tv Campaign 2018 Florida 16th U.S. House Debate CSPAN November 1, 2018 11:22am-11:57am EDT
claudia tenney faces democrat anthony brandthisy. the candidates in florida at 16th district u.s. house race, congressman vern buchanan and democrat david shapiro debated each other in sarasota, florida. this comes courtesy of wwf be tv. c-span: >> moderator: this is one of the most highly watched contests in the country. donald trump won the district by 10 points, voters on the suncoast of not elected a democratic congress since 1983 but no one motivates democrats like donald j trump and the party, hoping this you will be the year to flip this district which include sarasota, manatee and southern hillsboro county. we would like to welcome congressman vern buchanan who was first elected in 2007 and democratic challenger david shapiro, well-known and accomplished attorney. welcome, gentlemen.
you both will get one minute for opening remarks. congressman, you get to go first. buchanan: given the opportunity to visit folks in the district. let me give a little background. i'm a blue collar kid who grew up in the detroit area, one of 6 kids, i was the oldest, to give some sense of a little background i remember my father and mother -- i remember asking my dad why the work afternoons? i make another time an hour. that is where i came from. i put myself through college and met my lovely bride in 1976, we got married and separated our 42nd anniversary. we have two big companies together, we started a couple stores. 750 stores across america, sold it, came to florida in 1990 and got into car dealerships and
have a lot of car dealerships over appear go of time. i say that because i lived the american dream and my goal is to make sure our children and grandchildren have the same opportunities i had. regardless what their dream might be i want to make sure i do everything i can to make sure they realize their full potential. >> moderator: mister schapiro. shapiro: thank you for the opportunity. for nearly 30 years i had the honor and privilege of representing people against powerful insurance companies and callous corporations. now i see those same companies are running washington as lobbyists, special interests, congressman buchanan is happily supporting them. 12 years in congress, he bought himself a $1.2 million tax break, working families and seniors are struggling. from his record it appears he doesn't really care about the healthcare of working families
or people with preexisting conditions. he doesn't care about seniors who are struggling, trying to get by on medicare and social security and he doesn't care about the environment, which as we now see exacerbates the red tide which is affecting our way of life and killing our economy. i do care. that is why i'm running for congress, because you can't change congress unless you change the leadership and the people you sent there. >> moderator: we have to take a quick break but when we come back what might be the most important vote one of these two men will have to make. look back to the 16th congressional district debate, republican vern buchanan a democrat david shapiro. we will discuss a lot of issues tonight. i would imagine a lot of issues you disagree with each other. arguably one of the most important votes one of you two men might make in a new congress should the democrats win control of congress is whether or not you would vote to impeach the president if special counsel mueller finds laws were broken.
let me put the question in this fashion. the president won this congressional district by 10 points. would both of you promise not to vote for articles of impeachment should special counsel come up with what he believes are grounds for impeachment? buchanan: i will address that but i want to go back to his opening statement. he should be ashamed of himself attacking me. i am not up here to further my bed. i'm up there to make a difference. he is a personal injury lawyer that sues seniors and everybody else in his community. a lot of my business friends. he made millions of dollars doing it. i want to make it very clear, he wants to go down this road that is why he is losing, running a negative campaign and it is a shame because we should be talking about issues tonight. >> moderator: would you promise you would not vote to impeach the president should articles of impeachment be levied if the
democrats win control? buchanan: i want to let it play out and see where it goes in terms of the investigation. there needs to be a full investigation, these things go on way too long but i will approach that when the time comes. i can't imagine it will go to the point of impeachment. democrats made it very clear they are going to impeach day one. that is their agenda. they have been wanting to impeach him, if they could have they would have impeached him last year or so so we will see what my opponent says. >> moderator: would you promise not to vote for articles of impeachment? shapiro: i agree with congressman buchanan. nothing can be decided until the mueller investigation is completed. there is no reason to get ahead of ourselves. it is all speculation. there is a lot of political posturing. from my point of view we should finish the investigation, see what it turns up and make a decision based on that information.
that is how i see it. it is not a political event. it should some plea be an investigation. if nothing else to determine whether the russians were involved in our election, to what extent and how can we stop it happening again? let him finish. without impediment. >> moderator: mister schapiro, in public in terms of the mueller investigation the event that led to the firing of the fbi director, do you believe if the special counsel found the president committed obstruction of justice he should be impeached? buchanan: can't make that call. if crimes and misdemeanors, it depends if the national security the united states is in jeopardy. there are so many different things we don't know just yet. how can anyone make that decision without the conclusion of the investigation? it is all situation. >> moderator: congress in, same opportunity. shapiro: there is so much politicalization. i cochair the florida delegation.
