tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 13, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
$383 trillion worth of financial transactions by wall street every year. not one penny of it is taxed. that needs to change. i want to see a minimum wage increased to a living wage i want to see money in the hands of working people and increased consumer spend ling. i want a balanced budget and social security saved. both of those things happen by restoring the tax cuts, the revenue taken from the federal government by these tax cuts by those people who only care about the interests of the rich . and last, i would cut off aid to israel. they don't need it. i would seek better relations with china and russia. >> mr. pryor? >> i want to thank you for asking that question on president obama.
as you all noticed, when you ask questions about negative ads congressman cotton talks about obama. ask a question about the cotton bill? he talks about obama. you see a pattern? clearly he is running against one man but i am running for 3 million arkansans. that is what this race is all about and the difference in this race. i'm on your side. when i looked at you and i come home and travel the state and hear what is on your mind, that's when i go to work. congressman cotton loves to throw out these phony stirks about how much i have agreed with president obama. you all know me. you know i don't agree with president obama on a whole variety of things. just take the keystone pipeline. take the dpa regs on carbon. take the cuts to social security. i disagreed with him last year on gun control, so much so that when i voted no on his legislation, mayor bloomberg of
new york city ran ads in arkansas criticize major league for standing up for your second mendment rights. i disagree with obama plenty and yes i've been disappointed in him. i am not going to sugar coat it. my philosophy is this. if you look at the rankings of the people in the senate and how we vote not the tv ads and all the rhetoric and spin, every year i've been in the senate, every year, they have ranked me as the most or one of the most independent senators in washington. that's because i listen to you. you know, when president bush was in office, there were times i agreed with him. there were times i took heat from my party for agreeing with president bush. arkansas comes first and that's what i mean. >> rebuttal? >> thank you. it is pretty simple what i'd like to do with my first six-year term as your u.s. senator. i'd like to take arkansas's senate seat that is up for election this year and give it back to you, the voters, and
the citizens of arkansas. right now, a hundred out of a hundred seats in the senate are controlled by interest groups of an array of areas and backgrounds. one thing that associates them all is big money, big donations, big campaigns, big influence in washington, d.c.. you are going to influence my decisions in washington. what is best for you? what is best for americans and america? that will be what guides my decisions. one big issue i'd like to focus on is term limits. for all members of the united states congress. that would help end this perpetual cycle of fund raising, doling out benefits to big donors, fund raising again. i think we have to make big structural changes in washington and with your support i will work to make it happen. >> next question from mr. hedlund goes first for mr. cotton. >> congressman cotton, for those who have served in
washington, you and senator yor, which key pieces of legislation have you helped with that you are most proud of if you can name one and also name one that you perhaps would like to take back? and for those of you who haven't served, maybe what is your key priority if elected? >> well, i haven't been in washington very long, less than a year. but i've been there long enough to know as calvin cool inge said that it's just as important to stop bad laws as it is to pass good laws. frankly we've been stymied a lot over the last two years in trying to pass good laws, trying to reform obama care, by preventing you from having to pay a tax if you can't afford a plan from obama care that you don't like. trying to stop businesses from having to pay a tax because they don't provide obama care compliant employees. trying to stop obama care from turning our country into a part-time economy. unfortunately, we have been stymied in that effort because mark pryor and barack obama
have let almost 400 bills from the house of representatives pile up on the desks of the senate. they won't even take an up or down vote on it. look what's happening. 4,000 seniors just got cancellation notices of their medicare advantage plan here in arkansas just a few days ago. look at what happened at walmart just last week. they announced 30,000 part-time workers are going to lose health insurance because of obama care because of the cost it imposes on all workers at walmart, following other companies like target or home depot. look what's happening to companies like u.p.s. i've met many u.p.s. employees all around the state of arkansas who are losing coverage for their spouses because u.p.s. had to cut spousal coverage for certain employees because of the cost obama care is imposing. this is very frustrating to me. it is very frustrating to arkansans because they know that washington is causing them this kind of pain, this kind of stress and dislocation. yet we can't move forward because the senate is in the hands of liberal democrats like mark pryor, who are always
going to protect barack obama's legacy and enforce his policies. that's why a vote for mark pryor is a vote for barack obama. >> well, one of the very important things i would put at the top of my agenda, something we haven't heard from tonight, and that is a law passed dictating equal pay for equal work for working women of america. i also will support strongly passage of the equal rights amendment, long overdue. i studied and found there have been 135 pieces of legislation passed by state legislators in recent years, mostly dominated by republicans that provide negative restrictions on women's rights to choose their own -- make their own decisions about reproductive issues. this qualifies rightly as a war against women. and i think it needs to be stopped. women have never been treated
equally in this country and its history so far to this day. and it's long pastime that we remedy that and an equal pay for equal work job bill would be on the top of my agenda. additionally, something i've already mentioned once and will mention again because it is very important, i think we need a tax on wall street. i think we need to restore revenue to the government. the goff has been starved of revenue con -- the government has been starved of revenue contributing to national debt. i want to see a tax on wall street and i want to see restoration of these revenues that have been removed from the government over the past 10, 15, 20 years by republicans whose agenda is only to make life easier for the wealthiest people in the country, which, by the way, 1% of our country now owns 90% of all the wealth. this is a serious problem. i would work to reverse that to whatever extent possible. >> mr. pryor?
>> yes, thank you. i would say that my probably largest -- hard to single this out -- but my hardest single legislative accomplishment was the passage of the consumer product safety improvement act that kept lead out of toys and made toys safe. there is no doubt that that act has saved lives. it's worblingd. we worked with business. we worked with consumer groups. we also worked it through the process by the book exactly like you learn in eighth grade civics where we had conferences. we had full amendments on the floor and in the commitees and it worked just perfectly. it's a good example of how bipartisanship works and how we should do things. in addition to that, i passed about 70 pieces of legislation, almost all of it bipartisan. that's the way i work. in fact, 13 of those bills were for men and women in uniform and our veterans and i'm proud of that. but also, i'm proud of the nonlegislative accomplishments i've had where i picked up the phone and called the ceo and
asked him to do a plant expansion or bring their business to arkansas and they've done that. i'm proud to do that. you know what, ladies and gentlemen? you just heard congressman cotton basically admit that he hasn't passed anything since he's been in the house. even though he was there for one month, and he ran a poll on the senate race, did he know where the bathrooms were but nonetheless now he thinks he is entitled to be in the senate. his approach is my way or the highway that's dead end politics that leads to fiscal cliffs and shutting down the government. let me say this. leadership in washington involves walking across the aisle. congressman, you don't have the reputation, ability, or the desire to walk across the aisle to get things done in washington. >> mr. la france? >> i can tell you i feel no entitlement to this united states senate seat. but you are entitled to this senate seat. you the voters, you the people of arkansas, this is your seat
and i want to help you take it back. my key item, my key project will be to get washington out of our lives as much as possible. when this country was founded, they did not want a society where every decision you make, every turn you take you have to think about what the federal government is restricting, what regulations are here, what regulations are there. this is not a free society where we can own our own lives and our own future. freedom is hard. it's hard work. it takes sacrifice. politicians in washington today, they try to make everything better for everybody, taking money from one person, giving it to the other. wealth transfers, provide favors, you know, it's got to stop. we as individuals, as families and communities, are the owners of our own destiny. if i go to washington for you, i'm going to make sure that you
have the opportunity to own your future. a couple of key other items real quick, term limits as i mentioned, that goes along with my desire to get the influence of money in washington as limited as possible. term limits will be a big help as the days of the career politician are long gone, and i think a significant reduction in federal spending will go a long way. right now we're spending $3 trillion. you know there are people that are trying to get influence and get access to that money. people rob convenience stores for a hundred dollars. what are people doing for $3 trillion? i'm going to remove this influence as much as possible and bring a senate seat back to you. thank you. >> rebuttal, mr. cotton? >> senator pryor, i'd like to talk about leadership in washington. i learned leadership in the streets of baghdad and the mountains of afghanistan. you can learn a little more there than in the halls of congress. leadership requires toughness, courage. senator pryor simply isn't tough enough to stand up to
barack obama and put arkansas first. he cast a decisive vote for obama care. if it wasn't for his vote, it wouldn't have become law. he can claim to make fixes now but why didn't he demand them then? he had the power to protect arkansas from all the harms of that law. senator pryor likes to talk about how he is led on epa -- he has led on epa regulations yet we passed legislation and he can't get a vote on it. he likes to talk about the keystone pipeline. we passed legislation to permit the pipeline. he can't get a vote on that. why is that? because he likes to talk one way in arkansas but votes like a liberal when he gets to washington, d.c. that's why a vote for mark pryor is a vote for barack obama. >> next question from mr. ompson and goes first to mr. swainy. recently as , as 2011 the president was willing to cut a deal. he was willing to raise the eligibility age on medicare.
