tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 15, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
to the 600,000 people in louisiana that have outstanding loans. it is a public good for people to have strong education. what frightens me the most is to think about one or two of these gentlemen being in the senate and standing in line with governor jindal who has cut higher education in the state by $700 million, the largest cut any state in the union. i fought against those cuts and i've done a lot to make sure that at least we counter by supporting hundreds of millions of dollars through our hbc use which i'm very proud of. it would mandate the student loan. you should be able to refinance the student loan saving each student $8,000. double pell grants are now worth less than 30% of the value when they were first passed. neither one of them should support it. they should. looking a student in the face
who is trying to decide who to vote for here, what can you do for me tomorrow or in the first year to help me without my loan stress? >> i find that young people want freedom. they don't want their future mortgage by deficits which is paying for it. their motivation for freedom. i don't mind somebody refinancing their student loans. i just don't think the taxpayer should have to pay for it. taxpayers are struggling as these students are. are we going to ask them to struggle even more for a tax payer's fi? if they can get a better deal they should. i just don't the taxpayer should pay for it. >> we'll go to the colonel. >> common quarries become a
controversial issue in louisiana and around the country. our governor contends that the initiative represents federal overreach. regardless of where you stand on that point should the federal government play a role in education? and what should that role be? colonel? >> thank you, stephanie. >> the constitution has no role for education in k through 12 for the federal government. and i believe the department of education in the federal level should be dismantled and common four which i'm opposed to completely is something that the federal level with the national testing standard is acceptable for the parents, teachers and local elected officials and that's where if the federal government wants to play a role
block grant the dollars down to the state, local and officials and appearance to use those dollars as they see fit to help their children in their education. >> the federal roll is very important but it should be secondary to state and local contribution and it is. it represents less than 20% of the funding but as you know there's such discrepancy and zip codes around the country. your zip code shouldn't affect it. they have equalized opportunity. not guarantee success but guarantee opportunity to succeed that's why the federal government got into the business of funding. i work with george bush, not a democrat, a republican to help bring accountability to funding to our public school system and will work with all presidents of all parties. since i've been there three presidents now and six governors.
i support state based standards which common core is. it's not a national mandate. in fact, our government is a supporter of it before he decided to run for president of the tea party which ryan maness is a part of. yes, i support common core. they are local standards. >> thank you. >> congressman cassidy? >> you have a common issue. now, we've worked and my daughter's doing fantastic. but do i think one size fits all? no. that said if a state wants to fight among themselves, i also believe in federalism. the state can fight among itself and don't common core. the federal government should not force common core upon states. they just shouldn't.
with a state initiative to begin with us the sort of obama, my god, the federal government is going to tell us how to live our lives. they are going to require the state to don't common core if they're going to give any federal assistance. i oppose that absolutely. the federal government should not be forcing this upon states. >> thank you. i think stephanie had a problem -- >> what roll do you think the federal government should play in k-12 education? >> is that mine? >> yeah. >> he who governs best is the one that is close toast the child. it should be the mother or the father who makes the most decisions about the child's education. the federal government should merely play a roll of making sure that the federal funds are dispersed upon the state is not fraud and be a model. and the federal government will pick and choose what programs it will endorse, i think that's wrong. >> jeremy, you have the next
question and we begin with senator landrieu. >> senator some of the most contentious issues on the hill involve spending bills and the federal government. what are the key federal funding areas for louisiana that need to be protected? also if it comes up in the next term and it looks like it very may well, would you vote in favor or against raising the debt ceiling? >> first of all, disaster funding is very important. and i've been the leader of disaster funding in the congress both for our recovery here in the gulf coast and for help with sandy as well and other disasters around the country. my opponent, congressman cassidy voted against funding for his own district when isaac hit. he sided with the republican party in the republican study committee budget which said,
sorry, we can't afford disaster aid for isaac. we can afford no off-sets for people that make over a million dollars but not for disaster aid. so i fight hard for the state that is in the bull's-eye of disasters. and it affects, south, middle and north. i also think that revenue sharing is an important thing to fight for. i have secured it as a junior member of the energy committee. i'm now chair of the energy committee. that funding must be protected. we need to save our coast. we need to build energy jobs and that's what at state in this election. >> thank you. would you vote for the debt ceiling? >> i voted for america to pay its bill. he voted for the government to shutdown. i did not. that's a big difference in our record. >> dr. cassidy? >> i voted for hurricane sandy but i didn't vote for $30 billion. what i didn't vote for was related on that which wasn't related to hurricane sandy. that's not quite the best use of
taxpayer dollars from louisiana. and the disaster relief she speaks of, isaac was not mentioned in that disaster relief bill that says as we're going to speak about revenue sharing, that was pete domici's bill and bobby jindal worked on in that bill. i actually passed a bill until the house of representatives that would almost double what louisiana would receive from revenue sharing. it was bipartisan from drilling on the intercontinental shelf. it wasn't even considered. senator landrieu's bill she didn't bring it up either. harry reid and the administration were against it and it never came to vote. if she would have signed my bill and pass it, it would never even come into law. i've said before to mihm constituents and i i'll say again i'll vote for any debt ceiling which actually begins to address the debt ceiling
problem. if it lowering our indebtedness, i will vote for the ceiling. >> colonel? >> i'm not going to vote to raise testimony debt ceiling. we're $17 trillion and that's at national crisis levels an both of minute opponents have voted to raise it consistently previously. but as far as disaster funding goes, absolutely we should make sure that disaster funding gets taken care of. dollars would flow immediately to disasters so there wouldn't be a debating like what happened to the katrina bill which had a $50 million indoor rain forest for iowa. now why did the people of louisiana have to wait to get aid because of that?
there is no reason that anybody can justify for that waiting time. so let's get a outstanding disaster fund together for the people of louisiana and make sure that they get their aid immediately. as far as protecting our coastline, louisiana's coastline is the most important in the nation and you know what, senator landrieu, the president's policies are on the ballot and they're on your person. we talk about energy jobs a moment ago and they're hurting energy jobs. thank you very much. >> we're out of time. all right. >> all right. to shauna now for the next questions. >> you're asking four questions in one. it's really hard to get them all in one minute. >> you're doing very well. >> shauna gets the next question and it goes to congressman cassidy? >> nearly all residents 65 or older receive social security. it promotes $32 billion for louisiana. yet year after year the social
security trustees tell us that the program faces financial challenges. how would each of you protect this vital program for today's seniors and strengthen it for future generations? congressman cassidy? >> my mother lives with us. she's 92 years old and is aware of the importance of social security. if you're currently on social security your benefits will decrease. your current benefits will decrease by 25% to 30%. those are for folks who are currently receiving what tip o'neill and ronald reagan did 30 years or so, they gradually increased the age of eligibility to preserve benefits for those who are on and those who are about to be but those who have strength in the program. ideally you do it as low as possible as someone who is not yet born. i am committed to preserving benefits, social security
benefits for those who are on it, those who are soon to retire and those who are going to be in the future. we can do that by gradually increasing the age. senator landrieu has endorsed that and will post it on the website. >> most of us expect to get that. let's talk from a principled perspective first. congressman cassidy, you have voted to raise the retirement age at 70. i've worked with folks out in the field for many years and there's no way that a lot of these skills could be done up until age 70. so i disagree with that. and we shouldn't demand that current recipients of social security should take reduced benefits.
so we have to protect that and that will comb one of my principles. >> the other thing that we've got going is the congressman mentioned is we've got time. and the guys that are about 10 years out and have their benefits protected too. where we really need to go to work is in the disability social security fund. it's increased dramatically for folks who are on disability and it's hard to imagine with the way safety standards today that there are that many injuries on the job and we need to look at it and that will run out in about two years. >> senator landrieu? >> there are about 550,000 people in our state on social security and some additional on disability. i agree with colonel maness. i don't think we should raise the social security age like congressman cassidy did to 70. there are some people who are very hard and people cannot work until 70. i think that is a very bad policy. that's one of the things that's at stake in this election.
now i -- let me finish, please. i also believe that social security is not an entitlement. it is an earned benefit. people work hard their whole life and pay into the fund and they should be able to take it out. now, in madison parrish african-american's life expectancy is 71 years old. so when people say people are living longer. maybe people in connecticut. but i've got plenty of people in my state that are not living very long because medicaid is not very -- is very ole. >> congressman cassidy, i would like for you to respond to that about you wanting to raise the age to 70. >> the fact that people don't talk about it is because it didn't hurt anybody if you pick an age and someone would say 40 now and they would become eligible at 67 in a month.
