tv Campaign 2018 North Dakota U.S. Senate Debate CSPAN October 22, 2018 11:47pm-12:52am EDT
prounion, pro-life, pro-environment, and a very necessary check on an erratic and unreliable white house. >> voices from the state, part of c-span's 50 capitals tour. announcer: senator heidi keltkamp and her opponent, kevin cramer, met for the first of three debates. responded to the vote against supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. this race was leaning republican. >> good evening. welcome to bismarck state college for tonight's u.s. senate debate sponsored by the northnorth dakota newspaper association. tonight's event is also sponsored by the american american cancer society action network, forum communications company and bismarck school's , career academy. i'm corey wendell -- whenfield.
joining me on the paddle -- i'll tonight is steve wagner, cecile peel editor ofen , the courier, the student newspaper at the high school. these panelists have crafted tonight's questions and they'll take turns reading them. both candidates have been provided advanced notice of the rules and have agreed to them. here are the rules. each candidate will have two minutes for opening remarks. the order for opening remarks as well as closing remarks was drawn shortly before we took the stage tonight. following opening remarks, we'll begin with a series of questions. the candidates will take turns answering first with answers limited to one minute. one candidate will answer first followed by the other. the first candidate will then have 30 seconds to respond. at 15 seconds until the end, i'll raise the red card. when i place it down, the time is up. this will continue for the hour we have allotted here tonight.
after approximately 50 minutes, the candidates each will ask one question following the same format. we'll then end with closing remarks to last two minutes each. the panelists will ask the questions and my role will be to moderate, to time, and to generally maintain the flow of the events. before we start, i urge the candidates to please adhere to the time limits to which we've all agreed. i also urge the audience to refrain from remarks or cheers or jeers. we've all come to hear what these two have to say as this important election nears. so, please, let's politely keep the focus on the candidates. prior to starting, i'd like to thank bismarck state college for allowing us to use this facility as well as the north dakota newspaper association for organizing this debate. tonight we bring back together two functions of society that of -- that are of the utmost importance to america. politics and, yes, the media. neither profession is perfect. yet, neither is a sinister plot
is him as some assist -- insist. i believe both are a calling and i believe good people enter these pursuits with a passion and a sincere desire to inform, to lead and to make north dakota , and the nation a good place to be. our candidates are good people. and they have faithfully served north dakota. kevin cramer, a republican, has represented north dakota in the u.s. house of representatives since 2013. prior to serving in federal office, he was chairman of the north dakota republican party, served as state economic development and finance director and served on a state public service commission. he is a native of kindred, north carolina and he has degrees from concordia college and the university of mary. heidi heitkamp, a democrat, has represented north dakota in the u.s. senate since 2013. prior to serving in federal office, she served from 1992 to 2000 as north dakota's attorney general. prior to that, she was the tax commissioner. she's a native of north dakota and has degrees from the university of north dakota, and louis and clark law school.
now we'll begin with opening , comments to last two minutes apiece and it begins with senator heitkamp. sen. keltkamp: first off, i want to thank everyone in the newspaper association. this is such a great tradition that you have. it's one of my very many newspaper association debates. i want to thank also everyone watching and everyone in the audience. i think this is the way politics should be. it should be us gathering, debating back and forth, talking about the issues so that people can see the differences and people can see the similarities people can see the similarities in our positions. i want to start by saying that i always want to be a senator that north dakota can be proud of. unfortunately, this week, i not only disappointed many north dakotaians, i disappointed myself. my campaign wrongly listed many names in a campaign ad that were not authorized and were
inappropriate. i can only say this is a terrible mistake and the last thing i would ever want to do would be to cause trauma for any victim of violence. my parents taught me that if i made a mistake, my obligation was to take responsibility and then to try and make things right. i don't know that i could ever expect that these women would accept my apology nor am i asking them to accept my apology. but i am praying for guidance and forgiveness as we move forward. for the young people in the audience, i want you to know that you can make a very big mistake on a very big stage, and you can take two paths. you can let it fester and continue to cause injury to the people you've hurt or you can begin a new chapter. you can take that next step forward. and so it doesn't have to be an end. it can in fact be that next step.
now i have an obligation to , redouble my efforts, to regain the support and regain the trust of north dakota citizens and hopefully their votes. i want so much to get back to work for the state. i think that we have done so much in the last six years, and i want to continue that work. but i cannot begin this debate without acknowledging this grave and horrible error. >> congressman, you'll have two minutes and 15 seconds. all right. mr. cramer: thank you very much, cory, and to the panel, to the north dakota newspaper association for hosting this rich and very important tradition, as senator heitkamp said. and also thanks to all of you for what is the irrevokable gift of your time tonight. and those of you watching on t.v. or who may watch this online or later, perhaps a recording of it, thank you as well. obviously freedom only works when free people exercise that liberty in the most fundamental
way, which of course is at the ballot box. the best way to do that of course is to study the issues and study those that would ask for your trust. tonight senator heitkamp and i in thising to do that appropriate, traditional form of a debate. senator heitkamp and i were elected on the very same day, by the very same people, six years ago. probably the greatest opportunity for north dakota voters is that they get to compare the two of us, not just in rhetoric, not just in even vision or promises, but they get to compare us based on six years serving the same people, in the same congresses and voting on many of the very same bills. what a treasure that is. often times you don't have that , opportunity involved. this time, you do. tonight we get to square off. and discuss our accomplishments. discuss our records as well as our visions for the future. i look forward to the opportunity. thank you for it.