he was willing to make changes to social security. to the frustration of much of his party's del quation in washington -- delegation in washington, but conservatives balked because it included tax increases. he insisted on that. in hindsight, was conservative inflexibility on this matter a mistake? >> yes. yes, it was. social security is one of the most successful programs of legislation that's ever been enacted in the united states of america. and it's not really in trouble. they want you to think that it is, but it's not. it needs a little bit of help. probably all we really need to do is to remove the cap on payroll taxes, people that make more than $117,000 a year are not paying into the social security system. i think that ought to be
removed. that may do the job by itself. but if not, what would be left would be a very small percent increase in the payroll tax, which according to the government's figures would solve the problem for the united states government for 75 years. $5 trillion of the national debt is because the federal government borrowed the money from the social security trust fund and the medicare trust fund. if we enact small taxes now, that would be very easy to do, we could eliminate over that time period $5 trillion of the national debt and put the social security system back on a good foot. and put the medicare system in a solid position. and so i do support tax increases to save the social security system, to replenish the social security trust fund and the medicare trust fund so that that excellent benefit is
available for all americans from now on. >> mr. pryor? >> thank you. i think your question was about a global deal to get everything on the table, medicare, social security taxes, entitlements, everything on the table to talk bout it. imi support getting to a balanced budget. it's hard. don't kid yourself, folks. this is hard but this is why we run for these offices. we run for these offices to get things done. this is something i've been pushing for for years and i haven't been successful yet but i haven't stopped trying. the difference in congressman cotton and i when it comes to these issues is i want to do it responsibly so for example in the last three years i voted to ut $4 trillion out of spending . in the last several years i --
we had the trillion dollar deficit. those are completely unsustainable. if there is good news this year when it comes to the budget it would be that we're now somewhere down in the range of $400 billion a year. so it is going in the right direction. it's still too much. here is the key to really getting our budget back ontrack. we need to work together in a bipartisan way to get this done , and everybody has to agree and hold hands and do it together like back in the old days when ted -- excuse me. tip o'neill and president reagan worked out social security, we need that same kind of leadership but we need to get the economy rolling again. if we can get the economy rolling again, a lot of the budget problems start to take care of themselves because the revenues come in. that's why i support the american made strong package of jobs legislation. we need to focus on the middle class. we need to focus on manufacturing jobs. one of the differences in congressman cotton and i if you look at his votes, he wants to build the economy from the billionaires down. i want to build it from the
middle class out. >> mr. la france? >> thank you. these entitlement issues don't have to be hard. it's not the 1930's or the 1940's anymore. we have an opportunity to scale these back, save these programs out, and return these tax dollars to the american people, have the money in their pockets and let them decide what to do with it. for social security, my plan is pretty straight forward. for retirees, people near retirement, they're going to see their full benefits. for mid career workers they're going to see partial benefits but also a phase out of their social security tax. for younger workers, they're not going to have social security benefits. however, the social security tax is going to be limb filletd for them over the next several years. in addition to what we pay, as working arkansans, our employers also have to pay 7.5 social security tax. these taxes, these regulations are what are restraining our economy today. it's not that america doesn't
have the potential to grow and grow strongly, it's that our businesses can't cope with the regulation, can't cope with the tax burden. i want to change that and i want to get our economy growing again. when it comes to programs like medicare and medicaid, as i mentioned earlier these are programs that the government needs to be taking money out of one person's pocket and giving it to another. we can have private, charitable organizations set up to assist those that are clearly in need, get the medical services that they need. same thing with the welfare program and the foodstamp program. government is inefficient. government is messy. government is often corrupted. they don't need to have control over this kind of money. it shouldn't be their decision where it goes. the american people are compassionate. we care for each other. we're capable of helping each other out in times of need. >> mr. cotton?
>> the last thing our economy needs is tax increases and mark pryor has voted for every one of barack obama's tax increases. when i think about taxes i think about campaigning down in arkansas and i was shaking hands as the shift was coming out. it was dark. i tried to shake everyone's hand as they came out. a woman said when i asked for her vote are you a republican or democrat? here we go. the county has been kind of democratic like most of the state for a long time. i said, well, ma'am, i'm a republican. she said, good. because i can't work enough hours to pay all the taxes that they're putting on me. she's right. working families in arkansas are suffering from higher taxes. day in and day out. we don't have a taxing problem in this country. in fact, last year the federal government had the highest tax collections that we've ever had in the history of our country. we still have deficits because we have a spending problem. mark pryor's solution is to keep increasing taxes. he's never voted against one of barack obama's tax ib ceases. in fact, he's voted to raise
taxes on wages, on savings, on health care plans, on medical devices. he even voted to raise taxes on indoor tanning salons. and then he says he wants to cut spending, that he's voted for $4 trillion in spending cuts? and that the deficits are unsustainable? i agree. but mark pryor has voted for every single penny of barack obama's trillion dollars a year in deficits on average every single year time and time again. that's bad for our economy. it's bad for the next generation of americans as well. it's not something that i'll stand for when i'm your next united states senator. we have to keep taxes low, simple, and fair. we have to control spending to get our budget back to balance. that's what i'll do. mark pryor won't because mark pryor will represent barack obama's policies. >> mr. swaney, rebuttal snveragets i began the subject of the question began with social security. i want to say that i'm a strong supporter of social security in its current form, that i believe that a small increase
in tax now is am pleasely justified to put social security and medicare on a strong footing for 75 years. i think that sometimes i wonder whether or not people think it's a good thing to have old people living under bridges, which is probably what would happen if we eliminated social security. so i'm a very strong proponent of retaining that program and i think we do need a slight tax increase. perhaps it wouldn't even have to happen if we removed the cap on payroll learning for the upper class earners. that might do the job all by itself. but if not, what was left will be very small and easy to accommodate. i know people that are worried about their social security. i'm one of them. i'm only five years away from my full benefits. i want it. >> with that, we want to thank our panel of journalists for their questions and time now in our broadcast for closing statements. again, as was the selection
prior to the broadcast, mr. lafrance goes first. two minutes, sir. >> thank you very much. i am running for the united states senate for one simple reason, because i have six daughters of my own, and i do not want them to inherit a country with less freedom and less opportunity than the country that we have been blessed with. we're messing it up right now in washington. our economy is stagnant. ur taxes are too high. federal control over daily matters just continues to grow and grow. our tax is too high at the state and local level as well. whenever spending goes up too much, they just raise taxes again. enough is enough. i will not vote for tax increase of any kind. in fact, i will fight for tax cuts for every american during y term in the u.s. senate. all i can say as a closing is
that this is your country. it is not mine, not tom cotton's, mark swaney's, or mark pryor's. it's your country. this senate seat is your seat. whoever you elect should be voting in your best interests not in their own. career politicians, their days need to be numbered. i want term limits and i want an end to career politicians. i want to reduce the amount of influence money has in washington and its corruptive -- corruptive influence on everything that's done there in town. i want to bring control of your life, of your finances, of your children's education back to you. the federal government doesn't need to be involved. the federal government can protect the country with a strong, defensive military and do some other functions, interstate commerce, interstate highways, things like that, that's fine. but they don't need to do
wealth transfers. they don't need to take your money and my money and give it to whoever they want, whatever groups they want. i'm going to bring real, structural change to washington. that's something that none of the other three gentlemen up here can say. thank you very much. >> thank you. mr. swaney, you're next. >> i want to talk now about something to the audience both out there in the world and today in the auditorium here. thank you for attending and being interested. i want to talk about voting. you know, we have a peculiar idea in america sometimes. sometimes people think you can vote against a candidate. this is really not true. the ballot doesn't have a category that says which candidate do i hate the most? you can only vote for a candidate and when you vote for a candidate you need to take some responsibility for that vote after you cast it. sometimes people will have you believe that you are responsible for candidates you didn't vote for. make you feel guilty. you didn't vote this way and so
this other guy got in the office. this is a false logic. if you don't vote for a candidate, you are not responsible for that candidate if that candidate gets elected but if you do vote for a candidate, you think he's a bad one but you vote for him anyway because you think another guy is worse and that bad candidate gets elected, you have some personal responsibility for everything that bad candidate does. in this election you're lucky if you're progressive because you have a progressive choice in this race. if you don't want to throw your vote away, doing the same things you've been doing for decades and seeing the country go more and more and more conservative, then i urge you to vote green. you won't be sorry about it. you won't have to feel guilty about it later. we have an excellent candidate for the green party for governor. his name is josh drake. i urge all of you to vote for him. we need to get 3% for josh so that the green party can guarantee that you'll have candidates to vote for in 2016.
i urge you to vote green. vote for your lives. thanks very much. >> mr. swaney, thank you. mr. pryor? >> thank you. steve, thank you for moderating this. i want to give a special thanks to aetm. you guys do great things. i want to thank the three candidates i'm up here tonight with, these fine candidates. i also want to thank university of central arkansas for hosting tonight and the journalists but most of all i want to thank you, the people of the state of arkansas. before i go on with my closing statement, i have to go back for just a minute because congressman cotton just told a whopper. when he said that i have voted for every single one of barack obama's taxes, it's not even close. in fact, i voted against every budget that president obama has offered. my real record on taxes is i voted to cut taxes by $5.5 trillion since i've been in the senate. cut taxes by $5.5 trillion. and i'm a big believer in tax reform.