if they're 39 they become eligible at 67 and two months. you see where i'm going with this, down to 30 in 67 in 10 months. they have time to plan for their retirement. those who are about to be, nothing changes. it preserves the program as opposed -- >> i think we're out of time. sorry about that. >> here's a question. allen, i know that everyone would probably want to answer, right? >> yes. >> since this debate is being held in the bow sure city area home of the air force base, what will you do to keep the naval bases all critical to louisiana's economy viable and off the base closing list? and let me add as safe as you might feel any one day, the next day you could be the target of a budget cut.
so -- >> colonel maness? >> that's a great question. well, what i've actually done for barksdale is help build global strikes command as director of programming and requirements. so i'd help establish the first budget and shepherd it through the approval process. my team wrote the first 25 years that it's operating on today. i've done that work on the ground and as a wing commander in the air force and work with delegations and local government and local committees to keep a base viable so that its missions are appropriate to the national security of the united states. and that's the key. we have to constantly be working with all of the bases and the department of defense to insure there are viable missions to the base. it requires a lot of hard work and coordination within not just the department of defense but
all of the local governments and local community leaders that aren't in government that want to stand for keeping their bases viable. >> all right. senator? >> thank you. as the first democratic woman appointed to the armed services committee, i've been a strong supporter of our military for many, many years. i served for 12 years on the military construction committee and have supported literally, allen, millions an millions of dollars of construction for barksdale and belle chasse specifically help to land has the leader of our delegation the global strike command which is -- and we're going to get a three-star but a four-star general. and we protected it. and that will be announced very soon. so it's exciting. barksdale was so successful, we created the pro-guess that literally saved 5,000 jobs at
fort polk. our military is very important. that's why we need leadership and strength in washington to protect these bases and sending a rookie to the senate is not going to help. >> his short answer was not much. now that said i'm quoting john mccain. the deficit is what is killing our defense budget. and there's something called sequester which is automatic budget cuts to put into place. house republicans on two occasions advance bills that would end these automatic cuts restoring money to polk, belle chasse as well as barksdale. harry reid never took these up. now we know why. leon pennetta says the president wants to cut the military.
as long has harry reid is senate majority leader these bases will be in danger. senator landrieu said that her first vote would be to re-elect harry reid. he is a rubber stamp of barack obama. it shouldn't surprise us senator landrieu supporting president obama 97% of the time if you want to save those bases, elect bill cassidy. >> we are short on time. >> this is actually going to be our last question. it goes to stephanie. >> fair warning another multi-part question on climate change this time. do you believe that climate change is real and that it's a threat to low lying areas such as south louisiana? what should any policies should the federal government pursue to combat change? >> yes, i do believe our climate
is changing and i do believe that humans contribute. however, we have to be very careful about the policies that we promote. i'm a strong supporter of fossil fuels. yes, natural gas particularly because it is a 50% cleaner burning fuel. we have 200 years of it. america could do a great service and great security by promoting more domestic energy exploration production. i've been a strong supporter. i opened up eight million new ackers in the gulf. i've secured expedited permits on western land. i do not agree with president obama on his energy policies. i do not -- i've now served with three presidents and six governors. i've had disagreements as well as support for some of their policies. we have to be careful about what we can do. we can build a strong energy future with canada, mexico and the future candidates. >> we are lose our coastline but
that is relative sea level rise. if you compare -- that's related to our levees on our river taking needed sediment from restoring our coast as well as other factors that cause the land to sink as much as water rising. for example in florida they haven't seen the water rising. if you want to preserve our coastline i'm not sure climate change is the issue as much as getting that sediment into the mississippi river and putting it in the marshes which preserves it. i'll point out that our first vote is for senator harry reid. he will never allow a pro oil and gas bill to come tom the floor of the senate. she's already said that would be her first vote. >> all right.
>> well, it's evident that warming around the globe has occurred over the last 100 years. but there hasn't been anything seen in the last 16 years, some say even the last 19 years or even 26 years. so i think we've got a lot more to learn about climate and what makes it change. i know the president and senator landrieu's policy is that we need urgent action on climate change, but you know, if we don't really know how the climate changes and we're not seeing any warming, i think that leaves that in doubt. and there are much more urgent priorities like eliminating isis. energy independence and getting our stagnant economy going again so our college graduates actually have sustainable well paying zwrobs go to to pay off those student lones. thank you very much. >> all right. we have time for just a few yes and no lightning round questions, one word answers an we have a lot of them. we're only going to give you three.
and we're going to begin with you, dr. cassidy. are you in favor of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes? >> medicinal purposes, yes. >> what did you say? >> yes. >> maness? >> no. >> landrieu? >> no. >> is health care a fundamental right? >> no. >> you said no? >> yes. >> do you favor a balanced budget amendment? >> absolutely. >> of course. >> not an amendment but a budget balanced. >> all right. this is the last one. i want you to rate on a scale of 1-10 two people. president obama and governor jindal. [laughter]
all right. cassidy? two people. president obama and governor jindal? >> no. >> no, you won't do it? >> ok. >> obama's a zero. obama's going to go down as one of the worst presidents? governor jindal, he's taken some tough licks. i give him a seven. >> ok. maness? >> zero and five. and he has taken some hits. >> all right. and senator? >> i would give governor jindal barely a three. i work now with six governors. >> three. >> and i would give president obama six to seven. i think he's had some really tough issues to deal with. >> thank you very much. it's time for us to move to closing statements as we did before. we'll start with senator landrieu. but we're down only minute and a half of this closing statement because of timing.
but our clothing statement from from each statement candidate starting with senator landrieu. >> i want to thank the coalition for hosting this tonight and for being back at centenary. i've had the pleasure of representing the state for 18 years in the united states senate. and while president obama is not on the ballot, the future of louisiana is. and electing a senator that can get the job done when it comes to energy, building a middle-class in our country and in louisiana, supporting more domestic production, supporting the keystone pipeline, and cap 25,000-plus people with natural gas. using my influence and apply clout which is really the people's influence and the people's clout in louisiana. i think fighting hard for our state when it comes to disasters, disaster relief both lone forgiveness, supporting our
universities and bringing billions of dollars to the state when it was necessary. i also believe supporting our seniors, not raising the retirement age to 70, keeping medicare as we know it. supporting health care for people that work and let's not repeal the law,. let's improve it. i have some suggestions to do so. finally coastal restoration. whatever we do in louisiana won't be worth anything if we can't save our coast. the revenue sharing bill that i passed the sustainability efforts are paying offer. let's keep -- efforts are paying for it. i ask for your vote. >> she's not sure their family can pay their bills. she's seen her gasoline, her groceries, her utilities all those bills going up and now a 20% increase in her health care premium due to the affordable care act. this is not in spite of president obama's agenda.
it is because of that agenda. an agenda that senator landrieu supports. for 21 years i cared for families who had nothing. i set up a vaccination program to vaccinate children at school 38,000 against hepatitis b so the mom would haven't to miss work nor the child miss school at no cost to the child or to the school system. that i have been serving families like that for 25 years. when you walk into the voting booth, november the 4th, think about that family. it might be yours. do you want senator landrieu tom complete barack obama agenda? if so, vote for her. if you want someone who's going to push and repeal obamacare, who's going to push for an energy policy to create better jobs and better benefits so that family has better wages, if you want someone to serve washington instead of you serving
washington, d.c., then vote bill cassidy. thank you. >> colonel maness? >> i would like the coy -- i would like to thank the coalition and louisiana public broadcasting. i've never run for office before. so many louisianans don't know me. at 17 i enlisted myself. i rose through the ranks. i went tonight school and became an officer. i fought in the skies over iraq and afghanistan. i've chased terrorists on secret missions in countries i can't name. i've commanded america's finest young men and women until life and death situations. and our country honored me with a bronze star for leadership. but our future is in danger from poor leadership by career politicians. if our leaders could anchor themselves more to the people they serve and be more devoted
to our constitution, we could put america back on track. instead of decline, we could claim an american renaissance and a new century of greatness. my belief that america is our last best hope sustained me throughout my years of service. and i believe that our best days can still be ahead of us if our people would just rise up and make their voices heard. i'm offering my service and asking for your vote to create a government that's once again worthy of the american people. i love you. i love god. god bless louisiana and these united states and thank you very much. >> well, thank you all for participating. thank you panelists, thank you audience at home. thank you very much. on behalf of l.t.d. and louisiana public broadcasting,
thank you very much for joining us. good night. [applause] >> the louisiana senate for ack out c-span.org schedule of debates and watch past debates in the video library. follow us on twitter and like us .t facebook.com tomorrow, the head of the cdc, and dr. anthony , testify about the u.s. response to ebola. that subcommittee hearing will be live on c-span beginning at noon eastern. journalhat, washington gets a preview from two members of congress. we will talk to michael burgess from taxes, a medical doctor and
a member of that subcommittee. green, also from texas, joins us. we will have your calls, comments. from this morning's "washington journal," a look at alaska. . status, teresa go, what to know about mark chances of holding onto the seat? --guest:n.org he had he had momentum early. it seems like early september, he lost the lead. the republican, dan sullivan, is holding a small but significant lead. , six points, depending on the poll that you look at. host: what will be the key
battlegrounds you look at? where will the race be decided? the outside money and the campaign seem to be focused on anchorage. the hometown of the former governor of sarah palin is a where i thinkrea a lot of the energies are focused on. bigr is trying to have a push. host: we have been trying to bring our viewers local issues as well as national issues as well. what is pebble mine? mine in proposed western alaska. very large. it has groups in that area and also around the state.