i worked with democrat elsie hastings of the two of us worked together, we trying to find areas we get agreement on. i got rated one of the most effective, one of the most bipartisan members of congress, university of virginia and other credible institutions. we have to find a way to work together. >> moderator: another issue on the minds of many people who live here on the suncoast and everywhere is the economy. the stock market continues to soar except for today. corporate profits are also soaring thanks to last year's tax cut, grossed a mystic product is 4%, unemployment is at 49 year low, the new york times recently reported hourly earnings have moved forward and crawl with higher prices giving workers less buying power than a year ago, a lot of middle class residents of the suncoast continue to struggle to make ends meet, many don't earn what they used to before the 2008 economic collapse. what specific ideas do you have to change that? buchanan: i don't think the new york times is right. these are people who are
journalists. i have been in business 40 years. 1200 employees, $1 billion enterprise, i can tell a merchant in town, main street, having lunch yesterday. my point is if unemployment, they can't find workers, we will pay more, talk to anybody in the real world in terms of running a small business and their having to pay more. with this heat and the economy going on like it is, you try to attract and get the best of people are better people you have to pay a lot more to do it and that is it itself. we are one of the best economies we have seen in 40 or 50 years, we have had good ones. never thought we would get to three. i think trump rescued some credit as to what the growth has been. i chaired the tax policy committee, i still do, i think tax reform a huge difference, that and the regulation is why we are exploding and getting everybody back to work.
shapiro: i see a different happening. as an attorney who represents working families they are struggling. they are struggling. a lot don't have stock portfolios. they have to have two jobs, still can't afford health insurance, can't afford daycare, they are having problems putting food on the table. they are underpaid and it is a real problem. that is the issue with the tax law we just discussed a moment ago. it was beneficial to the people who didn't need it but the working families are not seeing sufficient tax benefits or the brakes which will enable them to live a life. there are people who have to live miles from where they work because they can't afford the housing in a different area. it is a different kind of economy. we were starting to get on the great path when president obama was in office, still a continuation but there is so much more work that has to be
done. maybe mister buchanan goes to have his breakfast and whatnot. i see a lot of different problems associated with this economy. >> moderator: you can respond to that. buchanan: we cut families of four in this area $2400. it makes a difference. who recruited him, said it is crumbs, it is not crumbs to these working families. i think as the economy grows talk to anybody, talk to anybody in business trying to attract and get good people, businesses in town, i talk a lot about it, he is having to pay more, people are making more because of the economy in general. this is one of the best economies we had in a long time. unfortunately law offices of recognize it but the average business guy out there, small business guy does make a big difference. shapiro: i have clients in my
office, i represent working people and i know they are struggling. wages are not going up. you just mentioned it. the buying power is even less right now. this is not the booming economy for everyone. >> moderator: with take a great break, joining us is republican at the 15 a democrat david shapiro. the next question goes to you. half of the people who are watching us right now are covered by health insurance through their employers, not the affordable care act. according to the state health access data assistance center the cost to employees are up across the board, co-pays of 2.4%, premiums up 5.5%, deductibles up 10.7%. for many families this white on anything they gain from the tax cut last year. with all the talk about the affordable care act, what would you do to fix employer-based insurance so middle income families can keep up? shapiro: the affordable care
act has indeed provided coverage to millions of americans that otherwise couldn't have received it and now we are starting to see the benefits. when it was first past with opposition there was a lot of talk, congressman buchanan did not vote for it. now we see the benefits. what we have to do is work on that particular program, get more people involved so we can drive the cost down. it is that simple. you get more participation, get young people to sign up, that will drive costs down across the board. that will fix it. >> moderator: i asking about employer-based insurance which is becoming unaffordable to more and middle income families. shapiro: is going to be an option to get on the aca. if you can get it competitive you can drive costs down. >> moderator: same question to you, not talking the affordable care act but employer-based insurance which the premiums and deductibles are going up almost every year and is
covering less. buchanan: it is a huge problem. we have to work together. it is bankrupting the middle class, you talk about not having any money, you make a little more money, a lot of this cost got pushed to them. my first 20 years in business my wife and i paid for everybody's healthcare, the last 20 years i'm sure david's law firm, more and more gets pushed to the employee. the typical thing in our town now is employer might pay $700 a month for $10,000 a year and a family of four picking up to 100 and they have a $7000 deductible. it is a huge challenge and the problem. i would also say my biggest concern that i mentioned before, looking to go down the road with the concept of government run healthcare which would be $33 trillion. we don't even take that in in ten years. that puts medicare, social security and our veterans, their benefits, all they are that risk.
