tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN November 7, 2016 8:30am-9:01am EST
cable or satellite provider. >> now, u.s. house candidateses for minnesota's 2nd congressional district, republican jason lewis be democrat angie craig, debate tax policy, national security, gun control, health care and transportation infrastructure. this is 30 minutes. ♪ ♪ >> moderator: good evening, everyone, and thank you for joining us for this witness news vote 2016 special. i'm leah mcclain. tonight we are bringing you live, commercial-free debates in two of minnesota's hotly contested congressional races. later in the program you're going to hear from 3rd district candidates. first, though, we want to start in minnesota's 2nd district where political newcomers angie craig and jason lewis are vying for a rare open seat in congress. minnesota's 2nd district stretches from the south metro
into parts of southern minnesota. it includes egan, burnsville, lakewood and red wing. the economy includes a mix of agriculture, small business and big companies. republican john klein has represented the 2nd district since 2003. he announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election, leaving a highly coveted seat in congress up for grabs. .. >> thank you and thanks for doing this. thanks everybody for watching
and anti, good to see. you and i have had a great conversation the last couple of decades and we have a number of serious points discussed. that's what this election is about. for those of you that the list of my radio program are don't know me as well of me tell you about missile. i grew up in a small business family and way to make certain we make a balanced budget or the budget balanced and way to make certain we met matt the table and all things a small business in the second district had to do. we also understood the power of government because our family business was taken by eminent domain procedure. that means i defined -- had to fight a second quicker i found one in broadcasting and to work very well for me. i worry whether those opportunities will be there for other people, my daughters can everybody's kids. that's what this campaign is about. if you like things the way the art, high taxes, including health care, over regulation of borders that are open, there's a status quo candidate in this
race but it's not me. e.g. want change and i mean real change, a flattered more fairer tax code, over regulation gone, health care that is affordable and portable at a federal government that does its first job of securing who gets in the country and who doesn't, i'm your guy. that's what this is about, positions on issues. it's about changing congress one district at a time starting with the second and most important but securing the american thing for our kids, my daughters, your children, everybody your i'm jason lewis and i need t your ve on november 8 and we can change congress one district at a time. >> thank you so much. i grew up in a trailer park. i had a mom who raised three kids most all on her own while working 10 years to go to college and finally earn a college degree. my mom was a great example. i know how hard families will work on the half of their kids
to give them a better life in this country. and i want to run for congress. i'm ready because i believe that every family in this country deserves a fair shot. if you're willing to earn and work hard. i've been incredibly lucky. i made my way in business, and for the last 10 years i've served on the executive team at st. jude medical. for those 10 years i've also served our community. my wife and i live in eagan and we have four sons. i've made a priority to grow jobs in the economy. i said i would prioritize high quality public education and more affordable college. i will protect our seniors, i will strengthen medicare and i will make sure that we finally tackle the high cost of prescription drugs. finally, it will be a high priority for me to keep our nation safe. this race absolutely has to very different candidates. i will go to congress and work
on a bipartisan basis to find common ground. there are enough people in washington today who are yelling. we need more people who are willing to work together. i'm angie craig and i humbly ask for your vote on election day. >> thank you both for your opening statements. people told us about your -- about yourself just now. need to wonder just how public office before. you're both newcomers. no voting record to run on. ms. craig, how much a background shaped your policies, their positions and how you want to focus your camping? >> i have spent 22 years in the private sector growing a business, creating jobs and delivering results. i think we need more people from the private sector to step inside like to serve this country. that's going to for my policy priorities. growing economy is important to me. ensuring that we are creating
middle-class jobs up and down, making the r&d tax credit permanent, bringing back for an end, so we can invest it in the united states infrastructure, and transportation. making sure that we have the work skills in our local communities for the jobs which actually have. that's why didn't st. jude medical when i have responsibility for 16,000 employees and about 100 countries. i would take that experience to congress and help create these jobs across minnesota. >> mr. lewis, how would your background repair you for the? >> i spent four years and the private sector. first in the family business and then the government build a freeway for building. we had to go through contemplation and i had to find another career. that is the experience of most people in this economy. the key is making sure american dream, the opportunity by the second or third career is still available. i had those opportunities and i had a chance to make certain i
