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tv   Gubernatorial Debate  PBS  October 9, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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captioning provided by caption associates, llc >> announcer: live from richmond, virginia, this is the people's debate. brought to you by aarp virginia and the league of women voters of virginia. the people's debate. now tonight's host, bill fitzgerald. >> tonig. welcome to the people's debate. tonight, in the very close race for one of virginia's u.s. senate seats, the candidates will answer the questions about the issues the voters of virginia face. our moderator tonight is the managing principal of decide smart, political analyst for wtvr, and moderator of many debates across virginia, dr. bob holsworth. good evening, bob. >> thanks, bill. let's introduce the candidates
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vying to be virginia's next u.s. senator. joining us tonight are two former governors of the commonwealth, republican george allen and democrat tim kaine. both men know the stakes are high in this year's election, with key issues like jobs and the economy, the federal debt, and the future of medicare. tonight's debate is being broadcast on television stations throughout virginia and you can join live conversation about the debate on twitter, hashtag, people's debate. here is a look at the guidelines for tonight's debate. candidates will answer questions from me and our panel of four. for each question, each candidate will have 90 seconds to respond. the other will have 60 seconds for a rebuttal. there may also be a need for an additional rebuttal with a follow-up question which i will ask at various times. at the conclusion of tonight's debate, the candidates will have two minutes each to sum up their thoughts. let's meet the panel. from the league of women voters of virginia, president lynn
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gordon. from wtvr cbs 6, anchor stephanie rochon. also joining us, the state director of aarp virginia, bill kallio. and from wcve-fm, vice president and general manager bill miller. thank you all for being with us this evening. it was determined by a coin toss that tim kaine will be the first to deliver his opening statement. mr. kaine, the floor is yours. >> thank you, bob, and good evening to all. it's great to be here with the league of women voters, aarp, those in the studio and especially those watching at home. i'm especially proud to be in the studio of my hometown public television station, wcve. i'm a huge public broadcasting fan. i think public broadcasting does great work and i pledge to not fire big bird and not to defund public broadcasting if i go to the u.s. senate. what i will do is work to accelerate the economy and add jobs using virginia lessons that i learned as mayor of this city
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and governor of stra. if we invest in talent, vest in infrastructure, level the playing field for small businesses, we'll grow the economy. we see some positive signs, but frankly, we have a ball and chain and that's congress. congress is holding us back. and what we need to do is change congress especially in two ways. we need people who are more fiscally responsible and we need more people who know frankly the basics about how to work together. you will hear about these themes a lot tonight in my comments. concerning fiscal responsibility, i was the governor that drew a tough straw. i was governor in the worst recession sin the 1930s and i had to cut $5 billion from the state budget, including my own salary. i'm the only governor in modern times that left office with a smaller general fund budget than when i started. i know how to be fiscally responsible. my opponent has a different record. he went into the united states senate in 2001 with the biggest surpluses in the history of the united states and six years later, left with massive deficits. during his time in the senate,
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national debt went up by $16,000 every second and in an earlier debate, he conceded spending was a problem when he was in the senate. we also have people who know how to work together. as a nonpartisan mayor in richmond, i worked to cut crime, build schools, and grow the economy, and as a governor in a tough time, we worked to win all kinds of accolades for the state. my opponent, when he was governor, said his job was to knock democrats soft teeth down their whiny throats and took a similar position in the senate, siding against compromise efforts led by then virginia's senior senator john warner. we need to join together to move forward and that's what i'll do as your next united states senator. >> mr. allen, your opening statement. >> thank you, bob, and thank you all for listening and watching this debate. folks, i envision a much better future than what we're having to endure these days and that's why i've put forth a detailed plan. my blueprint for america's come back. to get our economy stronger, healthier, and creating jobs. the question is, is which one of