>> our first question, congressman cramer, you will go first. steve? >> if elected, will you support or oppose any bills that allow insurers to deny coverage or charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions reinstitute lifetime or annual , caps or weaken benefits such as coverage for prescription drugs? mr. cramer: i would not and i have not, no. obviously this is a great debate , that's going on. i've had the opportunity -- first of all, let's admit something. obamacare has been an unmitigated disaster for this country. especially for north dakota. we have the same number of uninsured today in north dakota as we had before obamacare. the difference is that the uninsured today are the young healthy people who can't afford to have insurance and we need them in the marketplace. we need them in the risk pool to help bring down the costs and we need to have the appropriate incentives to keep them in the pool.
with regard to preexisting conditions, this was a failure prior to obamacare. it's why -- it's one of the two most popular items in obamacare that everybody that i know, that i work with, has pledged to maintain. i'm done. >> you have 15 seconds left. sen. keltkamp: thank you for the question. the answer is no. when i ran six years ago, i said about the health care law, there is good and bad. let's keep the good. get rid of the bad. the good are exactly those provisions and i would add one more, which is expansion of medicaid. it is an incorrect statement for congressman cramer to say he has not ever voted for a bill that would eliminate the federal protections for preexisting conditions. he voted five times to repeal the affordable care act, which clearly he disagrees with. that's his prerogative.
when asked if he would -- why he didn't offer a replacement, congressman cramer said because those were basically symbolic votes, not important. it is so important that we not look at our health care symbolically. that we make sure that our plans stay affordable, but we also have these patient protections moving forward. as we begin the discussion on health care, we have to remember that these patient protections are critical to the life of so many north dakotans. >> thank you. congressman, 30 seconds. mr. cramer: so obamacare kicked several people off. obamacare has a loophole that allows states and insurance companies to throw people out the first time they miss a payment so they can drive them to the obamacare exchanges where the prices are for a young $1500 couple with children who can't afford to pay the premiums. let me read the republican bill i voted for. section 137.
nothing in this act shall be construed as permitting insurance issue -- >> end of time. thank you. okay. question two. from cecil. senator, you'll answer first. >> years of work by farmers, farm service groups and state governments have gone into developing international markets for the agricultural products grown in north dakota. what will you do to assist farmers impacted by tariffs and trade wars to restore those markets? sen. keltkamp: fight, fight, fight for our farmers. this is a huge difference between congressman cramer and myself. from the very beginning, i could see these tariffs were going to have a very dramatic and negative effect on north dakota farmers. that's why i immediately went and said we cannot do this. i talked to robert lighthizer i
, talked to the secretary of agriculture. i have been, you know -- i used to say i'm the chief bitcher about these tariffs because they are so wrong for north dakota. we spent 30 years building a market. we're gonna lose it in a year. we have to not only grow other markets because we found we're too dependent on china, but we have to recognize that if we're not trading internationally in north dakota, our ag products, we will not be successful on the farm. this tariff, these tariffs are going to decimate a very critical and important market for one of our most important cash crops, soybeans. thank you. >> all right. mr. cramer: so way back in march, when there was first talk of this, i wrote to the secretary of agriculture, asked him to come up with a mitigation plan should a long-term trade war come back on farmers so we could have a mitigation plan to get through the short term. he did that. those payments have gone out, the first half. i also attended and testified, the only member of congress to
dakota tos from north , testify, not once but twice, i will tell you one thing i have not done. i have not stood with china, canada, mexico against our farmers. when our president picks the tools he is going to use, i think we are obligated to stand with the united states of america. the best way to end the trade war quickly is to be unified on our side, not the other side. that's why i am grateful that 80% of north the code is export markets have a new deal. this week alone, ustr has notified congress of new negotiations with japan, the european union, and the united kingdom. and i am glad there are two ships of u.s. soybeans on their way right now to china. >> thank you. sen. heitkamp: congressman cramer is a little late on the news. i can tell you that the eu right now is pulling out of the deal and the deal with japan will not include agricultural products.
let us not overstate what is actually happening. in fact, congressman cramer almost blew the one provision that was critical in the new nafta, which was the grain provision, by speaking very rudely about our canadian neighbors. we have to bring diplomacy, we have to bring the right kind of trade authority. this trade policy -- i don't care what anyone says -- is going to decimate our foreign markets for the long-term if we are not careful and if we are not fighting back. and if we can fight for -- >> senator, i'm sorry. thank you. question number three from oew wen. congressman cramer, you will go first. >> when i go to school, do i need to worry about my safety? our north dakota schools properly and sufficiently protected? if not, how can they be better protected? mr. cramer: you probably know the answer better than i do since you are going to school here, and it seems like you are talking about state law issues. i don't know how safe you are at your school.