we need to simplify the tax code. we need to lower the rates. this is more of this fog of misinformation and this rhetoric that congressman cotton has gotten so good at doing over the course of this campaign. but again, if you look at his real voting record, which you see in his voting record, is these investors, these people who are investing in him and want the big return on his investment, that's who he is listening to. that's who he is carrying the water for since he's been in the house and that is exactly what he's going to do if he gets elected to the senate. listen, he is not listening to you. he is listening to those out of state billionaires who are writing those checks paying for his campaign. in my office i have a plaque on my desk, and many of you all have been there. it says, arkansas comes first. this is what i mean by that. i listen to the people of the state of arkansas. i work hard year after year. i'm ranked as the most independent or one of the most independent senators in washington. i would very much appreciate
your vote, early voting starts on october 20th. election day is november 4th. let's go out and win this one and let's keep this seat for the people of arkansas. thank you. >> mr. pryor is next. mr. cotton. >> i was very blessed to grow up on the cotton farm in yell county and very blessed that ann and i are expecting our first child a baby boy. we want our babey to have the same opportunities we did and i want you and your family to have those same opportunities as well. to have a chance for a better life. barack obama's policies are making that hard are, though. president obama said his policies are in the ballot, every single one of them. in arkansas the name on those policies is mark pryor because mark pryor votes with barack obama 93% of the time. that's why a vote for mark pryor is a vote for barack obama's failed policies. mark pryor supports barack obama's failed economic policies which are costing jobs in arkansas and driving down wages. he cast a decisive vote for obama care which is driving up the cost of health insurance and hurting arkansas seniors
with its cuts to medicare. mark pryor has voted for every single penny of new debt, a trillion dollars on the year on average every year under barack obama's six years. even while we're cutting a trillion dollars from our military. mark pryor is a rubber stamp for barack obama's failed foreign policy of weakness, hesitation, and indecision. senator pryor won't even hold president obama accountable for not protecting our country and our families from ebola. there is a different way. there is the arkansas way. let's get our economy moving again. let's put people back to work so we can have people achieving their dreams. let's repeal obama care and start over in health care reform, trusting arkansans, patients, doctors, families. let's balance our budget, quit stealing from our kids. rebuild our military. and keep your families safe and secure whether the threat is terrorism or disease. this is the choice you face. barack obama said his policies are on the ballot, and they are. here in arkansas they go by the name of mark pryor. if you're happy with barack
obama's policies, if you're happy with the status quo, then your vote for mark pryor would be a vote for barack obama. but if you want change, if you want a new direction for arkansas and for our country, then i would appreciate your vote. >> we want to thank our four candidates for the united tates senate for their attention tonight. thank you for being here, thanks to our panelists. most of you thanks to our audience, the voters. see you next time. dd >> the rothen political report which considered the arkansas race a tossup this morning changed its rating to lean republican. in the blog, given mark pryor's recent answer on president obama's handling of the ebola
crisis and the weight of the polling datas leave us very deeply skeptical about pryor's prospects. while we don't think the race is over we think the challenger now has a clear advantage. we no longer see this race as a tossup. from stu art rothenberg the editor of the rothen political report. c-span is bringing you debates from across the country. check c-span.org for a schedule of the debates and also see the debates in our video library. a follow us on twitter at c-span and like us at facebook.com/c-span. two of the debates are live a little later today here on c-span. at 7:00 p.m. eastern from richmond, virginia, a debate between democratic senator mark warner and republican challenger ed gillespie. then at 8:00, the senate minority leader republican mitch mcconnell debates his challenger, democrat alison grimes.
for a preview we spoke with a reporter from the louisville courier journal. >> the first and so far only debate scheduled in the kentucky senate race monday night carried live on the c-span networks and joining us on the phone is a reporter who covers politics for the louisville courier journal. thanks for being with us. give us a sense of where the race is three weeks out. >> well, i think it is safe to say that the race is very close. polling in recent months has been trending a little bit toward mcconnell. last month he was up by four points in the blue grass poll which my newspaper does with two television stations and another newspaper here in entucky. recently polling showed grimes grabbed a two-point lead. all of these polls are within the margin of error and on election day it wouldn't be a shock if either one comes out a couple percentage points ahead. >> alison grimes sat before your group and was asked whether she voted for barack
obama in 2008 and 2012. first of all, why that question? and what kind of news did she make? >> well, the question was asked because mcconnell has spent the past year trying to tie her to barack obama and barack obama's policies. his favorability ratings are somewhere around 29%. i mean, he is very much disliked. people don't like him personally. people don't like his policies. and mcconnell has been trying to convince voters that grimes if elected will simply do the president's bidding, will vote r the agenda and policies, which senator mcconnell argues are bad for kentucky. grimes made news because this was about the third time she's been asked this question. and she was asked the question whether or not she would vote for mcconnell and she wouldn't -- i'm sorry -- whether she would vote for obama and she would not answer the question.
she said i was a hillary clinton delegate in 2008. she said, i believe in the sanctity of the ballot box. but was asked four times specifically whether she voted for president obama and she wouldn't say, which she's been, gosh, she's been getting hammered ever since then from the right, from the left, from the middle. i mean, daily cause, the liberal website, has hammered her and said her response was pathetic. it was a term that they used. former president bill clinton has been in the state campaigning for alison grimes. hillary clinton will be there later in the month. what impact, what influence do the clintons have among kentucky voters? >> that's an interesting question. i guess we're going to find out here. president clinton was the last democrat to carry kentucky in a statewide election. he carried kentucky both in 1992, in a statewide federal election. he carried kentucky both in
1992 and in 1996. when hillary clinton ran for the presidental nomination in 08, she -- she utterly destroyed barack obama in kentucky. so the clinton name is a strong name in kentucky. we did recent polling on president clinton's favorability. it was about as high as any politician we have seen here in the state as well at 50%. >> mitch mcconnell first elected in 1984. he has always faced tough re-election battles. why? >> kentucky, although it performs as a republican state, is kind of a strong democratic voter registration, about 56% f voters in kentucky are democrats. he also has, being that, in the position that he is in, he is
the guy who says no in washington. and the democrats have been able to effectively use that to kind of hurt his reputation. he doesn't come across as likeable. especially when he is the guy up there that blocks every piece of legislation that is pushed or they try to push through in washington. and i think that is kind of over the years has worked on his reputation and harmed him. >> senator mcconnell and alison grimes have been together on a number oaf educations including fancy farm over the summer which we covered here on c-span. but the kentucky educational tv debate is the only time the two will be in the same studio debating the issues. what are you looking for? >> you know, it's going to be interesting especially after this episode with grimes this week before the courier journal's editorial board just to see how she handles this, whether she answers questions that are put to her.
same goes for mcconnell. senator mcconnell appeared on the radio recently on a sports radio talk show and also appeared before the cincinnati enquirer editorial board last week and on both cases he was asked about global warming. and whether he believed that it existed and whether man was the cause of it. his answer both times were i'm not a scientist. i don't know. and so it's going to be interesting to see if he sticks with that line and if grimes attempts to hold his feet to the fire on that. >> joe gerth who covers politics for the louisville courier journal joining us in kentucky. thanks very much for being with us. >> happy to, steve. >> the senate debate between mitch mcconnell and alison grimes is tonight here on c-span at 8:00 eastern. it is one of more than a hundred debates c-span is covering this year. yesterday michigan's republican
governor rick snyder debated his long-term democratic opponent former congressman mark shaur. ere are a few moments of that. governor if the sixth circuit court of appeals upholds the overturning of michigan's gay marriage ban will you ask the attorney general to pursue the appeal further or let the matter rest? >> again, there are separate constitutional offices so we each have a cloice in that matter. i'm going to wait for the opinion to come down. that's a hypothetical. but i will respect what happens in our court system. i think that's where the issue is going to be decided. >> where do you stand on the issue? >> again, i'm waiting for the outcome from the courts. >> congressman? >> i think the voters deserve to know where the governor will stand on tough issues. now, you may not agree with me on every issue. you may not aglee with me on the issue of marriage equality or ending discrimination against people based on who they love, discrimination will play no part in my office as governor.
now, his statement leads you to believe he has no position. this governor, through his own legislature, banned domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian state employees. his tough choices are tough on all the wrong people. they're hurting people and hurting our families. i support marriage equality. lisa brown, my running mate, led after judge friedman's decision on march 21st opened her office to marry loving, committed, same sex couples. finally, it is not only the right thing to do, but it is an economic issue here in our state. to discriminate against people, talented people we need to help rebuild the city of detroit and our communities is wrong. i talked to parents who have adult children who are professionals that live in other states, won't come here because we have backward policies. and you have challenged, you have appealed judge friedman's decision. so you are a party to opposing
marriage equality in michigan. i think that's wrong. i disagree. >> next on c-span, a debate from the iowa senate race where incumbent democrat tom harkin is retiring after 30 years. democratic congressman bruce ailey and republican state senator joni ernst. the debate from davenport, iowa is an hour. >> all eyes -- pumping millions into this contest. joni ernst is with us. >> congressman braley voted against your rights. >> hoping to win one of the most hotly contested races in the nation. >> because i'll go to washington as a mom. >> i'll work with anyone who will help solve the tough problems that we face. >> ad campaigns making national headlines. >> let's make 'em squeal. >> joni ernst. hard to forget but her record
just doesn't do it. >> all to win a key seat long held by a democrat and now up for grabs. republican state senator joni ernst taking on four-term democratic congressman bruce braley. it is still too close to call. tonight, head to head as the country watches, this is decision 2014, debate for iowa's next senator. >> and you are looking live at the audience in the performing arts center on the campus of st. ambrose university in davenport, iowa. they and the thousands of you watching across iowa and across this nation are waiting to hear from candidates in the hottest, closest senate races in the united states history. one that many experts say may determine control of the u.s. senate. congressman bruce braley and state senator joni ernst locked in a dead heat for the seat of retiring senator tom
harkin. the winner will be iowa's first new senator in 30 years. so over the next hour they will be questioned by our panel of journalists, each with decades of experience in iowa. in a format aimed at giving the candidate the chance to answer questions in depth while allowing the reporters to probe ven deeper into their answers. i'm the moderator of this debate. a coin flip determined who will get the first question. and that will be bruce braley. we begin with a question from social media. the quad city times, t.a. rosa writes, i am sick and tired of politicians skirting the issues and not providing plans as to how they attack issues rather than their opponent. i want a result oriented politics not the ideology of dividing and then blaming the other side. the problems facing american families today will require the best ideas from everyone to solve. how will you work across party