if that is the case, that is the case, 120 members of the democratic side signed up for it. >> moderator: a lot of suncoast residents depend on social security and medicare. do you both promise that no matter what, these programs, you will not vote to cut these programs or raise the retirement age? buchanan: i'm on the committee ways and means, basically we oversee healthcare, medicare taxes, trade, social security, i am a senior on that committee, i'm going to do everything i can not just for this district that seniors across america. i'm in a good position to have a big impact on that and what i'm concerned about, if you go to government run healthcare everybody is insured 65 and under, you put all the seniors at risk in this district and across the country. put medicare at risk, social security at risk and veterans,
their benefits they earned all at risk and you will double the taxes for everybody to pay for it. it is a huge issue. 120 members on his side of the aisle are going to afford this government run healthcare. the idea medicare for all, medicare for none. shapiro: that has never been my position in terms of medicare for all. my position has been and always will be at this point we have the affordable care act and if we can make it work, improve it, increase the people participating, bring in the young and healthy will drive down the cost and also help the employer-based systems because they will have other options, achieved with better options. i don't know what congressman buchanan is talking about in terms of medicare for all. to answer your question, i would tell you i will not do anything that will cut medicare and or social security. on the other hand congressman buchanan agreed with paul ryan's budget that wanted to
privatize medicare which would have been problematic, privatize social security and use vouchers for medicare which according to the aarp and other nonpartisan groups would have driven up the cost to the seniors. by five times. i would not be for that. buchanan: i think david has never been up there so doesn't understand. he is going to work for and be bought by nancy pelosi. she is being pushed by the progressives. they have 120 signed up for government healthcare. that is where it is going on their side. for him to think something different is crazy. let me tell you i looked at local numbers when he's talking about the aca or obamacare. the bottom line is the average person in our area, $30,000 a year to get the silver plan. to get some subsidy less than that, that is what it is, $30,000 your, they are running, nobody can afford that working-class family.
>> moderator: another quick break, just getting warmed up, 16 congressional district debate between cognitive and vern buchanan a democrat david shapiro will continue in a moment. when we come back, time to make a huge change. welcome back to the 16 congressional district debate, joining us is republican vern buchanan a democrat david shapiro. congressman, you get the next question. in 2015 you called the national debt a ticking time bomb on fox news, a balanced budget amendment is the first measure you wrote that you introduced in congress and when you wrote it is the best solution, we must force washington the balance its books and return fiscal sanity, you said you helped write the tax law which increase the budget deficit by 17% over the last year 7 $79 billion. why was a balanced budget amendment a good idea in 2015? buchanan: i was on the budget
committee, we need a balanced budget amendment, didn't quite get there. the last administration, harry reid in 2007 and barack obama in 2008 and they ran up $10 trillion in debt, more debt than george washington to george bush if you look at the map. we have record amount of revenue even with tax cuts, record revenue, we have a spending problem and that has to get dealt with. we get more revenue than we ever had, that is why i want 49 of 50 governors that you don't spend more than you take it like families and small business. we need a constitutional balanced budget amendment like they have. shapiro: i asked the same question because i'm aware of
mister buchanan's record, he wanted a balanced budget. the same problem i have with recent tax law. it increased, put another whole intro to -- $2 trillion. i don't understand why in 2015 it was required to balance the budget and now when there is this tax cut particularly for the wealthy it is okay to have and then i don't see anyone i met that had any benefit whatsoever from that tax law. who is going to be able to pay those revenues? how will we get that money back? when talking about not spending more you put medicare and social security at risk, the things you absolutely need like research for opioid crisis and infrastructure. this is what the problem was with the tax law. it was giving breaks to people who didn't need it and now we need the revenue and we have a giant deficit, who is going to have to pay it?