i think it is really imperative that we have this community discussion, community, state, as well as federal discussion, about what is the appropriate way to protect kids at school. it is not enough to have a high level discussion. there are some very practical things that i think we can do. but i think it is going to be up the local culture. every community, every state is little different. whether or not you allow teachers to carry firearms. that may be different in york bennett is in mayodan. whether you have armed guards in uniform or police officers. i think that is a viable option. inate to see us over-armed schools because we want a sense of freedom and safety as well as being safe. i think this is a community discussion and i applaud you for bringing it up. sen. heitkamp: when i was attorney general, the columbine shooting happened and i was tasked by the national association of attorneys general to figure out how we could do better, and we wrote a set of
rules. when those rules were followed, in sandy hook, i realized the rules were too anemic and did not protect. we need larger structures, which means we need entry points and we need to protect the building. but we also need resource officers in our schools. and i know it is easier for mayodan to do it, easier for the class a schools. we need to expand resource officers through federal funding b schools and to our native american schools. we need people trained in firearms to be on-site and to protect our kids. we need to stop bullying and take all the preventative measures we can so that we have a much more civil society in our high schools. and we need to understand and listen when we know there are young people who are troubled who in fact could create, could act in a way that could jeopardize the lives of many of your classmates. , senator heitkamp raises
an important point about having trained, armed personnel. i'm not sure we should be looking to the federal government to fund those. there is no end to the things the federal government could fund. we are blessed in north dakota to have a whole bunch of well-trained people with firearms. i'm counting on some of you to be here tonight, so thank you very much. you are seeing a good discussion. i think you initiated a good community discussion, but one size does not fit all. >> in question from steve. senator heitkamp, you will begin. >> do you believe the investigation into election interference from russia is rigged? how concerned are you about the possibility foreign governments are attacking our election machinery? if so, what needs to be done to prevent future attacks? sen. heitkamp: i do not think the investigation is rigged, and i want to say something about bob mueller. bob mueller, who is conducting
this investigation, is a patriot, a veteran. two purple hearts in vietnam, when he did not need to go to vietnam. he could have gotten a student deferment. and one bronze star. he took off that uniform and became the fbi director and a difficult time. i trust robert mueller to get to the bottom. a republican appointee, head of the fbi. robert mueller has a job to do and that job is to find out what happened so we can prevent this from happening again. interference with our election >> we know it happens and it is going to happen again unless we take every method possible to prevent it. mr. cramer: i have never felt like the mother investigation or the investigation into the role of russia's interference was ever rigged. i, too, have some faith in robert mueller. less faith in the team he has assembled, however, and with very good reason. all of that said, this needs to wrap up. this is not brain surgery he is involved in.
he just cannot go on and on with untethered, with an investigation that takes years. yes, they tried to interfere in our election and they have been doing it for decades. it is not just our elections but the elections of free people around the world. yes, the chinese are trying to engage in our election this year. that is what they do. by the way, the united states may not be too bad at it in other places. the good news is, north dakota has it together. we have paper ballots that serve as a backstop to any type of cyber intervention in our elections process. we are prepared in north dakota. >> i think there is no more important role for citizens band voting and no more important role for government, beyond our national and interior defense, then making sure we have elections that work for our country, that are fair, absent any foreign intervention. this is critical that we get to the bottom of it.
people want to say rush, rush, rush. i think it is more important that we do a good job instead of a fast job. mr. cramer: it is far too late to do a fast job. [laughter] sen. heitkamp: that would not be true. >> all right, thank you. our fifth question comes from cecile. congressman, you will go first. >> the president has called the press the enemy of the people. how concerned are you over the erosion of trust in the press as an institution? and what responsibility does congress have two censure the president continued attacks on freedom of the press? mr. cramer: i never thought i would hear a serious journalist say that we should censor the speech of the president. we have elections to determine that kind of thing. am i concerned? i am very concerned about it, and i think we all have a responsibility in restoring the dignity and integrity of the press. i think there are a lot of issues beyond the president's perceived bias.
i think our biggest problem is that the mediums of the media are vastly different. 24 hour television. talk radio. the blogosphere. there are so many competitors for traditional brass but i see. for example, newspapers at a great disadvantage in the marketplace. i don't think congress has responsibility to censor the president. we have three coequal branches of government. we have a responsibility to oversee the president, the executive branch, and vice versa, but we should not censor him. >>, i am sorry, i would just like to clarify, the word was censure, not censor. mr. cramer: my point is made. sen. heitkamp: it is amazing that our constitution, our bill of rights, the first amendment, already recognize how critical a free press is to the democracy that we have.