lines and how should the people of iowa measure your progress? one minute, please. >> thank you. i want to thank the quad city times and qwqc for hosting us tonight here at st. ambrose and i thank everyone watching here tonight and watching on television. thank you, senator. great question, rosa. i am sick and tired of politicians who won't work across the aisle, too. i am here tonight to talk about my proven record of doing just that. eight years of working with anyone who has a good idea for iowa and i have a proven record to back it up. the first bill i introduced was to create a job partnership in renewable energy with iowa community colleges. i worked with a republican from alabama to make that become law. i worked with republicans from minnesota to get benefits for the iowa national guard after they were denied them by the pentagon. i worked with a republican senator from utah so that government agencies communicate more clearly and effectively
with you and people like you. and i worked to make sure that an iowa manufacturer continued to make a product here in the united states instead of sending that product overseas. i will continue to work with anyone who's got a good idea that's good for iowa. that's my track record and that's my commitment to you. >> thank you. senator ernst? >> yes, thank you. thank you to our hosts tonight. thank you, congressman braley for joining me on this stage. as the president has stated last week, this november, this fall his policies are on the ballot. and we see that now that congressman braley has voted 95% of the time supporting nancy pelosi and the president's agenda. we have seen those failed policies nationwide. but what we have seen here in utilizing great
ideas, we have come up with transformational mental health reform, education reform, the largest tax cut in iowa history, and all of this was done by bipartisan support, working together. great successes here in the state of iowa. we need to take these ideas in iowa, our great bipartisanship to washington, d.c. that's what i will do. >> thank you both. as we delve into the issues, as we begin with environmental issues tonight, please consider the concerns of science teacher and parent glen kaylie who wants to know your plan to reduce and eventually completely eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels for energy. our first question regarding the environment will be from kwqc marsha lens directed toward congressman bruce braley. >> thank you. first i would like to say that i am very pleased that you both agreed to this debate. i think that it is important that voters be allowed to
choose their candidate based on direct information rather than advertising. so thank you again. i do want to start with environmental issues for our discussion and i'm beginning with congressman braley. you have changed your stance on the pipeline. it would carry oil from canada through the midwest to u.s. refineries. supporters say that it would promote oil independence in north america and also create jobs. so what is your position on this form of energy infrastructure? >> my position is very clear and it's also important to glen who is teaching students about the environment. i oppose the keystone pipeline and it's very simple. when the pipeline was first proposed and we were first asked to vote on it a lot of promss were made about what was going to happen with the oil produced in that pipeline and the jobs it was going to create. but the more i looked into it, and the more i talked to iowans
the more i became convinced there was no guarantee the oil produced and sent through that pipeline was going to stay here in the united states and benefit u.s. consumers and there was no guarantee that a lot of good paying jobs would be created for iowans. my energy priorities are to make sure that it reduces our dependence on foreign poil, that it reduces the cost of energy and creates good paying jobs in iowa. i stood with iowa's biofuels and wind energy producers against the big oil interests who are supporting the keystone pipeline and senator ernst stands with them. they are among her biggest supporters. that's the big difference between us in this debate. >> state senator ernst, you were quoted saying that you would shut down the epa, the environmental protection agency created in 1970 signed by a republican president to curb air pollution and later monitor water quality. do you really want to shut down the epa? if so, why? >> i am a young woman who grew
up on a southwest iowa farm drinking well water. my father is a farmer. iowa farmers are some of the best conservationists out there. i do believe that our state know best how to protect their natural resources. i believe this can be done at the state level rather than at a national level with the federal epa. there are many great acts out there. the clean water act is a good one but, unfortunately, over the course of time, the epa has over reached. a great example of this is when they proposed a rule that would allow the epa to come on to farmers' land and dictate to them how they manage the water on that land. now, bruce braley supported that over reach with the epa because he is being backed by california environmentalist tom stier.
he stood with the epa over our iowa farmers. >> that's not true. i voted to prohibit the epa from regulating ditches and farm ponds and senator ernst knows that. she had stated that she supports the environment but sounds like consequences and when you say that you would vote to repeal the clean water act, you're saying you don't want iowans to have clean drinking water. when you say you want to repeal and get rid of the epa, which was created by a republican president, you're saying that you don't want anyone making sure that the air we breathe is clean, the water we drink is pure. those words have consequences that are harmful to iowans. and senator ernst knows that and that's why she is supported by the koch brothers and big oil backers who want to get rid of the rules. >> we will talk about your supporters in a block coming up in just a moment. but would you like 30 seconds to rebut? >> yes. i would love to rebut that.
no, i do believe in a clean environment and i drive a hybrid car. my family recycles. i encourage recycling at every opportunity. but i believe the federal government shouldn't be overreaching with rules and regulations that are killing our industry here in iowa and nationwide. we need to make sure that any rule or regulation is reasonable and still protects our environment. we can do that but not with a significant overreach that we're seeing from the federal government right now. >> thank you. did you have a followup? >> if you are suggesting -- i'm sorry -- if you are suggesting that the states regulate as opposed to a federal agency, how does the state have the wherewithal, the power to be able to regulate a company that may not be based within the state or another state maybe has the jurisdiction?
how do you do that without doing it on the federal leff -- level? >> the states can do that by working together. now, we can eliminate or reduce the size of the federal government's involvement with the epa. there are other regulatory agencies that can step in. but, again, the states need to have control over what's going on within their state. and so much of that power has been taken away from the states and it's being focused at the federal government level. we have our own environmental protection commission that best knows how to preserve our natural resources within the state. >> the reason the republican president created the environmental protection agency is because states couldn't prevent big polluters from destroying our planet. that's why when president nixon created it there were rivers on fires and cities were clouded with pollution.
that's why richard nixon created the environmental protection agency. the father of federal conservation was a conservative republican from oz ca loosea, iowa -- oskaloosa, iowa named john lacy. this is an issue important to iowans because iowans are the ones harmed. >> now to our next question. this, we'll begin with senator ernst for one minute. charles collins is a new enrollee under obama care. he has heard joni ernst say she'd work to repeal it. he asks have you given any thought to how individuals in my situation won't lose coverage should the repeal occur? randy ellen says his employer dropped coverage because of obama care and he asks what do you tell people who lost their health insurance because of obama care? >> every iowan and every american has the right to affordable, quality health care but obama care is not the
answer to that. and congressman braley gave the closing arguments to obama care. he said he read every single page of this bill. what we have seen even here in iowa is that it is an addictional tax to iowans and all americans of $1.2 trillion. it is a job killer here in the state. it's taking our personal health care decisions out of our hands and placing them in nameless, faceless bureaucrats in washington, d.c. just this past week the insurance commissioner announced that plans through the exchange will go up an estimated 19%. i don't see how this is affordable for anyone when the president and congressman braley promised us we would see an average reduction of $2600 per family. families are paying more and they've lost their coverage. >> congressman braley? >> senator ernst knows that is
not true. before the affordable care act went into effect premiums in iowa went up 25% and she said before that every american has the right to affordable care. i agree with that, senator ernst and yet 47 million americans didn't have health insurance coverage before the affordable care act was passed. i have worked with the governor to make sure that a hundred thousand iowans who didn't have access to health care have it now. and that's a good thing. we need to fix what's wrong with the affordable care act and improve it but we can't go back to the days when people were getting kicked off of health care coverage for no reason, when children with preexisting conditions like my nephew, tucker, who had liver cancer when he was 2 years old, would get kicked off because of preexisting conditions. when women had to pay more for health insurance than men, when seniors paid $800 a year more for their prescription drugs. so that's why there's a big difference between where we
stand and i stand with iowans. >> now to the subject of social security. >> may i respond to that? >> 15 seconds, yes. >> we still will have 31 million americans that won't have health insurance and insurance coverage even under obama care. a farm family up in north central iowa had their policy canceled. and it has gone up, the policy they had to purchase cost $500 more a month. and now with this increase it will be up to $600 extra a month. that's unaffordable for those families. >> 15 seconds? >> charles, 130,000 people like you now have affordable, quality health care coverage they didn't have before. and people used to have to go to des moines or iowa city under the plan the state used to offer. now the hundred thousand iowans can go to their physician anywhere they live. i think that's a good thing for iowans. >> let's move on to social
security. we begin for a one-minute response with joni ernst >> senator ernst you have said you will keep the promss to seniors now on social security and those nearing social security age. but you would look at transitioning younger workers through private accounts. how would this help with social security's long-term financial challenges and why should workers who are younger, say in their 30's and 40's, be faced with going into a new system? >> thank you, ed. i will always fight to protect social security and medicare for our seniors like my parents. this is a very important issue because over 600,000 iowans rely on social security. this is a promise that has been made to those retirees and those that are nearing retirement. but we have to face the fact that social security is running out of funds. within the next 20 years, if we don't do something, our
retirees will see a 25% decrease in their monthly payments. what we have to do now is look long term and preserve social security for our children and grandchildren. so we have to look at many different options that are available out there. i'm willing to look at all of those different options to find a solution except for raising the retirement age. our seniors have worked a long time. i'm not willing to tell them they need to work another five or ten years to receive benefits. >> thank you. congressman braley, currently social security's payroll tax is capped at $117,000 in annual income. you proposed lifting that cap. this would mean hundreds of dollars more in taxes for people making say $140,000 to $150,000 a year. won't that be a drag on the economy? especially to businesses who might rather put that money into raises for their workers? >> first of all, ed, i don't
know if the score has changed. it was 4-4 at the bottom of the eighth last i checked. so i know your orioles are holding on. [ laughter] >> look, sound bites have consequences. senator ernst has said she will keep her promss to seniors and yet when you consider privatizing social security and turning those investments over to wall street investment bankers, that is not protecting social security. so there is a very big difference between us on this issue. i think that if you are a millionaire or a billionaire you should be paying the same percentage of your income into social security as a working class iowan does. and i also think that you need to look at ways that you can put more revenue into social security through other means, by expanding the economy, investing in infrastructure and rebuilding our manufacturing base. and, yes, increasing the minimum wage, which i support would put billions annually into the social security trust fund. i think that's a good thing.