both candidates in general are trying to say that federal overreach is a that thing. that is a huge theme we keep hearing in the campaign. how, "i will stand against federal overreach." unusual or took the bold move in supporting the epa in ruling against the mine. it has been called a preemptive veto because it has not applied for permits yet. but he said, no, i support that, because this would be bad for fisheries in western alaska -- western alaska. that appeal to some native groups and commercial fishermen.
host: remind voters who didn't sullivan is. what is his background? guest: he has been called the guy with a golden resume. an ivy league education. he worked in the bush white house. he worked in the state department. under condoleezza rice. -- a marine, an active-duty marine. he was alaska's attorney general for a brief time. -- naturalational resources commissioner, a big job in alaska. one of the things the mark begich campaign is pushing, he came to alaska as an adult, so he is not from alaska. that has been something, a
narrative, thread throughout the campaign. one of the key figures play into the race is a republican, the other contender. here is a recent mark begich at mentioning that senator. >> we have over 3000 telecommunications jobs in alaska and mark begich has fought to protect them. a ceo of one of alaska's largest companies. i worked with mark when he transformed the economy. he did the same thing as senator. , one of thee works only states with both senators on the appropriations committee. we cannot afford to lose that. i voted for lease and now i am voting for mark. is joining usin on the phone. alaska public radio network air it how did she feel about being mentioned in a mark i get at? --
mark begich ad? picture run was a with that showing the both smiling at each other. the senator issued a cease and desist letter to try to get the campaign not to use her image. she said they were implying he has her support when she -- he does not. backing danng -- sullivan. about her support for dan sullivan, here is that advertisement. >> we are all tired of the negative advertisements. i am especially disappointed by the dishonest attacks by dan sullivan. i need a partner in the senate who will work to advance alaska's interests. alaska needs dan sullivan. joining us onin
the phone. six debates in nine days later this month in alaska. what are you expecting out of those debates. what issues will be the key issues? to say.t is hard we have seen debates between them, many debates between them. i do not know. i can imagine fisheries will be a hot topic. -- toughercopper against epa the federal government. hard to say. we have not got much to go on. there have been two debates between them so far. host: polling numbers also, not a whole lot to go on but a few polls in alaska. why is it so hard to pull alaska? there are far-flung communities, people a little bit off the grid. one conservative candidate joked
that his constituents did not like to answer the phone for fear the nsa was listening in. he was obviously joking, but there is a little bit of, you know, not being so henley to telephone pollsters. it is hard to say area -- say. , on herz ruskin another close races in iowa where tom harkin is retiring. ernst areley and joni running for that seat. up next, some of the campaign ads and a few minutes of the debate between the candidates. i'm bruce braley and i approve this message. ernstthe state senate,
voted to outlaw abortion the even in rape or and would abandon many forms of birth control. the providers should be punished. jonijonirnst promises -- ernst wants to abolish the eba. that is why extremists sarah brothers the koch want her in washington. promises for them and too extreme for us. the league of responsible voters is responsible for the content of this advertising. 0 i get very upset. are you ready to apologize?
i find it ironic that there's a big push to shut down the house jim. >> do you have advanced degrees in economics? >> there is no towel service. >> a farmer from iowa who never went to law school. don't have a masters or phd in health care policy. >> one of the most important places i go to is to the house gym. >> have you published any peer-reviewed treatises? i'm very upset. are you ready to apologize? i get very upset. super pac support as mentioned prior to the debate, you see a commercial here and there for and against each of you. specific questions on claims made against.
from kwwl will begin are questioning for congressman bralety. gary, thank you. it's great to have you tonight. have been given the greatest assignment to give you a chance to refute some of these super are bringing in millions of dollars from forces outside of iowa. we understand that you have no control over them at all. they are driven by scare tactics. i will change the order just slightly because of the gun control. i heard an ad the day, the nra that you victory fund and michael bloomberg are buddies and you will take away my second amendment rights. i don't like it. what's the answer? >> the answer is i've never met
michael bloomberg. i have no idea what these ads are based upon other than a fear that i will 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 with tim murphy. we've held lots of hearings this year on the connections between our failure to address the need of mental illness in our country . through those bipartisan hearings, we learn the largest mental health treatment is the los angeles county jail. we know that we have to do more. yet when senator ernst was asked about this question on what we could do, she was asked about the ads she ran in the primary when she was shooting a pistol in the camera saying that let me take aim at obamacare.
she was asked if she regretted it and she called it an unfortunate accident. i don't think it was an accident to the victims and their families. it's a horrible tragedy and then stated that already. where you have stated that 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 to receive care. they can walk into many places and discover where they can go for treatment. whether you are in a rural area or a populated area, we want to make sure that there is easy access for those that suffer from mental illness and do receive the care that they need. i will always be a strong supporter of the second amendment. our state motto, our rights we will maintain.
democrat bruce bailey and republican joni ernst made for their third and final debate tomorrow night. you can watch it live here on c-span at 8:00 p.m. eastern. kentuckydebate in the senate race where mitch mcconnell is seeking a sixth term against democratic challenger alison lundergan grimes. they were asked about the role of the federal government. has aelieve government place to help make the lives of kentucky better. and we canperpower advance our interests and protect our homeland. that does not mean we have to be the world police. i think we have work we need to in our home front. here in kentucky, that includes
helping to put thousands in kentucky back to work. under senator mcconnell's 30 years in washington have found themselves in dire circumstances unable to put food on the table and gas in their cars. it begins by making sure the women get equal pay for equal work thomas something that senator mcconnell has been against. sure thatby making our seniors, my grandmother, have someone who strengthens and protects medicare and social security. you see that as the role of government in people's lives? >> government has a role to make the lives of kentucky better. we have to have a senator who knows kentucky through and through and not one that is out of touch and one that knows the people of kentucky are struggling. >> equal pay for equal work has been the law since the civil
rights act of 1965. book. the job of the senator in my view, is to protect to the great country and its framework. the framework involves people have an opportunity to realize means ititions which too much government can frequently be a deterrent to opportunity. that is something we have to .atch to protect against when you have an explosion of ,pending, debt, taxes regulation, what it does is depress the economy and make it less likely our young people can find work and dig their way out of all of this. in the senate there's an opportunity to save and protect jobs almost every day. the paducah gas
plant and the new conversion plant all advocated and supported by the guy you are looking at. over here in richmond, the blue ot, employingp high skill people. down at lake cumberland when they decided a fish was endangered by raising the water level to solve the problems we could get tourism back and running again. it is protecting the opportunities that people have to better their lives and create jobs on a virtually weekly basis by preventing things that kill jobs and appropriating things that create job opportunities. tonight, three live debates. the florida governor's race, incumbent republican rick scott seeking a second term.