could realize the american dream. i'm grateful for that. i want to make certain everybody's children and everybody in the second district has that opportunity but you can do when health care costs are going up 50% last year, 56% issue. you can't do with a complicated tax code that taxes income a giveaway for different people and some people get out from under and so people don't. you can do with this onslaught of regulation and that's what this race is all about lily, the positions. >> taxes are a big issue. we hear a lot about pushes for making the wealthy pay their fair share, calls for reforming the tax code. mr. lewis, you called for flat tax. what do you think is the best tax policy to help the people in the second district speak with a tax policy where but he pays at lower rates instead of a few of us being very high rates and in the political connected getting out from under that. you have a situation where some of the biggest corporations in america, john the electric did
not pay any tax. unit hedge fund managers nothing or do income taxes on carried interest. a whole host of loopholes in the current code. unfortunately, the people like the special interests like this tax cut because they know for a small pass the business, subchapter s., llc, their rates can go as high 42, 43% and that doesn't include tough implement tax. if you have connections you can get out from underneath that. i would rather have a lower flat attacks are everybody has skin in the game. a rising tide lifting all boats when everybody has an equal playing field. >> ms. lummis, what would you think would be the best tax policy? >> i'm ms. craig. >> i'm sorry. >> that's all right. spew that would be interesting. a lot of fun at home. >> i do apologize. >> absolutely. i think the flat tax that jason talks about some economists have said it would cost an additional deficit to the country about
$3.6 trillion. i don't think it's reasonable and and i could lower taxes for the wealthy and we would lose the mortgage interest deduction, earned income tax credit, charitable doctrines. i do think those of us -- deductions. the american dream is been more fully fulfilled should be more. i would go to make sure that we don't raise taxes on the middle class. >> angie, the problem is you're a perfect example of what happens when you got connected people with the current tax situation would you love to get obamacare to come to minnesota in the lobby to get that, then you lobby to get your industry or company exhibit from the expert the rest the rest of us had to pick up the debt. that's the problem, it does very well for people who can hire lobbyists it doesn't do well for the rest of us. >> the flat tax would cut taxes for the upper income levels and for the middle class it would raise taxes because yo you would lose all your tax deductions.
i know speed personal eccentric up to $40,000, that would handle that quite easily. i don't know why anybody as opposed to a flat tax or everybody at the same rate. >> it's unreasonable and we couldn't pay our bills with a flat tax. if you're advocating for flat tax which are advocating for is reducing social security benefits, raising the retirement age. i will never ever cut social security benefits or raise the retirement age. i don't think that's what our seniors deserve speed let's get into medicare and social security. a lot of talk about how they could run dangerously short in the coming years, benefits may not be as available for people in the future as they have been. what is your plan and what is your plan, ms. craig, what is your plan to keep medicare and social security available for future generations? >> we will have to come back to what we did in 1983 when president reagan was in office and tip o'neill was in the house.
we need members of congress are willing to sit down and come up with a bipartisan set of solutions to make sure that we can sustain the social security trust fund beyond the 19 years. part of those ideas may include raising the cap. if you make $250,000 or more a year you may have to continue to pay into social security to make it more sustainable. what i will not do is cut benefits or raise the retirement age. my own parents are a great example of this. my dad sells cars. he pounds the pavement. he said 65. is almost the retirement. there are jobs in this country where we just can't expect people to keep working past age 65. i think we all our seniors the dignity and respect not to reduce them to poverty in retirement. >> first of all, the flat income tax has nothing to do with assault is assault as good on medicare. they're financed by payroll
taxes. that argument doesn't hold water. bubble, the reason i'm in favor of tax reform is because we've got to get this economy going faster than 1% in order to make certain more people are employed and more people are working paying into the payroll tax which would shore up the medicare and the sauce was pretty trust fund. in the last debate i had with edgy she refused to rule out cuts this also security and medicare. she did say she won a payroll tax hike which is going to depress the economy even further which is a lasting we need need to keep the trust fund solvent. >> that's not true, but i would just say i think jason is right on this one point. we've got to get the economy growing faster and i think a member of congress who is help grow a fortune 500 business, who understands small business and the regulation must be balanced, i think that's a good balance for a member of congress stood let's move on and talk about terrorism and national security. another issue we know is important to people. in minnesota we have concerns