you have an obligation in the press to be responsible, to do the right thing, to report things with and without bias, an objectively. too often, subjective opinion infiltrates and that somehow makes the press weaker, but it does not make them targets for unspeakable kinds of attacks. we have seen this today in saudi arabia. saudi arabia -- turkey basically -- saudi arabia killing them to american journalist, person who lives in america. that is the consequence of discussions about free press and not being able to express your opinion. it is ironic that his last op-ed piece that was published today in the "washington post" talks about how important it is for the future of his country to promote a free press. mr. cramer: i don't think this president -- while he attacks
your integrity and your biases -- i mean you in general -- he has every right to do that, as much as you have a right to write anyway you want, bias or unbiased, fair or unfair as you write. this president has a way of communicating and he found a way to go around traditional press. and frankly, i appreciate an accessible president that sometimes misspeaks and is least -- is at least speaking frankly and directly to the american people. you don't have to like it, but i appreciate his bluntness. owen.question from senator, you will begin. >> what is more important, doing what the majority of north dakotans or doing what you believe is right? sen. heitkamp: this is a question i have been asked many times since my vote to not confirm judge kavanaugh. i get asked by journalists,
public opinion polls say that 60% of the public wanted him confirmed. that may be true, i'm not going to dispute that. that was not our numbers. unitedn you are an states senator, you are elected to exercise your judgment, your best path forward. a supreme court appointment -- that person is going to be sitting on the bench when you are in your 40's and 50's. i cannot make a decision based on what the public opinion poll says. i have to make a decision exercising my independent judgment. with a supreme court nominee, guess what, there is no do overs. it is not like legislation where we can fix it. i think it is really important many times to represent your constituency, but it is equally important to exercise the judgment that god gave you to advance the interest of the state. mr. cramer: i think it is entirely possible from time to time for a person's personal conscience to be in conflict
with the majority of people that you represent. at that point, you have to make the decision. i understand the conflict. wrongt's be clear, being -- being independent isn't an excuse for being wrong. brett kavanaugh is a really good judge and supreme court justice for north dakota. that's why the vast majority of north dakotans wanted him. he is strong on second amendment rights. he has very strong on rolling back epa regulations. he has written numerous opinions , both in the majority and dissenting opinions, that have become the majority opinion in united states supreme court to the benefit of north dakota jobs and the north dakota economy. as far as the hearings went, i think the whole world got to see what mob rule would look like. and so we are fortunate that brett kavanaugh was confirmed even without one of our senators voting for him. sen. heitkamp: i think it is important -- especially for young people to understand that you're going to have to make
choices in life that will not always be popular, but you have to look at doing the right thing as you see it. to set an example of always following the herd 100%, i'm going to vote with that person -- congressman cramer announced his commitment to the appointee without even knowing who it was. it is important number one that you do your job and you do your job with the kind of integrity that you make the right choices so that you can look at yourself in the mirror in the future and know that you did the right thing. >> thank you. a question from steve. congressman, you will go first. >> this has been an expensive campaign. you have both used campaign ads that have brought complaints from each other about inaccuracy. which add on your opponent's behalf the you feel is the most disingenuous and why? mr. cramer: this was not on her behalf, this is her ad where she states with her disclaimer as a state employee, i raised my own salary. that is blatantly false.
it is known to be false. a former attorney general who had pay raises and tax commissioner who had pay raises when she was a public official knows it is not true. lit a fact interview -- politifact interviewed personnel. not only did we not give ourselves a raise nor can we, we we did not even request a raise. it is a blatant lie and it should be taken down. -- taken down right now if we are going to maintain the integrity of public office. sen. heitkamp: the ad that was most hurtful to me were any of the ads that talked about how i do not support veterans. all the veteran service groups, all the people who visit the ba, all of the friends i have better in those organizations know better. they know my commitment is the same commitment my father taught me in the vw that he builds, which is that you honor people who put on the uniform, you give them the benefits, you make them
whole in terms of what they need to have going forward, as they have earned those benefits. ad me, and he ha -- any that says i don't support veterans, funding, that i have not been innovative in terms of programs, those are the most hurtful to me because i have so much respect for the north dakota's veterans and those across the country. mr. cramer: all i would say in response to that is thank god donald trump came along and provided additional benefits to both our military personnel and veterans. and thank god we were able to pass a bill and he would sign into law the largest military pay raise the military has seen in 10 years. we had a long run of not supporting our military and veterans under barack obama, with whom senator heitkamp voted 90% of the time. >> thank you. question from cecile, with senator heitkamp to begin.
>> president trump has said he favors privatizing the u.s. postal service and selling it to a private corporation. do you support privatization? if not, what is the solution to getting the postal service back on its feet? sen. heitkamp: there is no greater responsibility that i have two north dakota than the post office. andow that sounds very odd i know the people in the newspaper association know about the work i have been doing to try and improve the service standards on the postal service. we have been working tirelessly to make sure our post office actually functions and can cash flow. we have introduced bills -- this is a great irony, that i have been working with mark meadows, who is one of the most conservative members. he and i have paired up. he is from north carolina. we have paired up to continue to advance a reform for our postal service that will buy us time. on privatization, the only thing i can say about that is that if you want to eliminate any kind of service standard for rural
america, you privatize the post office, because that is a path forward to eliminating inequalities for our rural residents. mr. cramer: it is ironic that she has no higher responsibility then to take care of men and women in the postal service uniform, right after a speech about how strong she is for veterans. we all want a good post office. i do not support privatization. that is something that works -- here is the tough part about privatizing, particularly in a rural community. there is already a lot of privatization of packages being shipped. that creates difficult competition for the people who get their mail every day that live out in the middle the country. so we know that the country -- whether it is telecommunications, mail, roads and highways, that it costs more. we know that. but we also know that you have to have a ubiquitous network of addresses and ways of getting the mail to everybody.