his opponent is charlie crist to served as a republican governor from 2007-2011 who switched parties and is now seeking another term as a democrat. the two debate at 7:00 p.m. eastern live on c-span. the third and final debate in debate, pat roberts seeking a fourth term challenged by independent candidate greg orman who has not said which party he will caucus with. one more to tell you about live on c-span 2, democratic senator chris coons and kevin wade. 2014 campaignpan coverage. follow us on twitter and get the bait schedules, video clips of key moments, debate previews from our politics team. bringing you over 100 house and
senate debates and we can instantly share thoughts. stay engaged by following us on twitter @cspan and liking us on facebook.com. in 2002, mark pryor was elected to the arkansas u.s. senate seat previously held by his father. this year the incumbent democrat is seeking a third term against tom cotton. they debated yesterday at the university of arkansas in fayetteville. this is one hour. i would like to thank those of you joining us across the country on c-span. we're bringing you this debate
by from the university of arkansas global campus in fayetteville, arkansas. thanks to the chamber of commerce and the university of arkansas for their help with the first and only live televised debate between the two u.s. senate candidates. the debate focuses on three topics -- education, transportation and economic development, and job creation. each candidate will have 60 seconds to answer followed by a 32nd rebuttal. we will make time for a 92nd closing statement. joining me on stage tonight are my co-panelists. and the moderator from talk business and politics, rosie bronx. >> our audience of more than 300 invited guests has been asked to remain silent during this debate.
i know it will be difficult but i have total faith in our audience tonight to be able to do this. we will make an exception at this moment as we welcome the stage the candidates for the united states senate, tom cotton and mark pryor. [applause] mr. pryor, mr. cotton, it is to see this evening and have you in the same room at the same time for a change. it was such a rare occasion that we decided to invite the state of arkansas and the rest of the nation to file in here. i talked to both of your mothers before the debate to get
pointers of how to keep you guys under control should you get out of line tonight. i got a lot of recommendations from them. if i call you by your first, middle, and last name, you know you will be a little out of bounds. a drawing earlier today determine the order for opening and closing statements, how that would be and how the questions would be answered and mr. pryor, you are up first with your opening statement. >> thank you. when i talk about arkansas coming first, that is not a slogan for me. arkansas is written on my heart. you know i love this estate. you know the most important thing i can do is listen. that is what i have done. i have taken your good ideas to washington and we have made a difference.
not so with congressman cotton. two years ago when he was running for the house, by his own admission, he was down in his own polls and struggling. that changed one day when he got a fedex. he opened it up and looked in there and there were $300,000 in checks from out-of-state billionaires. he must've thought, this is easy. all i have to do is carry their water and they will keep writing checks. that is exactly what he has done. this year it is not $300,000. this year it is over $20 million from the out-of-state billionaires that have written to try to buy the selection. why? because they know they can count on tom cotton. they know he was the only one in arkansas to increase the age of medicare and social security to age 70. he was the only one who made big cuts at arkansas children's hospitals. that is the difference in this rate. i listen to you and he listen to the billionaires. that is what i mean when i say arkansas comes first. >> mr. cotton, you have 90 seconds to open.
>> i spent the last year traveling around the state, speak to a truck driver, a farmer, a nurse. they are frustrated with washington and they should be. i have not been in washington very long, but i have been there long enough to know washington needs change. it could use more of the comments as i learned growing up on a farm. it could use leadership and courage. washington simply is not working for arkansas families. wages are down, prices are up, obamacare is a disaster it, and we are $18 trillion in debt. parents are worried about their kids future. so am i. my wife and i are expecting our first child. we do not want her baby to have a future that is less prosperous and less safe. that is the future of obama's policies.
less prosperity, lesson safety and security. senator pryor has voted with obama 93% of the time and he cast a deciding vote for obama care. there is a better way. let's get the economy going. let's for po obamacare. let's balance the budget. let's rebuild the military. let's stop apologizing for america. >> mr. cotton, the 188 fighter wings mission was previously changed. it may have been transferred out of state. the river valley was promised new jobs when drones were added to the mission. what will you do to ensure these jobs return to fort smith? >> is a former infantry officer who has been in combat, i can tell you there are few things that an infantryman love to hear
better than the sound of an a-10 warthog coming over the mountain. it is not sleek, it is not modern. it does save lives. it supplies close support for infantryman. i try to fight it from the very first day that i entered into office. we need a manned up flying mission in arkansas. as your next senator, i will work to restore that because we have some of the lowest cost, highest efficiency training facility in the river valley. i'm going to work the pentagon day in, day out to make sure they provide tools for soldiers overseas as well as jobs at home. >> thank you. i love working alongside people in fort smith. i started working on the 188 several years ago when b.r.a.t came along.
we were able to get that mission converted from f-16s to a-10s. that is converting from a-10s to drones. to answer the question specifically, we need to get faa approval to have those drones fly over this particular airspace and i have been working on that. i don't have that done, but i do know that recently we have been working to save the fire trucks in the emergency vehicles at that airport and that is an important part of keeping the airport open. i love working for fort smith. i love working alongside fort smith it is a very patriotic community. the 188 is a very proud wing. they have a long history. they have done great things. we need to keep them flying and
strong. >> mr. cotton, you are entitled to a 30-second rebuttal. >> it is one of the reasons we are having to cut back on forces and arkansas. that is why soldiers deployed are being told when they return, they will not have a job. mark pryor will not take national security seriously because he is supported the radical military drawdown. >> one of the things i talk about to the military leaders in washington is the strategic important of the 188. they have great airspace. they are the crown jewel of this. it does not show up the first time you look at it. fort chaffee is basically right off the runway. the fact that they can do joint
training, the fact that the navy seals are there, the fact they can do close air support, drones, everything they need right there. >> the second question comes to you first. it is from scott inman. >> we reported last week that walmart is dropping its health insurance for part-time workers, following similar decisions by other big companies and they have raised premiums for full-time workers because of an influx of workers required to buy health insurance under the federal health care law. do you believe this is an unintended consequence of the law was it expected and should the lobby changed? >> let me say what i would say
to those walmart employees. i don't know all the details about what they are doing and i don't know the inside details on everything. let me tell you what i would say to walmart employees in arkansas. they now have an option. they have the private option. they can get private insurance, because the state legislature, democrats and republicans, came together to provide the private option. when it comes to the affordable care act, people in arkansas pre-existing conditions were routinely denied access to coverage. they are one medical emergency away from bankruptcy. the insurance companies had all the power. what we needed to do was to get patients back in charge of their health care. i do want to make changes in the law. i think that would be a mistake to go back to those days. >> mr. cotton. >> those workers at walmart lost their insurance and their
premiums went up because of obamacare. because mark pryor cast the deciding vote for obama care. this is not an unintended consequence. this was the intended consequence of obamacare. they want people out of private insurance and onto government insurance. those people at walmart or other companies do not want an option. they want their health insurance. mark pryor and barack obama promised them that if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. they did not keep that promise. but so many others, they are feeling pain and stress of losing their insurance and
trying to find a better option when they have an exact plan that suited their needs. they took that plan away from them so they could have government-run health insurance. i don't think that is good for arkansas workers, families, or businesses. >> 30-second rebuttal. >> i want you to pay attention to what the congressman did not say. he did not say he had any solution for people with pre-existing conditions. the reason he does not say that is because he really does not. in other context, he talks about the high risk rule. i am a cancer survivor, as you all know. i have been in the high risk pool. i have lived there. it is no place for any arkansan to be. >> i, like all arkansas, and think of that senator pryor survived his cancer. but many people were happy with their coverage under the high
risk pool before was a limited. they should have been allowed to keep that choice, but obamacare eliminated the choice. >> the next question is from diana davis. >> when we speak of entitlement programs, first and foremost this election year has been a discussion and focus on food stamps and they are being tied to the farm bill. how long have food stamp spent a part of the farm bill and why did you vote against the farm bill? >> i voted for the farm bill. food stamps have been part of the farm bill for decades. it is one constituency working with another 48 deal that was not good for arkansas farmers. i grew up in a farm. my dad taught me that you cannot spend more money than you take in. we are $18 trillion in debt. the food stamp will, which is what i would call the farm bill, is a most a trillion dollars of new spending. farmers can expect to get one half of 1% on the return on that built and 75% of arkansas farmers get no benefit.