about isis inspired attacks and a lone wolves. in st. cloud 10 people were stabbed at a mall and hurt. several minnesotans have left are trying to leave to join isis. my question to you mr. lewis first, what do you think it's to be done on the federal level to put a stop to attacks happening at home and abroad? >> this is personal for me. now. such as my wife initiative wake up on a sunday morning with a text from the daughter in that cloud saying i'm okay. that's what happened to us. it's a horrible thing. we've got to do something because minnesota is definite plan state for terrorist recruitment. we have a refugee crisis in minnesota. we can have these great discussions over geopolitics abroad. i don't believe in hillary clinton going into egypt everything that isn't going to libya and leaving a vacuum. as she wants to take us into syria. would have discussions and disagreements but the one thing we can do is make certain the federal government does its primary job and secures the border. we don't take endangers
refugees. director of national intelligence james clapper said, german intelligence said infuse with isis. yet this administration took in 10,000. to want to take another 110,000 next year. angie craig is totally onboard with us and i i don't think it's a good idea especially when from the wikileaks e-mails hillary clinton said and admitted these refugees are not compatible. the reason is because who do you talk to answer you? in order to that a refugee act have a counterpart that has id documents to do any idea over there so the idea that angie and, of course, who said she wanted open borders and a private conversations with support more refugees is a misguided idea when it comes to keeping minnesotans assayed. >> your response of? >> there is no such thing as an and vettable syrian refugee. biometric screening, over 18 months to two years or we simply don't let them in.
it is absolutely the first job of the american congress to make sure that the people of minnesota and of this country stay safe. this is the worst humanitarian crisis since world war ii. to think that 25 syrian refugees, that some and we've let in minnesota and 22006. the reason jason is talking about this in this way is because he has a really tough history on issues of national security. i don't believe closing our borders going to stop homegrown terror attacks. we have is a for foreign policy priority we need to degrade and defeat isis. where they are in syria and iraq. that's why i said i will support the airstrikes, the special operations because i think the way we stopped homegrown terror attacks is twofold. we stop the builder ices to
recruit, and secondly we support, and i said openly i'm going to work to make sure that i'm actively looking for additional funding for u.s. attorney andy lugar and his effort to counter violent extremism in the u.s. and in minnesota. >> a lot of issues of immigration so that something else want to touch on. does the u.s. need more border control? we also have immigration which has become a big issue. ms. craig, i think we'll start with you. what does the u.s. need? doesn't need stronger border control, a wall speak with this is an area where we strongly disagree. it's related to the refugee issue, but sequester cuts, automatic across the board funding cuts do not work. we've had the state department, without the pentagon, with that republican senator lindsey graham tell us that those sequester budget cuts will make the world a lesson safe place.
we need to make sure we are strongly as a priority funding our military efforts. if we're going to cut we need to figure where to cut somewhere else. >> i get a kick out of some who supporting hillary clinton talk about foreign policy. when she went into egypt and made a mess, they waited too late against the wishes of a number of people, paid a total mess, these vacuums for isis are now in over 30 states created by this administration in hillary clinton. a lot of people myself included thinks the cover-up of the libyan debacle, the genesis of or server problems which, of course, the fbi has opened an investigation. you are not going to secure the homeland without securing the border. a nation without borders is no nation at all. that ought to be priority number one. the idea that the 2011 budget control caps would jeopardize anything is almost laughable given the fact they got to 2.5% of the entire federal budget. this is not a matter of spending the liberals, the first thing is
was have to spend more. this is a matter of priority a double look at the border as a priority. states can handle the fiscal load from unlimited immigration. from a national study perspective we're seeing the ramifications right in minneso minnesota. >> let's move on to gun control. another issue that comes and goes as a key issue with several members fighting have vote. is shooting out of the mass shooting at her letter, of the mass shootings, we see resistance to add more sections on guns. mr. lewis, what is your stance on gun control versus gun rights? >> i believe in the second amendment and i believe in the hell are decision which said indeed having the right to protect yourself is inherent individual right. i'm afraid if hillary clinton the edges which gets elected the second amendment will be under siege. i don't support that the i believe in the inherent right of self-defense. i don't support federal registration of all firearms. i support the background checks. when you go to a federal
firearms dealer, major thing is right thing to do by your gun. that's fine but morgan controlled isn't going to work. there's a proposal this is the new but i do know fly zone should be able to buy a firearm. ted kennedy was on the no-fly zone five times. i suppose some conservatives are happy ted kennedy didn't have access but he wasn't a terrorist. so the point is you're not to be able to do that by merely having registration if you go to and use good to talk about, private gun sales and all of that, when you all to give you a 22 year to check in with the federal government. that is handgun registration and i'm opposed to that. >> look, i think we absolutely have to protect the second amendment. my sons hunt. i have 4% would the second amendment is appropriate for hunting and for protection. on the other hand, the idea that we can't have a background check for anyone who is purchasing a fire and doesn't make any sense to me.