we have to find a better way. privatization i don't believe is the solution at all. i also don't want to take the biggest profit centers away from the post office. otherwise we would just make it more difficult. sen. heitkamp: i should clarify -- no greater responsibility on the homeland security and government affairs committee. it is something i have been working on since i was assigned to that committee. i opened a portal that said fix my mail. i have been working on this day and night. i find it ironic because i don't find a good partner in the house of representatives in fixing our mail. the partner i found was from north carolina, mark meadows. together i hope we can solve the problem of the post office and get solvency back and get service standards back where they are and should be. >> thank you. , withtion from owen congressman cramer to go first. >> do you believe the supreme
court made the right decision upholding north dakota's voter id law? mr. cramer: thanks, owen. did the supreme court make the right decision, that is always difficult to ask somebody who is not on the supreme court. first of all, it was a 6-2 decision. of course, i am not voting as brett kavanaugh. it was also upholding them to appellate court decision. i think, getting back to one of our earlier questions, the integrity of the ballot box is precious and we need to protect it. north dakota being the only state in the country does not have voter registration makes that much more difficult. i think the law the legislature passed was pretty basic. it provides for tribal members to use their tribal membership card, provided by their government, as one part of the idp's -- the id piece.
you should be able to demonstrate you live where you are voting, otherwise you may vote for the wrong person in the wrong place. we need integrity, but we also need to make sure we don't disenfranchise. i think that law does it. as far as the supreme court decision, i would not want to judge. sen. heitkamp: this mess started with the north dakota legislature when they decided there are certain people in north dakota they don't want to vote. everyone knows tribal ids have a hard time getting a residential address. as a result of that challenge, they write that people don't know each other in north dakota. the other unintended consequence is if you are a senior citizen and you don't have an id, even though you may have lived in the community for 70 years and you know everybody at the ballot place, you can't vote because you don't have a piece of paper. that is not north dakota. it is not the way we do things, not the way we should do things.
this litigation is still ongoing. the only thing the appellate court did was refused to lift to make -- the stay, sure the opinion written by the district court judge is stayed, which means it is not enforced. the district court judge did the right thing and rolled this was an inappropriate infringement on voting rights. the supreme court reaffirmed what the circuit court did. this is ongoing and will be argued in the eighth circuit. i hope the native american veterans get the opportunity to vote, because they aren't that opportunity -- they earned that opportunity. mr. cramer: they do get to vote. the standard of voting in north dakota is the easiest of anywhere in the country. we are the only state that does not have voter registration. the legislature did not say, we don't want these people to vote, let's come up with a law that keeps them from voting. the standard is the same for all people regardless of race,
creed, color. identity politics has got to stop now or we are going to be going down this path forever. >> a question from steve, and senator, you will answer first. >> north dakota's economy relies heavily on oil and coal development. what should the united states do to deal with global climate change? sen. heitkamp: one of the most critical issues we have is keeping our coal industry viable. we know without regulatory certainty, without the ability to meet environmental standards, we won't get our coal jobs in the long-term. one of the things i am most proud of is the work i have done on carbon capture, sequestration, and utilization. it is a way to take facilities like cement plants, coal plants. you capture the carbon, sequester it. that is an absolutely necessary technological development in order to meet co2 standards
globally. we are hoping that north dakota can be that place with that innovation, either project tundra or going forward with other projects. this is the future, the future for our coal industry, but also the future of tackling the problem of co2 emissions. mr. cramer: when i represented candidate donald trump as his energy advisor and surrogate, i debated hillary clinton's energy advisor twice, once at law school in richmond, virginia, and ones in california at a natural gas executives meeting. one of the things i would say about climate change and solving climate change -- whether or not you believe it does not matter, the country wants us to. the innovation to do it is in north to go to. we have the commodity and incentives to do it. what we cannot do is policies like hillary clinton and barack obama had to kill innovators who would find the bridge from
today's goal to tomorrow's clean technologies. we are on the brink of it. that senator heitkamp is talking about is important, but we need to expand it. it is only useful to one company in texas. we have been working with companies to make carbon storage credits much more useful to north dakota. we have coal, oil, opportunity, and innovators right near. sen. heitkamp: it is interesting congressman cramer keeps talking about a bill that i lead that no one thought we could get done, 45 q, which provides those tax credits. he said no one can use them except this plant. he keeps talking about what additional add-ons. ofhe has all that power persuading people in the white house and in congress, why was i able to get a major piece of legislation that attacks, that tackles the problem of climate but also the problem of keeping our coal jobs? why was i able to get that done when he wasn't?