what we need is a farm bill that focuses on the needs of farmers and i supported that. and a food stamp reform bill that gets people food when they need it, but also eliminates waste and abuse and the institutionalized fraud that you see in states like massachusetts and illinois. mark pryor insists on doing things the old way. if you like the status quo, mark pryor and barack obama are on your side. >> one of the reasons i did vote for it as well as all the other members of the arkansas delegation, except for congressman cotton, is because we did a billion dollars in food stamps reform. we addressed $8 billion in this bill. this is an example of congressman cotton says one thing in arkansas, for the farm bill, but does another in washington. he was the only member of the arkansas delegation to vote
against it. if you want one insight into why, you can go online and there is an audio tape where he is at a luxury resort in california with his billionaire backers and as they are introducing him, they say that he has voted against the farm bill and that that is a vote against arkansas and you hear a a huge over nation. he is not listening to you. he is listening to his mega-donors. >> i'm the only candidate on stage who grew up on arkansas on a farm. i am the only candidate who went to high school surrounded by soybean fields. i know what keeps farmers up at night and gets them up in the morning. we had a farm bill and the house of representatives and all four arkansas congressman voted for. president obama issued a veto because he wanted more food stamps. mark pryor listened to who we always listen to, barack obama, and went along with him in the status quo. >> the rhetoric sounds good, but
he is trying to further his political career and he is leaving arkansas behind. what you see with congressman cotton is a business transaction. he goes to california to meet with his billionaire backers. if you listen to other audio he is in a room full of investors. why should we invest in you? he turns around and gives him big tax breaks. they are going to get a big payday. they will get a return on their investment with congressman cotton. >> there's a lot of talk about helping the middle class. what is your definition? >> under law, there are a lot of different definitions. when i think of middle-class, i think of most of arkansas. that is maybe up to $200,000. that is different ways to judge it. we need to focus on the middle class. we need good middle-class jobs. that is why i have the america made strong legislation.
we focus on the middle class. congressman cotton seems to want to build the economy from billionaires down. i want to build it from the middle class out. that is what we need in this country. that is what has made america great. we had a strong middle class but the middle class is hurting right now. we need to do everything we can. in washington, we should be able to agree on jobs and the economy. we need to focus on the middle class and that has been my focus. we need middle-class jobs here. we need to bring manufacturing jobs back to arkansas and to america. all the economists say the time is now. >> mr. cotton? >> when i think of middle-class arkansans, i think of people i
have met on the campaign trail. we met a couple with a two-income family. because obamacare drove up the price of their health insurance, they had to sell their home and move in with her parents. that is the economy that mark pryor and barack obama created. in arkansas we have added 28,000 jobs in the last six years, even as the population is growing. we have added 88,000 people to be foodstamp programs. i think that is a tragedy and has to stop. one way to stop it is to get government out of the private sector. trusting arkansans and businesses and communities. we need to balance our budget. we need to repeal obama care. we need to let you keep your money in your pocket, rather than send it to washington dc and hope you get scraps back. >> i am not sure i have heard a definition from either one of
you of what the middle classes. >> i said up to $200,000. there are different definitions, but that is my working definition. i talk about the american-made jobs package. the first part of that is to repeal that inexcusable provision in the tax code were corporations get a tax deduction for shipping jobs overseas. i want to repeal that. it is the first section of the bill. congressman cotton has taken a pledge with these mega-donors to not do that. i disagree. >> senator pryor must be hanging around with billionaires of the things $200,000 is the middle class. a typical household makes $40,000 a year. that is down by oma's 5% over the last six years because of the obama economy. they raise taxes on businesses and individuals. that is what is driving jobs overseas. that is what is making it harder for arkansans to get good jobs on arkansas. that has got to stop. >> i would like to pivot back to health care. we have certainly heard stories positive and negative about how the health care law is affecting
arkansans. what we do know is more than 200,000 of them have signed up for coverage on the newly created health care exchange. many of them did not have insurance before. if we start over on health care reform, what happens to those arkansans? >> i think we have to start over because obamacare has been a disaster. it has continually created harm. we know we had problems with the health care system in 2010 when mark pryor cast his decisive vote. people with pre-existing conditions could not get coverage or it was not affordable. it has only gotten worse under obamacare. premiums are up 138%. 4000 arkansas just got cancellation notices of their
medicare advantage plan because mark pryor voted to cut $700 billion from medicare to pay for obamacare. when we repeal it and start over, we will do things like trust families, patience, and doctors, let you shop across state lines, give you tax treatment. it is not about replacing obamacare, it is about reforming broken programs like medicaid, cutting red tape, sending programs back to the state. the state can treat their own populations as they see fit, not how barack obama think they can under obamacare. >> as ronald reagan said, there he goes again. he throws all these fake facts, -- i think george w bush called it fuzzy math. i think that is charitable. here is the bottom line. in arkansas, we have over 200,000 people that have private insurance thanks to the private option. let's give the state legislature, which is led by republicans and the governor who is a democrat, let's give them credit for coming together with a great bipartisan arkansas solution to get over 200,000
people private insurance. in addition, there are 40,000 people in the exchanges. that is close to almost 250,000 arkansans that have private insurance that have it today and not a year ago and commerce and cotton insists on taking that away from them. >> i would remind you that the question is specifically asking what happens to those arkansans if that is overturned? >> senator pryor wants to talk about fake facts. i would encourage him to go see the arkansas seniors who just got cancellation notices that they were losing their medicare advantage plans because he voted for $700 billion in cuts to pay for obamacare. part of health care reform is performing all health care
programs, including medicaid which is a broken entitlement system and running out of money. we can return that money to state governments and we can encourage them to make choices right for the population under obamacare programs. >> let me respond to that very briefly. he talks about medicare advantage. there are many more arkansans that are on medicare advantage today than the day the affordable care act past. he has no answer for the people he would take off of these private insurance policies in arkansas. he has no answer on pre-existing conditions. he has no answer on keeping your children on your health care until age 26. he has no answer on any of this but is insistent on repealing it. >> senator pryor, shifting the focus to education, on this university campus as well as in northeast arkansas and arkansas state university and around the state at various institutions of higher learning, we have students who are incurring a
mountain of student debt. they are caring this burden with them into their professional lives and paying well into the years they should be saving for their own children's education and higher learning. what you think is a fair interest rate for student loans and do you have a plan for helping students to pay back student loan debt? >> i'm a graduate of the university of arkansas, undergrad and law school. this is a college town. little rock is in some ways a college town. we have great colleges and universities all over arkansas and we need to make education more affordable. i think a good student loan rate is 2.3%. congressman cotton has voted to double the interest rate on student loans. in addition, he says he wants to repeal the stafford student loan program. here's the problem.
when he went to harvard, he used stafford student loans. now he was to repeal the program. that is what climbing the ladder and then pulling it up behind you so no one else can find it. >> i can understand the struggles students face in higher education. i took student loans my cell. my dad is a farmer and my mom is a schoolteacher. we made the right choices, a mix of federal loans and private loans from our local bank. you don't get to make that choice anymore is a student because obamacare nationalized the student loan industry. obamacare grabbed money to pay for its own programs and took that choice away from you so the bank where you have a checking account can't help initiate a
loan for you. government bureaucracy can give that service even when they had competition. when they are a monopoly, it is really bad and that is why the cost of education is going up so high. under mark pryor's 12 years in office, the cost of tuition has increased about 84%. under the obama economy, people in their early 20's are seeing in unemployment rates increased by over 50%. that is bad for arkansas students and their families. >> once again, you look at congressman cotton, no solution. the reason he does not is because of his voting record. he went to harvard and we are proud of that. he did go to harvard, but one of the things you see over and over with congressman cotton is that he brags on the fact he went to harvard. he has used harvard to further his political career. that is ok.
it is not ok to then turn around and say you want to eliminate the very same student loan program that you used to get your education. >> i don't want to illuminate the student loan program. i wanted to compete with your local bank. this goes to show the hubris of mark prior and barack obama. what did you think the student loan rate should be? he said 2.3%. where did he get that, thin air? is mark pryor going to set your mortgage loan? is he going to set a loan for your tractor? washington politicians monkey around in the private sector and it hurts students. you can see it in the private tuition of the university of arkansas which has increased 84% in the last 12 years. >> the massive construction project to widen interstate 49 is underway in arkansas.