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us can be counted upon. you may have read an article in yesterday's richmond times dispatch that was comparing our two governorships. it called me one of the most accomplished modern governors with major improvements in education, public safety, welfare reform, and job creation. it described how i worked with leaders in the other party to get these good results for the people. the article also described tim's term as governor, bad economy, and his decision, his choice to spend the fourth year as governor serving as national party chairman rather than focusing on the dire economic crisis in virginia. it's really the great unanswered question in this campaign. how does a governor decide to take on a second job that sends him all over the country giving partisan speeches while over 100,000 jobs are lost here in virginia? if tim had given his governorship the full attention, he might have avoided some mistakes like increasing college tuition by over 30% or closing
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rest areas. if tim had been listening to the people of virginia who are really facing tough times, he might not have proposed raising taxes on working people, working women, seniors and small business owners, as well as people earning as little as 17b$,000 a year, and he might have been against the sequestration deal that is threatening over 200,000 jobs in virginia right now. but he made different choices and soon you will get to choose. if i have the honor of being your senator, i'm going to give all my energies working with people in both parties to create jobs and get america ascending once again. >> mr. kaine, let's follow-up immediately on these opening statements here. your campaign has basically said you're going to go to washington, work across party lines, and fix that toxic political environment. but at the same time, you spent years as democratic party chair being in some ways the
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partisan-in-chief for the party. what do you say to virginians to convince them when you go to washington, you will be the problem solver who's nonpartisan? >> when i was governor, i served with two presidents. i served with president bush for lee years and president obama for a years i was a different party than president bush and we dinet agree on everything, but i worked very closely with the bush administration on a number of key initiatives, always looking to partners to put virginia first. rail to dulles is being built right now largely because of president bush and his secretary of transportation and our ability to work togethers about we worked together with the bush administration in the aftermath of the shootings at virginia tech. i will always be a partner of the president of the united states, whoever that president is. i also have a great track record of working across lines, first as a nonpartisan mayor here in richmond and second as a governor in a republican house. i governed in the most difficult economy since the 1930s, but we
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were the best managed state in america, governing magazine, the best state for business all four years i was governor, forbes magazine, and the best place to raise a child. education week. those weren't tim kaine accolades, they were things we did working together. and in the last year as governor when the president i asked to serve as dnc chair, i think i had my best year. we got smoking banned all three publications that ranked states ranked virginia the best state for business in the united states. we saw huge improvements in infant mortality and our foster carey form effort, achieved success in open space preservation and recruited numerous businesses in the heart of the recession to come to virginia, rolls-royce to opening a manufacturing facility, faic hilton and at the end of my administration, northrop grum mond decided to move from california here. virginians care about results and we got results working together. >> mr. allen? >> tim, there's a big difference
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between being chairman of the entire democratic party committee and other political jobs. you've said how difficult the economy was in virginia, and yet, when president obama asked you to take on this job, you could have said to the president, "i appreciate the offer, but i have a job. i have a job as governor of virginia, the highest honor that can be accorded to anyone to be governor." and to say that as governor, you only have four years to have a positive impact on people's lives. you were shutting down rest areas that last year, over 100,000 jobs lost in virginia and you could have told the president that people are hurting in virginia and you needed to give all your attention to the people of virginia. now, you're asking for another job when another job that you had for the people of virginia, you did not give them 100%. >> george, i gave them -- >> we're going to go to our next question. >> is there not a rebuttal? >> no, no, not now. >> okay.