buchanan: he brought up nobody benefits. i don't know who his friends are. everybody benefits, 90% of americans benefit, 90% get a $2400 deduction, small business gets 2500, they get full expensing. if instead of writing it off over five years you write it off now it saves you some money and helped grow the economy and we are going to 3%, 4% growth because we are supercharging small businesses, creating more jobs and that is why unemployment is difficult right now. people i getting bigger paychecks. shapiro: the debt under the obama administration, when it was necessary -- it was absolutely the great recession caused by the bush administration so something had to be done. to avoid a great depression. i don't think it is fair to
compare that deficit at that time and clearly we didn't need to add $2 trillion to the deficit. buchanan: he blames the bush administration, they were there for 10 years, $10 trillion in debt, you got to take response ability. put a person in business, i can't say 10 years later blame it on the last guy. they were not pro-business and as a result we never got more than 1.5% growth and that is why the country is struggling or has been struggling as a result when they were there. >> moderator: let me ask another question of people's minds about healthcare and their budget and the price of things that are going after 7 years of relatively cheap gas. gas prices have shot up. according to aaa global supply and demand concerns continue to weigh on oil prices which are dragging gas prices higher. as a result opec output remains low and us sanctions are expected to limit exports from iranian crude. you know we left the iran
nuclear agreement which slowed up iranian oil imports. was a mistake to leave that agreement? yes or no? what would you do to lower the price of gas? shapiro: two part question obviously. in terms of whether we should have left the iranian agreement i wasn't in favor of it for different reasons when it was first entered into by the obama administration. it was a matter of security for israel. once we got into the agreement, until such time as iran broke the deal we had an obligation globally to stay in the deal and if there was a problem with it, try to repair it as opposed to abandon it. in terms of the cost of gasoline and the issues you are talking about in terms of losing oil from iran, now is a good time to start transitioning to solar energy. maybe this is exactly the reason why are so many years people said let's try to transition away from fossil fuels and start using solar and
wind because we are going to have these issues constantly. that would be my response to that. >> moderator: same question to you. buchanan: when i started running for congress the whole thing was get off foreign oil. david and i agree on this. we have a lot more capability, alarm or production capability but i think you need all of the above. solar is making a difference. wind is making a difference, not a big difference, i would like to get that technology, but we need to look at all the sources but we are producing more. it is about supply and demand, the world, so we become more energy independent but at the same time i agree with david on this, you need to do all of the above every opportunity. in the car industry they are moving towards more electric cars. he was the radical change in the next 5 to 10 years. >> moderator: we need to take a quick break the one more round of questions when we come back, the dire issue facing all of
us, welcome back to the 16th congressional district debate, joining us is republican vern buchanan and democratic david shapiro. i do want to talk about gun deaths in the united states particularly parkland to orlando, las vegas to the church in texas, mass shootings with large capacity magazines above the bloodied trail of death and heartache. no other country has this kind of problem to the degree that we do. a question a lot of people especially in florida are asking. should assault style weapons and large capacity magazines be banned? buchanan: i'm for the second amendment as you know but the big thing, we have to find a way, i met with the children of parkland. i haven't said this much but i had a teenager put my head and didn't think i was going to see the next day. i had the sensitivity about what they are going through but one of the fathers who lost his
daughter in that and he has a plan geared around school safety but we need to do more on mental health, 100% background checks, bump stocks, but we need to do it together, the next congress, one of the things on the red flag they put in place, there's a lot of different things that they need to do, most importantly keep our children safe. i'm not for teachers carrying guns but we do need to have security in some of these schools and they are doing that. shapiro: my position is clear on this. i believe certainly it is not a binary choice.
endorsements early on, gabby giffords, there's no reason to have an assault weapon, certainly a background check is imperative. the history of domestic violence, we should close the loopholes, they go to passing the laws and make sure they can be circumvented and we need more money in schools not necessarily to arm the teachers, the one in parkland, i talked to an expert, there was a flashing light that was picked up. to make sure people are aware of what was happening with isolation of the kids but absolutely we need to do something about gun violence immediately. >> moderator: we have been reporting on that caravan of several thousand men, women and children, migrants from central america heading to the us border as we speak, donald
trump says this is a national emergency, sending us troops to protect the border. is it a national emergency and should us military going to protect the border? buchanan: we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. we need strong border security. what i see happening with donald trump right now he is getting everyone scared, dividing the nation. these are people who are trying to get away from horrific circumstances not unlike some of our grandparents and our parents. i don't know that we have to call the military and start making claims that these are terrorists and murderers and rapists when they are just people trying to get to the border, to america. is the military required? i don't think so. do we need more border security? people who go to the process of vetting to make sure that people don't get into the country? i would certainly agree with that.