what can you do to ensure we get federal dollars for construction and quickly, and do you support earmarks for arkansas highway projects? >> i do not support earmarks. it is the gateway to hire spending, which is what we have had under mark pryor. in the last six years, senator pryor has voted for every dime in new spending. it is an immoral burden for the next generation. we can build an infrastructure right here and all across the country but we should get bureaucrats out of the business. why do we have to spend our money in arkansas to washington dc and hoping liberal politicians from around the country will send a few scraps back to us? i think we should keep more money ourselves and make our decisions or work with interstate compacts with states like missouri when we are building regional roads like i-49. that is the best solution for
arkansas, not to spend ourselves into $18 trillion in debt and begging politicians for a few dollars for rose we can build at home. >> i will disagree with congressman cotton on this answer because i believe in infrastructure. i believe infrastructure is critical to jobs. it is not just immediate jobs. it is not just construction jobs. american-made steel and cement is good, but is the long-term benefit that we get from an investment in infrastructure. the congressman takes the position because he voted to cut
infrastructure dollars in washington. why? because the billionaires who underwrite his campaign have told him to. they say jump, he says how high. he voted against infrastructure investment right here in arkansas. that is bad for our future. i talked to the mayor of warren a few weeks ago. they got a poultry plant. he thanked me. they said you got infrastructure dollars on wastewater disposal. they would not have come here had they not had that. infrastructure means jobs. >> it does mean jobs and we need more of it in arkansas. it is a good revelation of his mindset. he thinks your money is his money and you should be grateful for him returning a few pennies of it. we need a highway bill that will build bridges right here in arkansas, not send billions to california for light rail. pryor if senator focused on infrastructure, why did he vote for an $800 to must which is more about giving away money to corporate cronies and buildings in washington instead of roads in arkansas? >> i would remind you that the
question addressed i-49 and do you support earmarks? >> i do support i-49 and i supportedearmarks in the past. we do not do it anymore. i will say this -- if i'm elected to another six years, i want to finish i-49. i want to finish i-69. i want to finish i-55. i want to deepen the arkansas river to a 12-foot channel. every single one of those will add many, many jobs and help arkansas not just immediately, but in the long term. all of those are good investments. >> you are doing a fine job of staying on time. keep an eye on that red light. mr. pryor, the next question comes from scott inman. >> the congressional budget office announced last week that the federal deficit did shrink to a six-year low in fiscal year 2014 but the projection for the deficit over the next decade is still $7.2 trillion, presumably adding two more than a $17
trillion debt. what evidence can you provide that during your time in washington, you have had a commitment to cutting spending? >> if you look at my voting record in the last three years, i have cut $4 trillion in spending. in the last three years, i voted to cut $4 trillion in spending. they were wait too high when they were a trillion dollars a year. it is good news they are going down, but they are still high. this is what we need to remember -- we can balance the budget. we balance the budget 20 years ago when president clinton was in office and we did it by using discipline and good old arkansas arithmetic. that is what we need to do. one of the things we can do to help balance the budget is grow the economy. let's focus on jobs and the economy. let's get our economy moving again. let's build that middle class. that means more people paying
taxes. fewer people getting things like unemployment. that means it is good for the budget, good for the economy, good for america, and good for everybody. >> mark pryor and barack obama simply have no credibility on reducing the deficit in the future because look at what is happening to the deficit over the last six years. $1 trillion on average every year. mark pryor has voted for every penny of it. look what is happened since he got the washington. $2.1 trillion in spending. now we are at a 3.5 between dollars in spending. that is a terrible tragedy for the next generation. i think of a time when my constituents came from the river valley. we were talking about issues and the debt. how much are we in debt? you are in debt over $50,000. he looked like the kid from "home alone" when he learned he was a wave from his parents at christmas time.
we should not do that to the next generation. mark pryor and barack obama have done it continuously because they are not serious about reducing the deficit. i will. >> you all know me and you know i am serious about this. people in washington know -- i watch this closely and we have to get spending under control. that is why i voted to cut spending by $4 trillion in the last three years. where i focus is on the middle class and small businesses. congressman cotton focuses on the top tier wealthy. i don't think you build the economy from the billionaires down. i think you build it from the middle class up. >> over the last six years of the economy, if you make a living off of assets or investments like stocks or bonds, the top 5% of all income earners, you are doing ok. if you make a living by working, if labor is your means of putting food on your table, your incomes are down.
arkansas have seen a decline of 5% in their household income. that is because mark pryor is a rubberstamp for barack obama's policies. >> common core teaching has established standards all across the country that if a child moves from california to arkansas, they are on the same footing with their knowledge. at the same time, some teachers are saying that we have removed creativity and critical thinking skills by hearing to the common core standards. if we eliminate the opportunity to explore critical thinking, aren't we turning our schools into assembly lines? >> i grew up the son of a schoolteacher. my mom helped make a public school the best in the state. we need to have strong public schools.
we do not need washington, d.c. dictating educational standards to our schools. that is what happened with the common core. it started out as a voluntary, nonprofit idea, to try to establish general standards that could be adapted by states and local communities. and then barack obama and mark pryor hijacked it. they used it as a tool to dictate how you get federal money for education. i don't think that is right. i don't think parents should have to struggle to help their kid do math homework. i don't think we should use a one-size-fits-all method like, court to distribute your tax dollars back to local schools. that is barack obama's way. my ways to trust local communities. >> common core is an important
issue. i hear from teachers and parents about this. it started with the governors. it has largely been a state issue. it has passed the arkansas state legislature. i don't support a federal curriculum. i am a big supporter of public education. i went from first grade to law school in public schools and i'm proud of that. i think we need a first-rate education system in the country. children today in jonesboro and russelville, they are competing with children in china, and mexico. we need to have that superior education to train our workforce, to get people ready to compete in the global economy. >> the fact of the matter is mark pryor does support a federal curriculum. it is called the common core as
implemented by the department of federal education. barack obama and posted on the state. you do not get the money if you do not use common core. mark pryor went along with it and we have teachers who are frustrated that they do not know how to teach their students. parents are frustrated because they cannot help their children do homework at night. they are struggling already. i don't think we need mark pryor telling what curriculum should be. >> again, education is very important and one reason congressman cotton is putting up this big smokescreen about education is he is trying to take your eye off the ball because he has voted to cut education. those are his votes in the house. he has voted to cut education, and you ask why he does that. it is because the billionaires, the folks who have spent $20 million to try to buy this
election for him have said to vote against it. if they vote against the, he votes against it, he turns running gives them a tax break. >> gridlock in congress has caused one government shutdown which some say hurt the economy. many blame that on purely partisan votes were members of each party vote only with their party. when have you voted against the party line and why? >> lord. i have voted against the party line so many times, i am always criticize by democrats. the shutdown was terrible. i did not support that. congressman condit. congressman cotton did. when we reopened the government, i was part of the group that brokered that. we got the government back open. i have to give a lot of credit to susan collins. she called and said i have ideas. we you come to my office and talk about it? that was the beginning and we got the government open. one thing that people in washington know about me is i that is leadership to me.
that is getting things done for arkansas. it is something that you know about me. it is my trademark, if you will. the good news is i continue to work with republicans and i always will. >> mr. gotten? >> mark pryor says he votes in a bipartisan way. i guess that is true if you consider voting for barack obama 93% of the time to be bipartisan. he has put barack obama over the interest of arkansas. voting for $1 trillion of new debt every single year. standing up to big spenders in washington is where i said i stood up to my party. earlier this year, we passed a spending bill that broke through spending caps nine months old. how did they pay it? senator pryor and barack obama and too many republicans trying to balance budgets on the back of veterans. cutting their pensions. they extended spending caps out nine years. if big spenders in congress can't have some spending
discipline for nine months. i don't think they can do it nine years that. that is in keeping with his record of rubberstamping the obama agenda. you say that you vote against your party. which of the 93% of the votes you cast for barack obama's agenda did you regret? >> the question is when did you vote against the party line and why? >> i mentioned a few times and why and that is because i represent you. i am not there to oppose or support a president. i take that very seriously. the people who watch the senate every year have ranked me, and this is folks that know the senate and know how we vote, not all the rhetoric and spin you hear from the congressman here, they rank me every year as one of the most independent senators in washington. i am independent because i listen to you.