it doesn't make any sense to me. if you're on on a no-fly list t doesn't mean you're suspect. it means will not get you on an airplane. if you take an airplane i don't think you should able to buy a gun. what i believe is we need to support keeping guns out of the hands of felons come out of the hands of the mentally ill, out of domestic abusers. there is a study that shows in states that require a background check, for private gun sales, there's a 38% reduction in partner related shootings. there's over 50% reduction in suicide with firearms. we can be for the second amendment and also support commonsense gun safety in this country. >> also numerous studies show that background check would not have prevented any of the mesh is that of kurt and america in the last 10 years. >> we will focus on health care. the affordable correct. there's debate over the prices going up. we've seen i insurance rates in
the individual market in minnesota up 67% for a lot of people. governor dayton says the affordable correct has become unaffordable it seems. we will start with ms. craig. what is your opinion on how it's working as it stands? do you think it needs to be changed, keep some parts? >> i've been saying for months that the individual market place in minnesota is in trouble. now we see it's absolutely in trouble. it has become a real crisis point. i hope that state lawmakers can get back to the capital very, very soon and make sure that our communities are not impacted, particularly these are self-employed people or impacted mostly in the individual marketplace. we've got to find a way overall to make health care more affordable. at the federal level i think there are many things we can do including really get after pharmaceutical drug prices in this country. it makes no sense to me that
pharma companies don't have to negotiate with the federal government when there are 44 million americans covered under medicare. i would move forward with a proposal. i would allow competition to be held in this country by allowing reimportation of drugs from canada. the safe and affordable drug act from canada i would support. we also have something happening in this nation brand name drug companies are paying off generic companies not to sell their generic drugs. there are many reforms that need to happen. i think my background of 22 years and the private sector and health care is good at the fact i want to fix what's wrong with it and not throw out the whole thing which is what jason proposes, i want to make sure we can keep our kids on her health plans to age 26. i want to make sure that women are nothing more than men, that preexisting conditions are not preventing us from getting health insurance.
this is, i grew up without health insurance number, so this is a very, very personal topic to me. >> mr. lewis, d do you repeal golfing or make changes speak with you repeal most of it and replace it with something better and that's the marketplace. if we allow it to flourish and conventions comes to operate across state lines so young people of choices to renew the mandate, reform the tax code, high-risk pools which were eliminated by the affordable correct, allow them for sole proprietors. under the affordable correct you can't deduct a out-of-pocket expenses until the 10% of your income. there's a couple teachers in the second digit making $40,000 apiece, they have to $8000 out of pocket expenses before they can deduct them. that is untenable. this is a disaster. bill clinton calls it the craziest thing in the world. yesterday the dfl chair in minneapolis said the democrats on this. nobody also more than my
opponent are no one did more to bring the affordable correct in minnesota and angie craig when she was doling out camping cache of politicians, 700,000 worth, to pass this bill that has been a total disaster she said she went to expanded the it didn't go far enough and now she's backpedaling and they don't labor. it is a clear difference between angie and myself. >> i worked for fortune 500 company. the compan company operated a pl action committee and also participated in industry organizations. just like every other fortune 500 company would do. i served on the board. i was the only democrat on the board and most of those dollars ever given or ask a given to republicans. i've taken this imposition and the klobuchar is but you could support health reform and at the same time think that a business tax as a bad tax on business would impacts the economy. i opposed the tax. it's ironic that republican is attacking a democrat now for opposing a business tax.