>> senator, you just said that you would keep all options on the table. would you consider lifting the cap on the payroll tax on social security or would you rule it out? >> that is an option. we need to sit down and discuss that. absolutely in a bipartisan manner. but raising the minimum wage is not an answer. if we raise the minimum wage, we're looking at job losses. 500,000 potential job losses across the united states. 20,000 here in the state of iowa. and what you would bring in in additional revenue for that would actually be less than 1% of the annual spending for social security. so it doesn't shore up the system very much. it is an option we need to discuss but there are a lot of options. we just need to make sure that our retirees are receiving the benefits that were promised to them. >> we'll talk more about minimum wage in just a few
>> lets get to another viewer here. this will be for congressman braley. this is from a registered nurse and a mother of three amongst others, and she says would you support background checks for all gun sales? >> i don't know who the registered nurse is, but absolutely i think we should have background checks so criminals can't buy guns. and people who are battling severe mental illness aren't able to buy guns without a background check. but senator ernst disagrees and she doesn't think we need greater background checks that are going to protect people from being the victims of gun violence from people who shouldn't own guns. i think people need to know where we stand on these issues. i'm a strong supporter of the second amendment but it's a balance between individual liberty and the public good, and that's why it starts out in order to have a well-regulated
militia. so we want to make sure that we're providing that proper balance, and i think that there's a big difference between where we stand on these issues. senator ernst doesn't think you should even have to go through a permit process to carry a concealed weapon and that you should be able to take it into a bar or a church, and i think that's wrong. >> senator ernst, one minute. >> yes, i am a mother of three daughters also and any time that we hear of violence out there, it is an absolute tragedy. i am a strong supporter of the second amendment and i do believe that we need to enforce the gun control laws that we have on the books right now that, there is an underlying issue that goes along with much of this gun violence and that is of mental health. i am a huge supporter of finding ways to improve our mental health system. i have done that here in the state of iowa with mental
health reform. which allows individuals, no matter where they live, easy access to mental health care. we have one in 17 adults that suffer from a serious mental illness. making sure that they have the best care possible will solve a number of these issues. >> and if you have some water there, you should take a sip of it and we can prepare for the next topic. >> thank you so much. you bet, thank you. >> this is what we will talk about, super pac support. as mentioned, prior to the debate. we saw a couple of commercials. for and against each of you. specific questions on claims made against supporters and candidates. for and against. kwwl will begin our questioning for congressman braley. one minute, please, on the response. >> gary, thank you very much. welcome congressman braley. senator, it's great for you to
be here tonight. much has been said about the advertising, so i've been given the great assignment to give 'chance to refute some of the ads, the super pac adds. these are coming millions of dollars in money coming from forces outside of iowa. we understand those of which you have no control over at all. but they're driven by fear and scare tactics. i'm going to begin with this one. i'm going to change my order slightly because of the gun control you just talked about. i heard an ad today, congressman braley, the n.r.a. political victory fund insinuating that you and michaelberg are buddies now and that you're going to take away my second amendment rights and i don't like it. so what's the answer? >> the answer is, i never met michael bloomberg. i have no idea what these ads are based upon other than a fear that i'm going to bring balanced common sense to try to come up with reasonable solutions to reducing gun
violence, like i have. working with a republican from pennsylvania named tim murphy. we've held lots of hearings this year on the connection between our failure to address the needs of mental illness in this country. and through those bipartisan hearings, we learned that the largest mental health treatment facility in the united states is the los angeles county jail. we know that we have to do more. and yet, when senator ernst was asked about this question on what we can do -- she was asked about her ad that she ran in the primary where she was shooting a pistol into the camera and saying, let me take aim at obamacare. it came out right before the tragic shooting in santa barbara. she was asked if she regretted it. she called it an unfortunate accident. and i don't think it was an accident to the victims and their families. >> senator? >> now, that is a horrible tragedy. and i've stated that already.
you stated you will work for mental health reform. we have actually done that here in the state of iowa, working toward a better system. easier access for the most vulnerable in our population to receive care. they can walk into many places and discover where they can go for treatment. whether you are in a rural area, living in a populated area, we want to make sure there is easy access for those that suffer from mental illness. and receive the care they need. i will always be a strong supporter of the second amendment. the state motto is, our liberties we prize and rights we will maintain. >> senator ernst, let me ask you this. there is a new ad airing on our station the last few days. it says that you support special tax breaks for companies shipping american jobs overseas and that you would not vote to raise taxes on these companies that are doing that.
so i'd like to ask you, what is the truth and what would you do to support -- to make sure that american companies are keeping the jobs in america and not outsourcing them to other countries overseas? >> we need tax reform, period. so there are not special loopholes for anyone out there. i do believe that americans should be keeping more of their hard-earned paychecks in their pockets. over the long term, working to scrap the existing tax code and replace it with something fair er, flatter and simpler. if we do that, we will be keeping american jobs here. just as we have done in iowa, we have implemented a great economic plan which includes lower taxes, the largest tax cut in iowa history, reduced rules and regulation that is killed jobs and we balanced the
budget the last four years. and because of that we have created up to 150,000 now good-paying jobs here in the state of iowa. that's what we need to do at the federal level. >> thank you. ron, did you have an additional question? >> congressman braley, i want to give you a chance to respond. >> sound bites have consequences. senator ernst was at the iowa state fair standing next to her good friend, terry, when she was asked about this very issue, whether she would support changing the tax law association that those companies who ship jobs overseas wouldn't get those benefits, and she said no. that's what -- why words matter and they have consequences that are harmful to iowans, and that's why issues matter and talking about the consequences that issues have on iowans matters. so senator ernst is fond of saying things that sound good, but when you look at what they mean to iowans, they don't make
iowans better off, and this is another example of that. you can't say you stand with farmers and say you will vote against the farm bill. that you are not a strong supporter of the renewable fuel standards. because you don't agree with it in principle. these are things that have consequences. >> i would like to respond. >> 15 second, please. >> thank you. when it comes to words and actions, actions speak louder than words. i have a 100% rating when it comes to renewable fuels. that's from the iowa renewable fuels association. i will continue to stand up for farmers. i think it is important to have farmers in the state senate. when you talk about your words, behind closed doors at a fundraiser in texas, you poked fun at senator grassley for being a farmer. [cheers and applause]
and you said you would fight against tort reform. which is driving health care costs up for most vulnerable americans. >> thank you. >> there has been a direct attack. there's been applause. i think, gary, that i should have an opportunity to respond. >> 30 seconds. >> i'm going to remind, when we applaud, it takes away time from the candidates. so please be respectful of the process. >> thank you, gary. senator, you know that i apologized to senator grassley right away. you also know, i have supported farmers in the congress by voting twice to pass a farm bill. a five-year farm bill. i worked three years to pass the last one and i've been an outspoken champion for the renewable fuel standard. my support is strong, clear and
unequivocal and that's why i received the endorsement of the iowa farm growers and that's why the national farm union supports me. >> in the two minutes we have prior to the break, you can integrate that, if you can, into this question -- one of the viewers is asking this question. did you, joni ernst, sign a pledge with the coke brothers? -- koch brothers? >> no, i have not signed a pledge with the koch brothers. this is misinformation from arry reid. from extreme environmentalists from california, and coming from the congressman's own campaign. i have not signed a pledge with the koch brothers. as a matter of fact, i have been outspent from outside money coming into the state of iowa by about $2 million. so i take issue with that.
that is misinformation. >> congressman braley, the same sort of question for you. is this part of the democratic strategy to frame republicans across the country in aligning hem with a multi-billion -dollar corporation? >> you have signed pledges with a group called club for growth. the truth is you attended two secret donor meetings hosted by the koch brothers. you called them wonderful at that meeting. you credited them with launching your senate campaign, and these are the same koch brothers who have seven different organizations attacking me right now in iowa. seven. they are big oil interests working to try to kill the wind energy tax credit that senator grassley and i championed. they're ng to re--
trying to repeal the renewable fuel standard that will devastate iowa farmers. these are the biggest supporters you have right now. it is a fair criticism to ask how they are supporting you in this election. >> 15 seconds. >> yes, again, this is from someone that's being supported billionaire ia extreme environmentalist who opposes the keystone pipeline, which then the congressman flip-flopped on that issue. yes, i signed a taxpayer protection pledge so anyone paying taxes can keep more of those dollars. i support those hard-working iowa families out there who wish to make the decisions what to do with their own money. not the federal government. >> 15 seconds. >> i stand with iowans who want secret donor money out of olitics forever. [applause] i think it's the worst thing
that has happened to our democracy. that is why i supported the disclose act that would require transparency and accountability. i call on you to join me in committing the outside groups to take the ads down and let iowans decide. >> 15 second, please. >> yes, and there are probably reforms that could be made. but again, i am being outspent by $2 million from these very organizations that are supporting congressman braley. so here he is calling for reform and yet, we're being tremendously outspent by these outside organizations. [applause] >> i believe we have more to talk about. we will take a short break. the debate will continue after this. >> thank you, thank you. [applause] >> welcome back to decision
2014 from kwqc. this is the senate debate. let's get right back into our questions with a question from social media. this question will be for joni ernst. one minute, please, to respond to this question from baby carlson. from the heart, how do you feel our country is doing? do you recognize the desperation and concern that the american people have? >> well, thank you, bobby. this is the season that i am running for united states senate, is that i do believe our country is going in the wrong direction. this is washington, d.c. waves, records of failure coming from this administration and followers like congressman braley versus our iowa values and the way we have conducted business in the past four years with my good supporter, we have implemented strong economic policy here in iowa, lowered
taxes, reduced job-killing rules and regulations and a balanced budget. and we are putting more of our hard-working iowa wans back to work with new good-paying jobs. iowa has the fourth fastest growing personal income in the united states, while nationally the real wage has decreased over the past eight years that congressman braley has been there by 2.7%. so, yes, we are going in the wrong direction and that's why i'm running. >> congressman braley, one minute, please. >> senator ernst is forgetting we came through the greatest economic crisis since the great depression, handed over to the president when he took office. we have seen one of the largest continued segments of private sector job growth in the history of the country. the question is, how is our country doing? if you're one of the koch brothers, it's going pretty well right now.
for too many iowans, that recovery has not impacted their lives in a meaningful way. that is why i stand with 300,000 iowans who deserve a way raise by increasing the minimum wage. 60% of them are women. 50% are over the age of 30. we have to make sure the economy is working for them. that is why we also need to start reinvesting in rebuilding our aging infrastructure. we need to revitalize our manufacturing base. that is why i spoke the iowa association of business and industries, private advanced management conference this week, sharing my ideas on what we can do to improve iowa's economy. >> thank you. now on to the topic of foreign policy. we have a lot going on in the world from the ebola crisis to isis. we begin our questioning in this discussion with james lynch from the cedar rapids gazette. first question will be for senator ernst.