>> mr. cotton last rebuttal for , you. when did you vote against the party line, and why? >> i did not hear many instances of senator pryor voting against barack obama and he only does it when barack obama gives him permission. if you want to go back to the shutdown, i voted for every spending bill to keep the government open, to reopening the government, and to open it. it is senator pryor who kept voting against arkansas. in the end there were only two provisions. the option to follow obamacare, and using it to -- you did not have to pay a tax you could not afford. i guess senator pryor thinks that congressmen and senators have special perks, but you should have to follow obamacare and he was willing to shut down the government to do it. >> according to the social security administration, the trust fund will be depleted between 2033 and 2041. there are many proposals out there to avoid this and we have seen both of your campaigns highlight the unpopular ones.
this problem is certainly unavoidable without congressional action. which proposals would you support to strengthen the financial health of social security, and why? >> my mom and dad are on social security and medicare. sorry, mom, you probably did not want me to reveal that. i would not do anything to hurt them or the arkansas seniors that depend on social security and medicare. that is why i voted for no changes for anyone approaching retirement. senator pryor and barack obama cannot say the same. they robbed $700 million from medicare to pay for obamacare. if they did it once, they would be willing to do it again. senator pryor is resorting to typical washington hypocrisy. he is trying to scare seniors and hang onto power. a few years ago, he said he could save social security if he raised retirement age for teenagers today to 69.
now he is saying he did not say that. given his record on medicare, i don't think we can trust senator pryor with social security. the most important thing we can do to promote social security solvency is get people back to work and paying into the system, not taking out. that is not happening in the obama-prior economy. >> mr. pryor? >> i would caution the audience to beware about what congressman cotton says in a debate of social security. two years ago when he was running for the house, he was asked a similar question and said he would never do anything to harm people on social security today. guess what? it took him a grand total of five months after that election, five months, and he got the call from his billionaire backers. they told him to vote certain ways. when the aarp look at his voting record, they said his voting record would result in immediate benefit cuts. that means benefit cuts to seniors today. there are two lessons. you cannot trust what tom cotton
says in a debate. you cannot trust tom cotton on social security. >> i will remind you the question is specifically which proposals would you support to strengthen the financial health of social security? >> senator pryor once again is trying to confuse the matter because he wants to run from his record on cuts to medicare. $700 million in cuts of seniors benefiting from medicare today. i met a senior who said he had received his cancellation letter. that it was a result of senator pryor breaking his promises. if he did it once, he will do it again. we have to get people back to work. grow our economy, get more money in the social security trust fund. that will save it right now, not make the cuts that senator pryor did when he voted for obama care. >> mr. pryor? >> i want to answer the question but i have to respond to the
scurrilous charge about $700 billion cuts to medicare. let me tell you. what i did is cut waste and overpayment to insurance companies in the medicare advantage program. more people on medicare advantage than there have ever been. it has been hurt the program at all. but i put the $700 billion and i extended the life of medicare by 13 years. congressman cotton has taken the same budget votes where he takes that 700 billion and he gives huge tax breaks to billionaires, the ones underwriting his campaign. that is the difference. >> our next question comes from diana davis. >> as proud americans and arkansans, we don't like to think these two issues go together, but sadly they do. what percentage of our military personnel are eligible to receive food stamps? how can we do better for our men and women who serve?
>> it is true there is a surprisingly high percentage of our enlisted men and women, mostly the very lowest rank with families, that also receive food stamps. it is just the way it is. we can pay more, pay our men and women in uniform or, that is a start. but it underscores a problem that congressman cotton has. he continues to dance around the farm bill. he voted against the farm bill. his reason for that is he calls it a foodstamp bill. of course his analysis of that , has been totally debunked by anyone who looked at it. but nonetheless when he voted against the farm bill, he was the only one in arkansas to do it and he voted against arkansas's largest industry. agriculture is 25% to the state's economy. he voted against it and he voted
against 25% of the people in this state by doing it. >> mr. cotton? >> one soldier is too many on food stamps. when i was a platoon leader at arlington national cemetery, i had to help my soldiers. not in combat, but i had to help them in personal finances, learn how to make a budget. i did that with my staff sergeants and platoon sergeants. we worked together to help our privates make sure they could meet ends meet. we were blessed in the last decade. i and my soldiers were the beneficiaries of your generosity, taxpayers that give us the best training, weapons, and equipment. i met a mom in jefferson county. her son had died in the last decade of war. she now has a son in active duty. she came up to me and urged me to make sure that he has the very best training and equipment and weapons so he will not die. senator pryor and barack obama have gutted our military by $1 trillion. that means we are putting lies -- lives on the line overseas and we are putting our future at risk as well by cannibalizing
our military forces, training, maintenance, and procurement. it is bad for america and that -- bad for arkansas. >> mr. pryor? >> it is interesting to hear congressman cotton talk about this because when you look at his voting record when it comes to the middle class, guess what? he is actually voted to raise taxes on middle-class families by up to $3000 a year. he voted to raise taxes on middle-class families. that is going to work even more of a burden on our men and women in uniform. i on the other hand have a very strong record for standing up for the men and women in uniform and veterans. i will put my record up against anybody's when it comes to our men and women in uniform. >> mr. cotton? >> i think our men and women in uniform would wonder why senator pryor voted for the trillion dollar military cuts. it is part of the reason we lost our air wing at the 188. senator pryor talked about the middle class and i guess that is his $200,000 a year income earners in arkansas.
i think about the real middle-class where the wages have fallen by 5%. like soldiers, because of radical cuts to our military and high taxes and excessive regulations, they are struggling to get by. >> mr. cotton, the question is from angela taylor. >> veterans in arkansas say they are enduring wait times that are too long in fayetteville and little rock. can the v.a. system be rehabilitated? >> we need massive reforms in our va system. earlier this year, veterans were literally dying waiting for appointments. i was one of the first congressmen to insist on reform and the v.a. i was insistent that we give veterans choices so they did not have to wait too long or drive too far. they can use local caregivers in the private sector, just like private citizens.
i demanded early that the president hold eric shinseki accountable and call for his resignation. mark pryor was late to the game. he waited until the last day. that is because mark pryor always stands by barack obama, irs,er it is the v.a., the the secret service, the border crisis, or now ebola. arkansans simply cannot trust mark pryor to hold the president accountable, whether it is the v.a. or any other government agency. >> the answer to your question is yes. we can reform the v.a. and let me tell you something. i have marching orders from the people of arkansas. what they tell me is that when it comes to honoring the commitments we made to our veterans, that is nonnegotiable. that is what i will do. the first bill i ever passed in the senate, the first year i was there, dealt with men and women in uniform.
so far i have had to 13 pieces of legislation to help our veterans and to help our military personnel. put that record up against i wouldput that record up against anybody. as soon as i heard about the terrible scandal out in arizona, i picked up the phone and set up meetings with the little rock v.a. and the fayetteville v.a. i wanted to make sure those same things were not happening here. congressman cotton seems to think that the hard work is done when the press conference is over. the hard work is just beginning. >> mr. cotton? >> senator pryor does not do much hard work in the senate. that is what veterans did while overseas. that is why we have to care for them. my dad was an infantry man in vietnam. he walked point for the fourth infantry division. i think about him when veterans get their care from the v.a. and i will always hold the v.a. accountable when they do not get their care. i will always fight for the
benefits veterans earn unlike , senator pryor, who voted for barack obama's budget which helped pay for the spending increases by giving unilateral cuts to veteran's pensions. >> last question i am told. mr. inman, you get to ask the last question. >> this is for congressman cotton, is at right? >> that is correct. >> i apologize. it is for senator pryor. >> there have been several claims in the advertising made about your opponent's positions on changes to medicare and there have been claims made about your positions on changes to medicare. what specifically would you change about the current system, if anything? >> here again with medicare, there have been these charges and they are just not true. i voted to extend the life of medicare by 13 years. i took all the savings, the overpayments we were making in
the medicare advantage program and also some of the fraud that was going on. we took all those savings and we added, extended the life of medicare by 13 years. my opponent has voted for the very same 700 billion that he wants to criticize me for. he voted for that very same, except what he does is turns around and gives the billionaires who underwrite his campaign a massive tax breaks. i don't think that is good for our seniors. we have well over 500,000 seniors in arkansas who rely on medicare. they paid into it all their lives and they need to be there for them when the retire. -- it needs to be there for them when they retire. >> mr. cotton? >> the answer to your question is i will make no changes to the current system for current retirees and anyone approaching retirement. mark pryor cannot make that claim because he robbed $700 billion from medicare to pay for obama care. he calls it fraud or waste. the guy i met in warren called
it his health insurance. mark pryor and barack obama promised that if you like your plan, you could keep it. they did not keep that promise. now over 4000 seniors are losing their medicare advantage plan. i get it. i understand senator pryor likes government-run health care. he wants more people to lose their plan, whether it is medicare advantage private plans , and you have a choice or a plan at walmart for part-time workers or if you have a planet -- a plan at your small business. that does not mean that senator pryor should not have kept his promise that if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. he did not keep that promise when he voted for 700 billion dollars in medicare cuts. >> we are out of time for rebuttal so we will go straight to closing. mr. cotton, you get to close first. >> i was blessed to grow up on a farm in arkansas. my wife and i are excited to be expecting our first baby. we want our baby to have the same opportunities i did on that
farm and i want your family to have those opportunities for a better life. barack obama's policies are making that harder. those policies are on the ballot, every single one of them. in arkansas, those policies are called mark pryor. a vote for mark pryor is a vote for barack obama. mark pryor backed obama's failed policies and cast the deciding vote for obama care, hurting workers in driving up because cost of health insurance. mark pryor has voted for every penny for $6 trillion in new debt over the last six years, even as he cut $1 trillion from our military while the islamic state is rampaging across the middle east, beheading americans. mark pryor is a rubberstamp for barack obama's policy of indecision. i think there is a better way. get the economy moving. get people back to work. repeal obama care.