mr. cramer: you didn't, you help the company in texas. we are talking about north dakota tonight. >> thank you. we have a question from cecile. congressman cramer, you will answer first. >> it is estimated one in four women will become victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. the me too movement has stirred emotional memories for many. going forward, how can government better balance the presumption of innocence for the accused with the need to usher -- assure future victims they will be heard and treated with respect? mr. cramer: excellent question and very important balance defined. i'm not sure government is capable of doing it, but we all want to be part of the solution. this is a cultural issue that deals with our law enforcement, how we deal with employers, hr officials, to make it more comfortable for women to come forward, particularly as soon as possible after something will have happened, so they feel
safe. what we don't want to do is create something that is counterproductive to the goal of helping women feel comfortable and safe coming forward much sooner. i don't want to oversimplify it. i am not a woman. i have not been sexually assaulted. i don't know. but i know we can do a lot better job, and it is not just a government problem. but we can't have are these big movements that become political movements that undercut the integrity of the gold of help -- of the goal of helping people feel comfortable coming forward. also it diminishes those one in four, the experience of those. sen. heitkamp: i think it is clear from everything that has happened, beginning with the me too movement and now the discussion we are having about sexual assault, that this is way underreported, way under investigated, and way under prosecuted. many women who have contacted my office have told me that if they
did report it, they wish they had not, and when they did report it -- when they didn't report it, they knew it would bother them the rest of their life because they did not get justice. it is time for us to quit talking across party lines and start working together to develop a world where women feel safe, where children feel safe, where we all can accept and believe that we cannot tolerate this kind of behavior and that we must, must, must stand together against sexual assault and sexual violence. mr. cramer: while, as you stated, making sure we maintain the due process that is guaranteed to people who are accused. one of the things i think -- this is just one idea. i would like to see a lot more female police officers. i think we need to have first responders, for example, we need to have people on the street as well as schools and workplace
that have an inviting demeanor. we need to make it more comfortable for the one in four to come forward and come forward soon. >> thank you. a question from owen, and senator heitkamp to answer first. >> as a senator, how will you help restore respectful political debate? sen. heitkamp: i think in many ways i already have. iran six years ago and i said, i am not joining any team. i am not 100% with anyone other than north dakota. i have been able to work across party lines and achieve extraordinary things, whether it is lifting the 40 year oil ban on oil exports, whether it is 45 q, which congressman cramer undermines, but it is a centerpiece of what we need to do with carbon capture, or whether it is getting regulatory relief. you don't do that by dean -- by being with one team. you don't do that by speaking in soundbites and political talk.
you do it by sitting down and listening and understanding. so i think the future has to be with people who are moderate, people who are not going, like congressman cramer, 100% of the time with one party, and people who are willing to listen to both sides of the argument and fashion a solution. mr. cramer: senator heitkamp keeps creating this illusion that somehow she is bipartisan, except on the things that really matter. she was with barack obama nearly 90% of the time. she is proud of the fact she has been with president trump about half of the time, maybe as much as 54% of the time. the problem is you can be on both teams and you may be feel good about it, but when one team is so much better than north dakota -- better for north dakota than the other, you don't abandon that team have to time just to say you are. donald trump stands with north dakota more than heidi heitkamp.
he supported taxes, replacement of obamacare, cutting sanctuary city funding. he supports a strong military, strong veterans. he supports rollback and regulations. he is on the right side of north dakota. that is what matters, not how often you are with this team or how often you are with both teams, the only thing that matters is how long are you with the people of north dakota, and that is my standard. sen. heitkamp: why not talk about what you have done, when not talk about your accomplishments, why not talk about your bipartisan credibility because when you look at rankings the matter what he says, i am 50th most conservative and 49th most liberal and political thought is like a dumbbell, there's hard right and hard left. there is connective tissue in between that stops good lock and that is the moderate. like me who get things done.