>> we have a situation in the middle east with the rise of the islamic state holding large areas in iraq and syria, terrorizing and killing people there, including other muslims and president obama has formed a coalition to fight isis and has told the nation that he's not willing to commit u.s. ground troops to that fight. senator ernst, you recently wrote that air strikes might not be enough, and you've had the boots on the ground in the middle east. under what conditions would you vote to send iowa soldiers back to the middle east? >> right, thank you, james. and, yes, i have served in the middle east and i did have my oots on that ground. isis must be stopped. they are an extreme organization killing innocent civilians including americans. because i have had my boots on the ground and led iowa sons and daughters, i take this issue very seriously. i have a number of criteria
that i would look at before committing any additional military action. the first, is there actionable intelligence? does it pose a threat to us? will our actions wipe out the threat? second, is there a clearly defined mission? are we willing to put the resources toward the mission? are we going to care for our servicemen and women with a withdrawal plan, making sure they are cared for when they get home? and also taking care of their families. those are the things that i would have to consider. >> representative braley, you've consistently opposed open-ended commitments of u.s. troops. and i ask you the same question. under what conditions would you vote to send u.s. troops into the middle east? >> first of all, james, i think congress should go back into session and have a broader and longer conversation about the nature of our involvement and making sure that the president
knows under what conditions he has authority to commit u.s. ground forces. i agree with senator ernst on the conditions that should be considered as part of the decision. i also think there are two important things missing, and these are from general colin powell's analysis of the same problem. you have to convince the american people that this is worth of investment of blood and treasure. that case hasn't been made yet. and you also have to make sure that you're addressing the problem in the region, because we have been informed by the chairman of the joint chiefs that there is no military solution that doesn't involve a political solution in iraq and in syria. i think we should go back into session. isis is a terrorist threat that has to be eliminated. people who attack america have to be brought to justice or the grave. >> may i respond some >> 15 seconds. sure. >> i know the american public is confused on this issue when
it comes to congressman braley's response. earlier this year in june, after the second largest city in iraq was taken by isis, he voted against funding any combat actions in iraq. now he is asking congress come back to reconsider that. i'm not sure where to go with that. i know he twice voted to defund combat troops. while they were serving in iraq and afghanistan. >> congressman braley, 15 seconds. >> senator ernst knows that is not true. what i voted for was to end decade-long commitment of u.s. troops, and i made it very clear that i supported pay increases for those troops and as not going to defund them. senator ernst also knows that the vote she is talking about is a bipartisan vote where republicans and democrats had concerns about who we were going to be helping and what threat we were going to be
addressing. >> james, you had a follow-up question? >> senator ernst, you've said that you wouldn't have voted for the authorization to arm, train and equip the syrian opposition. i wonder how confident you are those will not be turned against us or our allies sometime in the future. do we really know who we're supporting there? >> i was not as confident a year ago. when we were talking about arming the rebels in searia. but we have had a year to carefully vet those moderate rebels. that is part of this. making sure the arms are not turned against us. is there 100% assurance? no, therei believe we have to work with is not. coalition, and bring others into the fight before we commit ground troops from america's sons and daughters. >> congressman braley, how confident are you about who we
are arming? is this a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend? >> one of the concerns that republicans and democrats shared when were talking about this and voting on it is the fact that we spent over $30 billion to arm, train, and equip 950,000 members of the iraqi army and border control. and police force. they were rolled up by 15,000 isis terrorists and many of those weapons are now in the hands of those terrorists that american taxpayers paid for. that is why we are concerned about the vetting process. that is why i think we should go back into session, get an updated classified briefing on what's happened since we made that vote. because one of the things that we were insistent upon was that the vetting process be very thorough and that we're only supporting groups that are going to be supportive of balancing those air strikes and making the type of gains we need to eliminate this terrorist threat.
>> 15 seconds. >> yes, we knew this threat was there months and months and months ago. this decision could have been made earlier this year. there is no sense in calling congress back now when this decision could have been made everal months ago. if in 2011, the president had listened to senior military advisers and secretary panetta and pursued the status of n-forces agreement, left our troops there for a period of time to stabilize the region, we may not be in this circumstance now. >> thank you. let's move on now to immigration. ron has a question in regards to potentially amnesty as an executive order among other things. his first question for congressman braley. one minute, please. >> i'd like to have both of you answer this. earlier this week there were reports from u.s. border agents. they said at least 10 alleged isis fighters have been caught trying to cross the border of
mexico and texas in our nation. senator ernst, what is your biggest concern that these u.s. borders are not secure enough? we know your position on the borders, but that terrorists like isis are taking advantage of this lapse, crossing over into the united states, trying maybe perhaps to establish lives here for a while with the real intent to attack us on our own soil later on. >> we begin with congressman braley on this one. >> if we had passed the comprehensive immigration reform bill that the senate passed with a bipartisan vote, 68 senators including john mccain who lives in arizona, we would have added 20,000 border patrol agents. it was a bipartisan vote that would have beefed up our border. and made us safer. but senator ernst says she wouldn't support that bill. if we had brought that to the floor of the house right now,
we could pass it and we would be safer. the problem is too many people try to turn this into a political debate rather than protecting the american people. they continue to resist efforts at comprehensive immigration reform, which i have been working for eight years to pass. they use the word "amnesty" to drive a wedge between people and they mislead iowans about what amnesty is. amnesty is when you break the law and there are no consequences. this law would provide tough penalties, you have to admit you broke the law, go to the back of the line. we have to pass immigration reform now. >> senator, would you like to respond to this? >> thank you, ron. yes, this is an easy issue that should have been resolved a number of years ago. we have a porous border with people crossing as they wish. we should have secured it long ago. we need to enforce the laws that exist on the books right now.
and work long term to address legal immigration. we need to do that. the congressman says he has been there for eight years working on comprehensive reform. and yet there were two years when the democrats controlled the house and senate and presidency. nothing was done. so we do need to focus on this issue. but i don't believe in amnesty, and that's really what this bill that the congressman supported would do. there are 5 million people out there applying for the legal immigration process. we shouldn't be putting others ahead of them. ? a follow-up >> waiting for a long-term solution to immigration reform will not make u.s. citizens safer. putting 20,000 more border patrol agents in the field by passing the senate bipartisan
immigration bill and bringing it to the floor of the house for a vote to let americans see where we stand on this issue will make us safer. >> senator ernst, let me ask you this -- if you're elected to the united states united states would you try to repeal the president's deferred action on childhood arrivals? how do you feel about that? >> i'm sorry, could you state that question again? >> i said if you're elected to the united states senate would you try to repeal the president's deferred action on childhood arrivals? >> no, i would not, no, i would not. >> is that working, congressman? >> yes. i talked to young people in iowa, who are using it to get a driver's license and get a job and be productive members, contributing to iowa. and i've seen what it's done to give them hope and the opportunity for themselves and their families.
that's what the american dream is all about. that is why my ancestors came from ireland during the potato famine, settled to start a better life. then they moved to iowa to start a farm. my great, great-grandfather died breaking the prairie. he is buried across the river. his wife moved there later and started that farm with her five children. that's what we want to do is provide hope and opportunity to the next generation of iowans who are going to make us a great state in the future. >> may i respond? and that's where we agree. there are a number of children that have been brought here not of their own accord. i support allowing them some of the freedoms here in the united states. we are a country of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws, which is why, with the comprehensive immigration plan, i don't support the amnesty. for those adults that knowingly
come here when it is illegal to do so. >> thank you. as we come towards the end of our debate, it is fitting to have the final question be from another viewer. this is from william. after many elections i found that people running for office keep telling how they are going to help the middle class. hat is the middle class? >> i am the middle class. my husband, gale, was laid off of his second shift job at a factory a number of years ago. and we were very fortunate, he did find another job. i live in a middle-class neighborhood. we bought our house for $80,000 in red oak, iowa. it was a home that belonged to one of my childhood friends. we still live there today. it is an average neighborhood. it is perfect iowa out there. that's the middle class. we work hard for what we earn, we know the value of a dollar and we want to protect our economy.
