of spending
waste, fraud and abuse, whether it’s
spending tax dollars on men’s fashion
shows or to pay off his cronies with sweetheart pension deals and special interests. We already have
enough politicians in Washington like that. I want to go to
Washington and be the voice of the
people of Delaware, not any party or
special interest group. I want to go to Washington and represent the
people who put me on this stage tonight
and who are willing to work hard to get our
country back on track. Again, it’s not
going to be easy, but I do believe
that America is the greatest force of
good in the world. And I have never
questioned whether America is a beacon of
freedom and justice. We will get our financial
house in order. We will cut spending, we will reform our
government and we will defeat our enemies and see triumph over freedom again. So with that said, I hope that you
will support me and cast your vote for
O’Donnel for US Senate. God bless you and
God bless Delaware.>>I appreciate your attention to
tonight’s debate. Thank you for the
tough questions you’ve asked and for the open and good
conversation we’ve had over the
last 90 minutes, I think you’ve
heard there is a real and clear difference between my opponent and me, and our values,
our experience, and in our approach. Ms. O’Donnel has experience at running for office, but not really running anything at delivering
catchy slogans, but it not delivering
on any real solutions. And frankly, at sharpening the partisan divide,
not at bridging it. She’s focused too little on the issues that
really matter to Delaware Aryans
and too much on the issues that make
for good soundbites. I think with
Delaware needs, what Delaware deserves
is someone as their next United
States senator who has real hands-on
experience, experience
solving problems, fixing what’s
wrong here with our community and
in Washington and tackling the real problems that face us in America. I believe I offer
you real ideas based on that experience. I’m the only candidate on this stage tonight with experience working in and with the
private sector. Eight. And I’m grateful for my apologies for
interrupting, but thank you so much. Time is up. Well, Pulitzer, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you, Ryan milieu and for all of you
who are watching, thank you so
much for joining us for Delaware
first media. I’m Nancy care of genuine. Good night.
Delaware debates 2010 is a joint initiative of the University of Delaware Center
for Political>>and communication
and Delaware first media with support
from AARP Delaware, and the American Cancer Society Cancer
Action Network

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