this language is divisive and fear mongering. we have to keep our values. i understand that we have to have strong border security. but yet we have to be humane. >> moderator: is this a national security should us military troops go to the border? buchanan: if we need to. we are completely different on this. you can't just let anybody come in, you will have millions, tens of millions from central and south america, they are for open borders. ice is a big problem. my grandparents came from finland but they came legally. we process over 1 million people a year. we are a land of immigrants but you can't just let anybody come into the country. david is open to that. you have 7000 in the caravan, could be up to 10,000. what keeps the next 10,000 from going there? rid of ice, that is the mindset
on his side of the aisle and it is very very unfortunate and i think we have to send a tough message and i will. shapiro: that is not my position. buchanan: what, let them coming? shapiro: you have to go down and meet -- you have ice and customs -- buchanan: what would you do -- shapiro: do you shoot them? it is a problem. is this the way to go? to make people afraid and calling terrorists and murderers? or do you want to just that them and make sure the right people come in? i'm not for open borders. >> moderator: let's try to get one more topic. all of us on the suncoast have been dealing with red tide and green algae from lake okeechobee. you have gotten a lot of money for marine labs to find answers to it.
ron desantis running for governor has declined all money from big sugar during his gubernatorial campaign. it is a report you took $100,000 from them. is it appropriate to return the money? does big sugar have big responsibility for what they dump into our water supply? buchanan: support the campaign -- don't know how much they have given us lately. you have to raise $8 million -- the bottom line for me take a look at my record. i just got $8 million for red tide, cosponsored another bill for $15 million, we just got that and talking $100 million we are looking at. he has become election day environment a list. what did he ever do before he got involved? the ten years before i ran for congress, i worked in terms of a trustee. i was vice-chairman and worked
closely with the ceo and he made it clear that i am a leader on these issues. shapiro: i disagree with everything congressman buchanan said. i have been an environmentalist all my life. i never denied climate change, i believe in science, i believe the earth is in peril. in terms of the money given, brought down, that is about research but right now we need to do something. we know what is causing it. it is big sugar. let's start with stopping what is causing it. how to mitigate the problem. >> moderator: when we come back the candidates will make closing remarks. welcome back it is already time for closing statements. mister schapiro come you go first to close. shapiro: thank you for this opportunity. congress is broken. the politicians in washington are so busy arguing with themselves and not getting anything done.
quite honestly congressman buchanan is part of that problem. you cannot believe his comments when he talks about independent and bipartisan because the record shows he has voted 98% of the time with the republican party, 96% of the time with donald trump. he toes the party line. even when it means hurting people here at home. people need someone who can go to congress, work on both sides of the island get it done. the record shows congressman buchanan has not fought for healthcare, working families, he hasn't fought for the protection of medicare and social security and hasn't fought for the environment. he has a 9% rating with the league of conservation voters. we need some one who will reach across the aisle, work hard, fight for the families and the community. if you elect me as your congressman i promise i will go to washington and fight with
you, work with anyone who will see that we can get this done. buchanan: thanks for the opportunity to be with you. i appreciate the opportunity to work with you over the years and look forward to moving forward. let me tell you that is why my opponent is losing this race. he has run a dark campaign, not on the issues, he attacked me, $3 million with his dark friends from -- really a tragedy. the bottom line is i a very good position, a senior member of ways and means, social security, medicare, i can way and in a big way. i cochair the third-largest delegation in the country. with a combination i will deliver on things that are important to you. tomorrow i will pass the 16th bill that will turn into a law that helps us with red tide, helps us with veterans. also in terms of helping in manatee county, 50,000, $50
million project. i'm working for you. i'm humbled to be a congressman but i'm a representative and will do the best i can to serve you. >> moderator: thank you very much, congressman vern buchanan, democrat david shapiro, thank you for joining us. >> the midterm elections, determining control of congress. election day is tuesday, see the competition for yourself on c-span. watch the debates from key house and senate races. make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. >>, got up at noon eastern heritage foundation will hold a debate on the role of the judicial branch in a democratic system. live coverage begins at 12:00 noon eastern on c-span2. with 5 days until the midterm elections, we have more live debate coverage to tell you about, west virginia democratic