that's what the middle class is. >> congressman braley, one minute. >> william, the middle class is the heart and soul of america. it used to be policies were designed to strengthen and expand the middle class. that's why i started a caucus when i was first elected to congress, to focus on economic policies that will strengthen and expand access to the middle class. that's what the american dream is all about. but there are too many people that are trying to take away opportunity from people in the middle class. people that i grew up with in brooklyn, iowa. when my dad had an accident at the grain elevator and was laid up for a year, those friends and neighbors came and helped us out through those tough times. but for too many iowans, that is a distant dream. that's why i support efforts to make college affordable for iowans and i have fought to make sure grants to
that iowa students have a chance of living a middle-class existence and to reduce the debt that they have when they leave college. that's what the middle class is all about, hope and opportunity. >> and we have time for one more, if we can keep this on for about 30 seconds each. is either candidate willing to tackle the police state we are living in, or is it just me that is disgusted by the militarization of the police force and abuse? >> i do believe that government infringes on people's rights a number of times. and we do have a police force that seems to be much more military. it is an issue in some communities. i don't have a specific example that this person has given. i do believe government needs o back out of our lives. as long as we are lawful, legal
law-abiding citizens, the government should keep its hands off. >> i share some of those concerns with senator ernst. we also know that laws are set up for people who break the rules, not for people who follow them. i am concerned that we are moving away from what we know is historically the most effective form of policing. that is being engaged in the community, knowing the people that you're trying to help understand the importance of following the rule of law. that's what we need to get back to is community policing, where you connect with the people in your community. >> thank you both. now to our closing statements. congressman braley, you will begin. each of you will have 90 seconds for closing arguments. >> thank you. i have talked about the fact that my ancestors from ireland are buried across the river and coal valley. they went to iowa looking to
start a farm and for a better way of life. my dad was born on that farm and he's buried nearby. he left that farm when he was 17, enlisted in the marine iwo jima and in settled down in a small town in brooklyn. that's why i learned iowa -- where i learned iowa values at a kitchen table. my wife and i have been married for 30 years. we have three wonderful children and we're very lucky and i want to thank them for being so supportive of me in everything that i've done in my life. but i also believe that you have to be able to work with anyone that has a good idea that's good for iowa. i'm a bridge builder, not a bridge burner. senator ernst and i have very different visions about the future of iowa. i stand with 300,000 iowans who deserve a pay raise by increasing the minimum wage. i stand with 220,000 iowa
college students who would see their interest rates skyrocket under senator ernst's plan to get the government out of student loans. i stand with millions of iowans who pay into social security ery day and would have their benefits jep dyesed by privatizing social security and change the system as we know t. >> senator ernst? zank you. good evening, everybody and thank you for allowing me to be here this evening and thank you, congressman, for joining me on this stage. you have heard clear differences in this race. i'm not a washington politician. i grew up on a family farm in southwest iowa and i am a mother, i am a soldier, and i am an independent leader who cares greatly about the nation that we are leaving our children.
i disagree almost completely with congressman braley and president obama on just about everything. spending, taxes, obamacare, amnesty, and the list goes on. congressmen braley has a failed record in d.c. and he is running a negative ampaign. i believe in the iowa way. i believe iowans know what is best for iowa more than politicians. if you trust me with your vote n november 4th, i will fight so that more of our middle-class families have good-paying jobs. i will fight so iowans who are facing higher health care costs because of obamacare, we can get them good health care. affordable health care. i will fight for our seniors like my mom and dad that are on social security and medicare, making sure that they are
receiving their benefits, because their generation has sacrificed so much so that we can achieve that american dream. as the next united states senator, i will make sure more americans can achieve that dream. >> thank you both for a very concise and spirited debate. national cable satellite corp. 2014] national captioning institute] >> now you can really applaud if you'd like to. [applause] >> the debate we just saw from iowa is one of hundreds in
2014. you can check c-span.org for a schedule and see the debates in our video library. also follow us on twitter and like us on facebook. we'll have two live debates a little later on today here on c-span at 7:00 p.m. eastern from richmond, virginia. a debate that is the democratic senator and his challenger from ed gillespie. at 8:00 eastern, the senate minority leader, republican mitch mcconnell debates his democratic challenger, alison grimes. here's a look at some of the tv ads in that race. >> after 30 years, who's doing better? mitch has voted himself six pay raises, enjoyed over $200,000 worth of special interests perqs and travel and raised himself over $70 million. here at homes incomes are down 9%. kentucky has fallen to 44th in
jobs and lost over 43,000 manufacturing jobs. sure seems mitch has washington working for him, and not us. theing democratic senatorial campaign is responsible for this tiesing. >> i'm mitch mcconnell and i approve this ad. >> alison grimes says president obama has had failed policies. but obama himself says a vote for alison is a vote for his policies. >> i'm not on the ballot this month, but make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot. every single one of them. >> obama needs grimes, and kentucky needs mitch mcconnell. >> i'm allison grimes and i approve this message. >> first we learned mitch mcconnell skipped hundreds of committee meetings. where was he? he didn't show up to vote on troop funding, but he found time for a lobbyist fundraiser
and was on two tv shows. he toasted the chinese vice president for china's great achievements. and the rest of the time he created gridlock. 30 years is long enough. >> the media call her ads false and misleading, but alison grimes keeps attacking. now on attendance, grimes must not understand that as a senate leader mitch just doesn't serve on committees, he can appoint committee members, making sure kentucky's voice is heard. it's a power grimes won't have. and as for mcconnell's attendance, 99%. alison grimes. no experience, false and misleading attacks. >> i'm mitch mcconnell and i approve this message. >> republican senator mitch mcconnell debates his democratic challenger alison grimes tonight at 8:00 eastern and we'll have that live here on c-span. the "louisville courier-journal" writes for grimes, the debate at kentucky educational television in lexington will be achieved to
right her ship. shfound herself under attack from all directions last week after she four times refused to tell the courier journal editorial board if she voted for barack obama. a video of her trying not to answer the question went viral and commentators across the country questioned whether she's a viable candidate. more mcconnell, the senate's minority leader, he will capitalize on the fallout from the obama question. the senator who has been a staunch opponents of the president in washington has repeatedly tried to link grimes to the president. another debate c-span is covering this year is from wisconsin, where republican governor scott walker debated his democratic challenger, businesswoman mary burke on friday night. here's a few minutes of that debate. >> overall reasonable people can disagree on this issue. i'm pro-life, but i can only imagine how difficult it is for someone going through that really difficult decision to
determine whether they're going to end their pregnancy or not. that's why specifically here in this state i supported legislation that would increase safety and provide more information to a woman considering her options. that specific bill leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor. now for the specific request you made, that issue has been resolved. that was decided by the united states supreme court more than 40 years ago and that's something that doesn't have bearing directly on this debate. the larger issue, though, about us seeking to protect the health and safety of every wisconsin citizen does. >> i believe it should be up to a woman, according to her religious beliefs and in consultation with her family and her doctors to make that decision on her own. and when governor walker talks about making these decisions and passing this legislation that stands in the way of women being able to make their own health care choices, making politicians in madison the deciders on this is ridiculous. and frankly, to talk about safety at the same time that
the cupts and funding have resulted in closure of five clinics throughout the state of wisconsin that provided needed health care, such as cancer screenings, birth control and family planning services, along with mandating invasive procedures that are against a woman's right to choose. i think this is absolutely wrong, and i think it should be women who are able to make these choices for themselves. >> in terms of funding, we moved it to other areas. for example, the winnebago county health department. we moved it from one area to another and added funding. we talked about it right on the stage. we increased funding for the university of wisconsin cancer center to help not only at u.w., but for affiliates across the state. we've added $15 million more to help victims of domestic violence and child abuse prevention. we've done more to help victims of other issues across the state. when you look at what we're talking about, we've added to that in this last budget in particular. >> thank you. miss burke?