balance our budget, quit stealing from our kids. rebuild our military. that is the choice that you face in this election. if you are satisfied with barack obama, that is your guy. your vote for mark pryor will be a vote for barack obama. if you are ready for a new direction and change that helps working arkansans, i would appreciate your vote. >> mr. pryor, closing statements? >> thank you. what you heard tonight is that he is running against one man, but i am running for 3 million arkansans. i want to thank the audience tonight. i want to thank everyone who is watching on television. i want to thank the three tv stations and the panelists. you have done a great job. you all know me. you know that i am about hard work. i don't hold a lot of press conferences. year after year they rank me as one of the most independent senators in washington. i am proud of that because i represent you.
i know that arkansans are stubbornly independent. when it comes to issues, we are very different. he voted to cut student loans. he voted to make big cuts in arkansas children's hospital. he voted to make cuts in social security and medicare. he voted against the farm bill. the only member of the delegation to do these things. he voted against disaster relief. that helps people like in mayflower and other communities that have gone through disasters. we have a clear choice here. the question is who listens to , whom? i listen to you. you know that. congressman cotton listens to his mega donors that are underwriting his campaign. that is who you will listen to. if you talk to him anytime in the next six years, he is going to hit the mute button because he listens to them. thank you very much. early voting is october 20.
i would appreciate your vote on november 4. thank you. >> that concludes tonight's debate. from all of us at 4029, have a great night. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> the arkansas senate debate is one of more than 100 c-span is bringing you this fall. check www.c-span.org for a schedule and to watch past debates. andcan follow us on twitter follow us at facebook.com/cspan. another debate live at 7:00 p.m. eastern tonight, from the florida governor's race. incumbent governor rick scott is seeking a second term. his opponent is former republican governor charlie crist, now a democrat, seeking to return to the office. here is a look at campaign ads from florida. >> as governor, charlie crist cost florida more than 800,000 jobs. rick scott has created hundreds of thousands of jobs, and it is
predicted he will create one million by 2018. a vote for rick scott is a vote for a prospering free market economy. rick scott, for jobs, for governor. >> rick scott is blaming me for the financial crisis? that's ridiculous. here's the truth -- the recession was not caused by me or by you. you know who caused it? greedy wall street bankers and corporate takeover artist, guys like rick scott. his company committed outright fraud. so when you see his ads, remember that it was guys like rick scott who crashed our economy. i am charlie crist. i work for you, the people. iowa's have, and i always will. >> this was my doorway as a public school kid, and i want to make sure every child has the same chance for a better life. rick scott's education cuts are closing the doors to florida
kids, spending less per student than when i was governor. cutting bright future scholarships in half. when i was governor, we brought both parties together to open the doors of opportunity, not close them, and together we can do it again. >> sponsored by let's get to work. anything about obamacare a rep will be -- irreparably harmed the radiance? >> i think it has been great. >> news reports say 300,000 plans cancel. obama says patients may lose plans. >> i think has been great. >> great, charlie? obamacare might be great for charlie 's political career, but it is not great for the rest of us. >> the florida debate between incumbent governor rick scott and former governor charlie crist's live tonight on c-span at 7:00 p.m. eastern. and tonight at 8:00, the final debate in the kansas senate
race. senator pat roberts is seeking a fourth term, challenged by independent greg gorman, who has not said which party he will caucus with if elected. from delaware, democratic senator chris coons debates republican challenger kevin wade. be part of c-span's campaign 2014 coverage. follow us on twitter and like us on facebook to get debate schedules, video clips of key moments, previews from our politics team. c-span has been you over 100 senate, house, and governor debates, and you can instantly share reactions to what the candidates are saying. stay in touch and engaged by an,lowing us on twitter, @csp and liking us on facebook at facebook.com/cspan. p.m., the head00
of the centers for disease control and the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases director testified before congress about the u.s. response to ebola. the house energy and commerce oversight subcommittee hearing is live on c-span at 12:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow. before tomorrow's hearing, "washington journal" gets a preview with two leaders of congress from texas. we talk with michael burgess, a medical doctor, and democrat gene green on the u.s. response to ebola. live every morning at 7:00 a.m. on c-span. includingical news, this preview of the u.s. senate race in new hampshire from this morning -- >> which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] another closely watched races in new hampshire. joining us on the phone to talk
about that race james from wmur in new hampshire. tell us where the race stands today. >> the race has been stuck for a year. ast september in 2013 we had hypothetical matchup between jeanne shaheen and scott brown. he was still living in massachusetts at the time. jeanne shaheen was beating him as -- by six points. we had our latest of you are poll showing -- wmu showingr poll jeanne shaheen beatings scott brown by six points. in some cases it is double digits. in other places closer. but the race has been stuck for a long time. our poll, done by the university of new hampshire, has shown the race to be tighter. internal polls in both campaigns have shown the race is to be tighter. we had a poll from the new england showing an independent
poll with brown with a slightly by one point, clearly within the margin of error. thing to watch has been not just the independent or undecided voters. what you need to watch our republican voters, interestingly. there has been a 10-point gap in enthusiasm. democrats are really supporting jeanne shaheen. republicans have some question marks about scott brown. if he can get republicans to come home and vote republican, he has a good chance of winning. but right now that has not been the case. >> where do the question marks come from? does this stem from scott brown being from massachusetts? >> the carpetbagging argument has been sort of a proxy statement. conjunction with the real reasons you don't like him. if you are a conservative, you
don't like that he is pro-choice. you don't like that he has not had a perfect voting record when it comes to guns. both issues very big in republican primaries. host: in terms of the final three weeks of the campaign, are there any issues for scott brown coming back from the primary? himas a pretty the walk for to the nomination, correct? guest: he had two main challengers. brown combine the scott of the anti-scott brown, you basically tied. he won two to one, but the thing to watch here is not just republican voters, also negative feelings towards scott brown. capability, a9 in very rough -- negative favorability. 19% of people don't like him
more than they like him. we are still learning about scott brown. people are going to have this moment. i talk to voters all the time about this. they are on the fence, they admitted. imagining themselves in the voting booth with shaheen and brown, and if they really want to make a protest vote against obama, and obama is that 38% approval territory in this state, people are very upset with him, but voters say they will have to pause and look at scott brown and ask themselves, really, am i really going to do this? this guy who just moved to new hampshire this year, a guy we don't know a lot about? in terms of issues the race has been pretty negative over the last couple months. the latest issue, interestingly, has been abortion. republicans that this would not be an issue.
new hampshire is generally a pro-choice state. firstbrown is the statewide nominee since 1986 to be pro-choice. democrats have been using this issue year after year to bring out the women's vote. new hampshire is generally a pro-choice state, yet here we are debating. scott brown says he is pro-choice, that how has he voted in the past? this has been the subject of three different campaign ads in the last week. two from shaheen and one from scott brown responding. host: the political director of wmur out of manchester. thanks so much. guest: thank you. two-termrgia, republican senator saxby chambliss is retiring. running to replace him, republican businessman david perdue and democrat michele n, daughter of former senator sam nunn.
they debated this week. this is one hour. >> good evening. welcome to the georgia national fairgrounds for tonight's debate among the three candidates for the soon-to-be vacant u.s. senate seat in the state of georgia. we want to thank all of you who are watching live on 13 wmaz in macon, those watching on a tape delayed basis, and those who have turned out at the arena in support of their candidate. thank you very much. [applause] my name is frank malloy news , anchor with 13 wmaz in macon. i will be moderating tonight's debate. obviously, the purpose of tonight's debate is to hear what our three candidates have to say on the issues and why they should be the next senator in the state of georgia, and while we appreciate your passion for politics, those of you who are here tonight, we are going to be
able to hear what the candidates have to say. they will have to hear what each other is saying, they will have to do with the panelists are saying, so we appreciate your cooperation in that regard. at this time it is my great pleasure to introduce the candidates left to right. the positions they have drawn beforehand. republican candidate david perdue. [applause] democratic candidate michelle nunn. [applause]