moderator: a question from steve, congressman cramer to start. propose --ou supports a bozo for the border wall, what changes to the immigration system would you support? mr. cramer: i suspect we could go a long time on this, i do support the border law along with the bill i cosponsored which includes border security and when we see the caravan coming from central america, it is all the more important. that needs to include the wall, appropriate uavs and manned , vessels, thet national guard, more processing at the border, but we have a lot to do on the legal side. legal not treating immigrants properly especially those are providing the type of jobs and skills and training
that we need to grow our economy. this is a complex issue and i support the wall. both worked very hard to pass a comprehensive reform bill, it passed with an overwhelming majority in the senate, the house refused to take it up. this problem could have been solved in 2013. we missed that opportunity. i look at border security as a law enforcement issue and i will the you i will never allow serious offender to be released from a local jail without ice being called and without ice being able to apprehend that individual. if they committed a serious crime, they need to go to jail and they need to be deported. my record is clear, i spent a tremendous amount of time on the southern border, i have the support of the border patrol agents and the support of the board of sheriffs, the support of the board of directors, and i was instrumental in getting a northern border strategy adopted
by homeland security. all of that is about law enforcement. as your former attorney general, i understand this and understand how critical jurisdiction enforcement is, we need to do everything we can to secure that border and i will tell you, it is not secure because i have been there, i have seen it, and i have worked with the people of border patrol to try and fix it. you supported amnesty, you said we need ice to take care of the criminals, being here illegally is against the law, that is my legality legal. they have broken the law by coming here illegally. sanctuary cities harbor illegal people, people here illegally breaking the law, you support sanctuary cities. you cannot have it both ways. it is important for people to understand nearly half of the people who are here illegally did not cross the southern border. they overstayed a visa. we have lots of issues, the border is a big one but we have
issues that complicate beyond that. >> a question from cecile. opposingth came out on sides of the bitter process to confirm justice brett kavanaugh. what should be done if anything to ensure future confirmations are done with more collegiality? if i gave amnesty is so did the senator. we both worked in to get the senate. we talked a lot about that kavanaugh we have not talked about the failed and horrible process in one area that congressman cramer and i can agree on is this process was failure on the part of the judiciary committee, the part of the senate as we perceive it. it did not look good and was not good. what we need to do is we need to make sure that our committee is
conducting itself appropriately and fairly. i do not care if it is a majority or the minority, this a scene andted washington, d.c. and across the country that was inappropriate, it was unseemly, and it was not or theg of the senate supreme court. cannot go through another confirmation process like this and still maintain the integrity of the u.s. supreme court. was liker: the process every other process, the difference was the behavior that created a spectacle. hearings were held. more questions were answered by brett kavanaugh then all the previous supreme court nominees added up. he had six background checks up to this point. the process was hijacked by a is toose only issue
continue to allow abortion on demand. and to do that, they would do anything. stated it in advance, chuck schumer stated in advance, we must do anything to stop this nominee from being confirmed. this is the seventh fbi investigation. chuck grassley provided in the time, he provided calm, they maintained decorum on the republican side. not so much the players, my hope is the scene was so ugly and the outcome so bad for the process that people have bounced off the bottom and will come back to their senses and we can have the type of decorum you are speaking of. equaleitkamp: there is blame to go around contrary to what congressman kremer says. when we revealed -- review the investigation we have to go into a secure area, senator grassley instead of making 17 copies were that 17 senators, we had one
copy we passed around. think of how crazy that is. this was punitive and it was done to limit our ability to review the documents. there was plenty wrong with this process on both sides and the problem is, congressman cramer looks for the democrats doing the wrong thing. sometimes i think the republicans do the wrong thing, and we need to be able to call it out and make sure that this process is appropriately conducted in the future. >> now comes the time for each of you to ask a question, up to one minute and we will follow the same format. we will start with congressman cramer. with that, go ahead. this question was asked in a different way but i still want to get to what you are thinking. when you authorized the ad
a $23,000t i voted raise for myself, that i gave myself a raise, you know that is not true. you know that is impossible, you know that is against the rules. if you looked at, we have some of them here and ask them we did not put in for a raise in our budgets over the many years. served on, 10 years i the commission. why would you run an ad like that which you know is really -- blatantly untrue? sen. heitkamp: it is true that everyone recognize in your was the salary, he did not go and say when i was elected this was the salary for the job i had, please don't give me additional money. i never said that when i was attorney general, my salary was term anded in the next so i think it is appropriate during any term you are elected
for and you have six-year terms on the public service commission, that you give a salary increase, were elected with that salary, you should maintain that and it should be increased when that salary is in fact part of the next term. that answer with a goofy, i should most give you my 30 seconds to say that again. did you listen to yourself? sen. heitkamp: i did. mr. cramer: not only was that not what we requested, when it goes to the legislature, that is the salary range for every state employee. it is at the most the cost of living increase. i could give it away, who knows, i may be due, i don't know, i don't announce those sorts of things to do suggest you should say no, don't give us a pay raise, i am so noble i would not take it, you always took your pay raise as a senator. you always took them.