i posted because i thought it was going to slow minnesota's economy, cost minnesota jobs and did. i would oppose another tax that did that in the future. >> this gets right to the crux of the problem in washington. i opposed the medical devices taxes because i did that support obamacare. and you did. she and then she went to work same locking mechanism to repeal the tax on her company and her industry. we have debated but she didn't. i opposed to before you all posted. so that's the key. you people on inside the doing very well in this economy and the rest of us have to pay the tab. that's the problem. >> that is the biggest difference between us. it's all or nothing for jason. you can't be for something and working for something else. so i think that is the biggest difference. i'm willing to look for common ground and i'm willing to look for compromise and bipartisan and be pragmatic about these things. >> should we talk about
transportation? will get off the affordable to act for a bit. it's such a big issue especially after the 35 w. bridge collapse. we've seen the consequences of transportation infrastructure that is not tended to probably. how big of a priority is long-term transportation funding and what i just have to pay for some of the fixes? i believe mr. lewis goes first this time. >> the highway trust fund isn't about what even after the act was passed to its relatively installed over the long term. we have an 18-point forced gallon tax at the problem is much of that is being diverted. being diverted to non-hyper uses. a 17%, $6 billion in one year recently to go to things that are not going to bridge the i get a kick out of my democratic friends who always said we have to raise the gas taxes, build roads and bridges and then they get to washington and divert money to non-hyper uses like the southwest light-rail line which
i opposed, a 14.5-mile, $1.9 billion, over $100 per mile, promote. that is being devoured -- covered out of the highway trust fund. i would work to stop that right off the get go. >> what is your big priority? >> this is a huge part of my job in the economist i didn't i think we should our to let fortune 500 copies to sell the product outside the u.s. can repatriate the corporate in comeback as long as they invest it in building. i would love to look at that fund, additional taxes collected on the weight in as a counter infrastructure investment program. roads, bridges, highways, rogue broadband. that's what's needed more than anything. i will say on the two areas that jason just mentioned with respect to transit is again it shows jason is all or nothing when it comes to transit. i opposed the super trooper i would rather see that money
invested in highways, roads and bridges but the minnesota chamber of commerce, this st. paul chamber of commerce, the southwest one is important for economic growth in the region. when you're an ideologue you can accept that it can be something in between. >> an ideologue would say that gosh, it's a good idea to spend $2 billion over $100 million per mile when you can build another freeway lane mile for $11 billion per mile. that's commonsense spent on web are already corrected on that. >> it's not right. i'm glad you cannot find and support southwest light-rail because in a big business and big labor into government likes that sort of thing but the rest of us are paying the tab speed we only have achievements let's i want to and perhaps unpleasant note. talking about going to work in washington and trying to work together and get things done. ms. craig, which are plan b to achieve some bipartisan
cooperation and get things done in washington? >> i think there are number of different things would work on but the biggest thing is just being willing to form those relationships and look for those common ground areas. corporate taxes from is one area we could work on together. infrastructure and investment isn't and we can work on together. i believe if you're looking for common ground you can find it and i certainly would work with the minnesota delegation on a bipartisan basis. that's my commitment to voters. if they support a. >> quickly as will wrap up what is your commitment to? >> somebody talk about common ground has spent $4 million in the last few months of george soros, nancy pelosi, every left wing group you can imagine, misleading the voters with his negative attacks which into the observers have said were out of context and misleading including this television stations i don't think that's a good start and common ground and you. i have a broad swath of report and republican party. i've got incomes for you, governor tim pawlenty, cathy
mcmorris rodgers, the nfib and all the people that represent main street and that's i want to serve. >> i want to thank you both for being you. i'm sorry it flies by. will have to. will have to entity. angie craig, jason lewis, thank you both for coming in and having this conversation with us the city. up next were going to talk to minnesota's third congressional district candidates as well. we will take a look of some issues minnesota voters are saying matter most to them. >> election night on c-span2 watch the results and be part of a national conversation about the outcome. beyond location of family plan and overcome election night headquarters and watch a victory and concession speeches in peace in the house and governors races start about 8 p.m. eastern and throughout the following 24 hours. watch live on c-span and on demand at c-span.org or listen to our live coverage using the free c-span radio app. n