>> governor walker i think is trying to have it both ways. he talks about health and safety as if it's pretty reasonable. but his position is anything but reasonable. he believes that even in the extreme cases of rape and incest, that that is not a woman's choice and that is politicians that are deciding that for them. that is wrong. and taking that decision away from women is not something that i would do as governor. >> you can see the entire wisconsin governor's debate and more than 100 campaign debates that c-span is covering this year on the website, c-span.org. in colorado senate race senator mark udahl debated his republican challenger, congress massachusetts corey gardner. recent polling is showing that the race is too close to call. from denver, this debate is an hour. . . . . . [applause]
> how are you all? >> good evening and welcome to the "denver post." we're glad that you guys came out tonight to see the last of our "denver post" debate series. tonight we are lucky enough to feature the senate race with senator mark udahl and rep cory gardner. i'm chuck plunkett, the politics editor here at the "denver post." with me moderating is lynn bartless, the "denver post" reporter covering the race. [applause] >> and one of the most well known reporters in politics coverage in the state of colorado, if not the rocky mountain west. all right. so thanks for coming. we just have a couple of quick little pieces of business to
conduct. please withhold tonight overt reactions or displays until we've concluded our debate. i understand if someone says a funny line, you can't help but chuckle a little bit. let's hold the applause and whatnot until afterwards. if we have any heckling or overt disturbances we'll ask that person or persons to leave. we'll have four different kinds of questions tonight. we'll have questions that are specific to the candidate. those questions are themed so the other candidate will not have a rebuttal. then we have traditional questions for both candidates. we'll have a lightning or a yes or no round, and we'll have a round where candidates get to ask questions of each other. we'll forego opening statements. these men are both well known. if you wish to know more about em, lynn bartles this sunday published lengthy articles about each candidate and you can check that out in the
"denver post." hank you all for coming. >> i have to make sure my wiretapping equipment is working here. thanks for being here. much of this campaign has centered on women's health issues, from abortion to birth control. we have separate questions for both of you on that issue. mr. gardner, you've been accused of waging an eight-year battle to outlaw birth control. please explain where you stand on birth control, including your positions on the i.u.d. and the morning-after pill. >> i'm sorry, what was the last part? i couldn't understand that. >> on the i.u.d. and the morning-after pill. >> well, thank you very much for the opportunity to be here with you today. it's simply outrageous to believe that someone would try to ban birth control. that's outrageous. the first time that my wife and
i saw a television ad by senator udall that said we wanted to ban birth control my wife looked at me, smiled and said, didn't you used to pick up my prescription? i support over-the-counter contraception made available without a prescription. we should change obamacare to make sure insurance can reimburse for that over-the-counter contraceptive purchase. when it comes to the other issues that you have mentioned, those are legal and nothing is oing to change that. >> mr. udahl, we know that you support a woman's right to choose. but given the advances and the scientific understanding of fetal development, where pregnant mothers know at which week their babies grow fingernails and can swallow, would you provide a ban on late-term abortions, and if so, at what week? >> let me thank the "denver post" for hosting us and i look forward to a robust and spirited discussion. congressman gardner has built his political career on working
to ban abortion and common forms of contraception. and this question is, in effect, a diversion from the real differences between us in this campaign. colorado voters have weighed in over and over again on where they stand in roe v. wade and where we stand and where colorado voters stand is trusting the woman to make the decision that is are best for her and her family, and frankly politicians and judges and businessmen and women ought to butt out and trust the women of colorado. there are situations where there are late-term abortions that are necessary. i heard of a couple that waited many years to have a child, and in the late months they found that that child's brain was growing outside the skull of that fetus. to demand that that woman carry that child to term would be a form of government intervention that none of us want to see happen. in sum, we ought to respect the women of colorado and their point of view. >> we also have separate
questions for both of you regarding the affordable care act. mr. udall, you're up first. in your first senate debate in 2008 when you were asked about health care reform, you said, "i'm not for a government-run solution." you voted for the affordable care act which has expanded medical care coverage for millions of low-income americans. how is this not a government-run solution? >> lynn, we did just what i suggested we should do, which is we put people in charge of their health insurance. that's what the affordable care act does. the insurance companies were running our system. we had a broken system. if you were a woman, you were charged more. if you had someone in your family that had a pre-existing condition, good luck getting the coverage you needed. if someone got sick in your family, your rates could be jacked up or you could literally be dropped off your policy. the system was flat out broke. what we did was put people back in charge of their insurance coverage. this is, again, one of the many differences in this campaign between congressman gardner and
me. he believes that we ought to go back to the failed system. he's demonstrated that by voting over 50 times to repeal the affordable care act. my approach has been to work with coloradans and move us forward. the affordable care act as we know is far from perfect. the roll-out had a lot that was lacking. but we're moving forward in the state of colorado and we've seen 400,000 coloradans in various ways have quality health insurance that didn't have that health insurance a year ago. that's real progress. the colorado way is to work together and ensure that more and more coloradans can have coverage. not repeal the affordable care act and go backwards. that's what congressman gardner would do. >> mr. gardner, you were one of the coloradans who received a notice that your health care plan had been cancelled. while you've been quick to wave the letter around you have redacted the portion about the plan your family was using. why the secrecy? >> we didn't believe it was fair that senator udall voted
for a bill that created a separate program for members of congress versus the public. so we opted out of the congressional health care plan and chose our own private health care solution and we were one of 340,000 people who senator udall broke his promise to, the promise that if we liked our health care plan we could keep it. we chose a plan that we could afford and best fit our need, as did 340,000 other coloradans. senator udall promised that they could keep their health care plan if they liked it. he didn't say if i liked your plan you can keep it, but that's exactly what happened. we should repeal obamacare and create in its place solutions that will actually work to lower the cost of health care, to i am crease the quality of care. what we ought to do is make sure we put solutions with pre-existing conditions can be covered. instead, what we got from senator udall was broken promise after broken promise. that is not the colorado way, senator. >> mr. gardner, could we take just a few more second? we wanted to try to get a specific answer to the question
-- [laughter] >> why did you redact a portion of the specific plan your family was using? >> because we found a solution, an insurance policy that we liked, that our family liked. the same kind of solution that 340,000 other coloradans found. 340,000 coloradans found a health insurance policy that they liked. what senator udall promised was that if you liked your health care plan you could keep it. he did not say -- and what snosh udall wants to say is he wants to say -- >> mr. gardner, i'm sorry, if you would like to answer the specific question, we have a few more -- a little bit more time. >> i'm happy to debate the failure of obamacare this entire hour if senator udall would agree. let's do it. if you want to debate -- >> no, we have all these questions we want to ask. >> hold on. >> if i might, chuck, i'd like to get a word in here. >> if you'd allow rebuttal on that specific question. >> you rebutted him. we tried to get you to answer a specific question.
>> wait a second. let's get control of the situation here. every now and then i will want -- lynn -- we'll look at each other and confer to ask a follow-up question. that's our prerogative. sometimes if a candidate doesn't answer a question, that also tells you something about the candidate the voters can know. right now we're going to move on to -- >> chuck, i would like to address what you just said. >> that's not applicable to just you, mr. gardner. that applies to any candidate that doesn't specifically answer a question. so, lynn, go ahead and -- oh, no, it's me. let's stick with the affordable care act for another round. mr. gardner, we will engage you a bit longer. mr. gardner, thanks to the affordable care act more than 200,000 colorado residents were able to get health insurance through medicaid. if congress appeals the law as you supported in the past, what would you do with these residents who would then lose coverage? >> to make changes in reforms to medicaid it did not take a 2700-page partisan bill that was passed when the obamacare
action went through. as senator udall just answered the question, he said in colorado we work together. when he passed obamacare he did it on the most partisan of terms. not a single republican vote for obamacare. i believe we have to do something instead of going back to what we had in place before the affordable care act, to address people with needs, including those people on medicaid, to make sure we provide insurance with people with pre-existing conditions, to make sure we address the issues of tort reform, with health savings accounts that can meet all the needs of the people. three promises were made when obamacare was passed. first, if you liked your health care plan you could keep it. senator udall broke his word. the second promise, if you liked your doctor you could keep your doctor. senator udall broke his word. the third promise, if this will lower the cost of health care, senator udall broke his word and in fact at a debate just yesterday he said it will still increase. >> thank you. we're out of time. lynn? >> mr. udall, thousands of
coloradans have either had their health care plans cancelled or their rates increased because of the requirements of the affordable care act. what changes to the law would you make to mitigate this problem? >> lynn, i've got to just note that congressman gardner has shown that he has the capability to filibuster. we need to move the country forward. [applause] i'm sorry -- >> let's withhold applause until later. >> there was nobody more angry than me when the insurance companies broke faith with the intent of the law. the intent of the law was if you liked your plan you could keep your plan. when i realized what was happening i went to work immediately. i offered legislation that would allow coloradans to keep their plan. i was on the door-step of the white house urging this administration to provide those waivers and i worked with the governor of colorado and the division of insurance. as you know, congressman gardner is misstating what happened. there were about 350,000 letters that went out, but most
of those letters included an option to renew your policy, and that's what happened. but the point is that we want to work together because you heard congressman gardner say he's going to repeal obamacare. what does that leave us with? at the mercy of the insurance companies, like we were in the decades before. we can't go backwards. let's go forward. >> now we have the same questions for both of you. much has been made of women and economic issues from minimum wage to lilly ledbetter to salaries for your congressional staff. why do you believe your record on these issues is better than your opponent's, mr. udall? >> clearly my record is better than my opponent's. all you have to do is look at our boats and look at the bills we've sponsored. i guess i start with the person -- personal amendment that dockman gardner has sponsored. it would ban all abortions and limit access to most forms of contraception.
we've had that on the ballot here twice in the state of colorado. we have it on the ballot again this year. congressman gardner is out of the mainstream in his support for the amendment. we have a real opportunity to ensure that women receive the same pay for doing equal work. at legislation has been in front of the house of representatives and gardner has voted against it. he voted against a measure that would provide more flexibility in the workplace for nursing mothers. congressman gardner doesn't support the minimum wage. that would raise women's prospects here in colorado, since 2/3 of minimum wage workers in this state are women. congressman gardner has a long way to go to understand the needs of women in our state. >> mr. gardner, same question. >> senator udall talks about going forward, unfortunately, he's put this economy in reverse and nobody has suffered more than women around our country because of senator udall's failed policies. let's look at obamacare. women were promised they could keep health care plans this they liked.
340,000 families had their health care plans cancelled. women were promised they could keep the doctor that they liked. unfortunately, thousands of people around the state of colorado had their doctors out of network. this economy has hurt women across the nation. the labor participation rate is at its lowest in 36 years. in fact, if you look at the most recent numbers, more women are out of the workforce than the previous reporting period because under mark udall and barack obama's failed economy, the jobs aren't available. and so i have a plan, a four-corners plan to get this country back to work. focused on growing our economy, focused on energy and dependence, focused on education opportunities, it's focused on protecting our environment. but what it is not focused on is voting 99% of the time with barack obama as senator udall has. >> we have the strongest economy in the nation right now.
we -- [applause] we have 400,000 more people that are covered with quality health care -- insurance because of the affordable care act. congressman gardner talks about the four-corners plan. about the only thing i can see him doing is cutting corners. he has voted against raising the minimum wage, when you think about the economy. education, he hasn't supported abincrease in pell grants so we can afford college for our young people. on energy, he touted a bill that was leading the green revolution and the agency didn't finance a single project and went out of business a few years later. on the environment, congressman gardner denies climate change is occurring. that's cutting corners to me. that's not a four corners -- >> i'm sorry. you're out of time. ? do i get a reboughtal
>> please, folks in the audience, we want a professional environment. think of the presidential key baits, where we want the viewers who may or may not have a position, who are trying to gauge the credibility of the candidates, so that they can help make that decision. partisan cheering or booing or whatever interferes with that, it just does. so i know that you feel strongly about your candidate and that's 100% understandable and great. but please, let's have a professional debate environment for these folks. like i said, once it's all >> i want to make something clear, too. if you were asked a question first. rebuttal. do a you get the extra 30 seconds this time. okay. gentlemen, if it's your plan to address the islamic crisis and describe the circumstances in which you would upport boots on the ground in syria and iraq. we begin with gardener. >> our foreign