i will use my minute to say number one, pay increases are an indicator of how self-interested you are in the job that you are doing and so i will ask my question, you have mitch mcconnell who is going to cut social security and medicare and today, you said or yesterday you said, that is courageous, cutting medicare and social security is courageous and you also said in a rare moment where you disagreed with the president, you said you disagreed with the president and says to social security and medicare, how can our seniors trust that you are going to protect when you are supportly going to individuals like mitch mcconnell and like paul ryan who will cut our social security and medicare? says the woman who
supports chuck schumer. i am not afraid to confess out loud that if we do not deal with medicare and social security, it will not be there for our seniors, and it will not be with -- itrce -- therefore will not be there for the future. social security at that point has an automatic 25% cut in benefits. i have never talked about cutting them. i've talked about them in reforming them in a way that allows more revenue. it cuts nothing in social security. effects no current seniors and no seniors that will be on the program within 10 years but it does to cure it, not only for today's seniors, for tomorrow's seniors but for my children and grandchildren. for the person who wants that bipartisan discussion, you notice it is off the table. i think we should have a
discussion about this or we are never going to solve the problem until it is too late. sen. heitkamp: that was the most amazing piece of political doubletalk i have heard. we need to cut it to take it solvent but we will not hurt current seniors. let's get real. thenow that the rules of plan was to cut social security and cut medicare and it was done thatse we have a party never believed in medicare. that never believed in these programs, and they continue to believe that our seniors should live in poverty instead of getting the money that they aren't. when you called these problems -- programs entitlement programs, it is an insult to every senior citizen who owns those -- earns those benefits. here we are to the end. each have two minutes for closing statements. mr. cramer: thank you and all of
you for your involvement and interest in democracy. a free society only works if you are involved. thanks for being involved and caring enough. you have seen a spirited but a fair debate. let me tell you something about major one of the differences. i will talk about the tough issues, i will not pretend to they will solve themselves. that is why for the last six years i have had a secure personal discussion with you. it is why i have had the most town halls of any members of showsss and i do radio with unscreened calls, it is why i speak plainly and clearly, it is why i go into communities, why i rarely do roundtables with only my invited guests because you do not learn anything only talking to yourself around a table. i believe it is some of those discussions that has caused
senator heitkamp to lose her way lately. you talk to the same for five people every day and you start thinking this ad with listing a bunch of people makes all the sense in the world. certainly i would -- it only makes sense and if you disagree, guess what her spokesperson says, you are an idiot. that is not the way we have a family discussion. thank you. this is why with the millions, even tens of millions of dollars being thrown at me in attack ads by chuck schumer and senator heitkamp and her other allies is why this relationship is the one that matters. this relationship is why i get the benefit of the doubt, even -- 30-second32nd mud flying at your tv screen. thank you for the honor of being so accessible to me as i set out to represent you. god bless you. sen. heitkamp: before i begin my statement, it is interesting
that congress when cramer has refused over and over in this campaign debates even at fox national news when our he is isling us how accessible he and how much he wants to have a conversation. let's just be honest. and so, over the last six years, i have met is and how much he wants to have a conversation. with thousands of north dakota and's, i have been engaging with many people, and iran and them that six years ago, i said, i am going to go to washington, d c and do everything i can to hopefully change the culture and to work across the aisle to actually benefits the people of my great state. i think i have done that and how i know how that works as i grew up in a small town, a town of 90 people and every small town in america, there is a table at lunch time and that table is full of people, they do not always agree and they may argue politics and there may be a maquettes, probably more republicans at that table that
they figure out how to put up the christmas lights, they figure out how to make a different -- difference by buying the fire truck, they figure out how to fix the roof, they get the job done because they know how to talk to each other and they know how to be respectful. we have been extra nearly i think successful with major banks of legislation like deregulation for small community banks, opening up the oil export market, 45 q, doing things were native american committee like the commission on the status of native american children, these are successes i am enormously proud of but the reason i was able to do that is because i north dakota common sense and north dakota compromise to the washington, d.c. which they need more of. they do not need another person to vote with one side 100% of the time, they need people who will work across the aisle to get the job done and that is what north dakota needs and that is what i will bring if i am offered a second term in the
u.s. senate. >> thank you. to the nose -- north dakota and bismarckiety state college and a career academy and to the candidates were coming here to help north dakota voters better understand your position and passion for that position. to vote onure november 6. thank you very much. [applause] tomorrow, news york congressman sean maloney faces james o'donnell for new york's 18th congressional district. live coverage at 6 p.m. eastern. live tuesday at seven. the georgia governors debate
with stacey abrams and independent ted met at nine also in to spend, your primary source for campaign 2018. >> the c-span buses traveling across the country on our 50 capitals tour. we stopped in hartford, connecticut and looking forward to the november midterm elections, we are asking folks which party should control congress and wife. have ausually do not strong opinion on who takes over midterms or presidential elections. this year, i am basically voting democratic. just because a lot of the things that are happening in the republican party just do not sit well from a moral standpoint. there are a lot of people who leaders inth their the republican party but they
are not coming out and saying so, they are toeing the party line and that is where i have to draw some distinctions. there are a lot of things that i find favorable for in both parties and i usually tend to vote my conscience, but this time, i think i am voting for who i think will have the moral high ground. >> it would like to see congress go to the democrats just to see a change in values and views. and try that for a while. i am not sure if that is going to matter. i would like to see just a change. would likeocrat, i to see my party take control of congress. if congress changes hands, and democrats were in charge, we will have policies that are more prounion, pro-life, aoenvironment, and a check on
erratic and unreliable white house. >> part of c-span's 50 capitals tour. >> "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. tuesday morning, university of florida professor michael mcdonald discusses the trans and early voting and what they mean for that midterm election. and daryl kimball talks about the trump administration's threat to terminate a cold war nuclear arms agreement with russia. and senator david wasserman previews is -- previews the races to watch. he sure to watch "washington journal" live tuesday morning. join the discussion. with the midterm elections days away, watch the competition for the control of congress on
c-span. see for yourself the candidates and the debates from key house and senate races. make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. debate between republican commerce men rob wittman and democrat benjy williams. this is their first debate for virginia's first district house seat. >> we turn first to mr. whitman who has two minutes for his opening statement. mr. women: thank you and good evening. i am honored and published to have the opportunity to represent the great folks in america's first restrict and that is a true privilege. toave the opportunity also live close enough to where i get to travel home each evening and i get to ask myself the question going past folks' homes that i have known all my life and can ask them ask myself the