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>> our next question goes to lynn gordon from the league of women voters of virginia. >> thank you. mr. allen, today women earn 77 cents to every dollar earned by men. there was much attention paid to this in the early 1990s when women earned 76 cents to every dollar earned by men. what will you do to address this pay gap? >> well, no one works harder than women and i see that through my wife susan. i could never do what she does, not just in the campaign, but running our household, and i think that's the case with women that we know throughout virginia and across america. all of the issues you're talking about pay gap, that's something i care a lot about because i have a daughter who's just entered the field of work and we have a daughter who is a freshman in high school and it's to make sure that my daughters get the same pay for the same kind of work. the main thing that we need to do is get this economy moving in the right direction so people do
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have work. women with the kaine and president obama's economy really have been disproportionately feeling the brunt of this economy. there's 5 1/2 million, 5.5 million women who would like a job that are unemployed and there are many others who are underemployed. the poverty rate amongst women is the worst it's been in 17 years and the extreme poverty rate is the worst it's ever been, so what we need to do is make sure that we are doing the right things to get this economy moving. i remember talking to a mother at a gas station who only could afford $20 worth of gasoline. it got her a little over $5 and i said if you could actually afford a fill-up, it would cost you $37 more than it was four years ago. i asked her what would you do with that extra $37? she looked at her two dinner and said, well, it could pay for dinner for my children. that's the reality and why we need to have policies in this
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country to create jobs, have more affordable energy and get our country moving in the right direction so women do have the opportunity to lead strong and independent lives that they deserved. >> mr. kaine. >> lynn, i think the issues dealing with women and the economy are very important, especially in 2012, because we've seen a whole lot of efforts to block women's progress, evidents that i stand strongly against. and in this, george allen and i have some significant difference. again, i'm printout of the fact that when i was governor at a very challenging time, we did a lot to bring new businesses to virginia and to have a profile that was significantly greater than other states. actually, if you ranked states in their unemployment rate top to bottom, we were better off during the kaine administration than the allen administration. but let's talk about particular policies. i support paycheck equity for women and the better pay act. george allen has refused to support them. i support family medical leave act for women caring for their loved ones. george allen repeatedly voted
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against it, and i stand against ultrasound legislation, person hood legislation, and efforts to take away women's rights to reef contraceptive coverage at their workplaces. george allen and i are in very different places on this. these are issues that are very much about women's empowerment. you can't have a strong economy for women if you take their choices away. >> question from stephanie rochon for mr. kaine. >> thank you. intelligence now suggests that the attack on the u.s. consolate in libya that killed a u.s. ambassador and three others was a pre-planned attack carried out by al-qaeda. in light of this revelation, would you support military retaliation against terrorist of on foreign soil. >> i do support military action against al-qaeda. i think for a long time, the thought about the role in afghanistan was muddy. we went into afghanistan to get al-qaeda and i'm very, very happy we focused on it and this administration that is wiped out a lot of top leadership of al-qaeda, including getting and
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killing osama bin laden. al-qaeda is active elsewhere and i think the activity in africa suggests that we need to now turn our attention and continue to take the battle to al-qaeda there. the question of when you undertake action against terrorists on foreign soil is always a very, very delicate one and it's really important for the president and congress and the intelligence agencies to be in dialogue to make sure that they're doing the right thing. but al-qaeda terrorists have declared war on the united states and wherever they are active, if they were perpetrating crimes against the united states, we need to go get them. so yes, if there was solid credible intelligence that folks associated with the attack in libya from al-qaeda were there and we had the ability to go after them and get them, give them what they did to ambassador stephens and the navy seals that were kimd, one of whom was a virginia resident. they have committed an act of war against this country and it's important we pursue them
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just like the president pursued osama bin laden. >> i think we ought to go after the terrorists who killed our ambassador, wherever they may be, and this is a reminder to all of us of how wrong and how dangerous it is to be having these dangerous cuts to our military preparedness. our country is being attacked around the world. it is not a time to recede, not a time to ruin the modernization of our armed forces with these disproportionate cuts going to our national defense. tim and his allies in washington are saying we don't want to divert thinks cuts from defense as the house did or something similar, but they want to raise taxes. raising taxes in this economy is not going to create jo, it will cause job losses. we in virginia have defense and technology jobs at risk and rather than cutting back, we need to make occur we have a strong economy, a strong
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military. move over, as far as our spending in washington, i disagree with the president in giving $450 million to egypt. if the country cannot protect our embassies, they ought not to be getting american taxpayer money. you don't buy friends -- >> i have a plan, george -- >>. >> no, no. >> isn't there a 60-second rebuttal on this? >> i learned that on the first one. >> we were both under the impression it was 90-90-60. >> bill kallio from aarp. >> virginia seniors rely on social security earn through a lifetime of work. almost one million virginians 65 and older receive a social security chesk ri month. low and middle income seniors in virginia are very reliant on that earned benefit, receiving on average about 77% of their total monthly income from this source alone. while social security is strong
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today, an aging society will put some financial strain on the program going into the future. given its importance to virginia's families, how would you protect social security for today's seniors and strengthen it for future generations? >> that's a very good question because i think we need to preserve social security for current beneficiaries as well as those in the future. and as you say, they have worked, the social security beneficiaries have worked their entire lives, they paid into it, and they ought to get what they -- the benefits that were promised to them. that is one of the reasons why as governor, we took off in virginia the fun tear tax on social security. we also did away with the discriminatory tax against federal and military retirees. one of the things that will help again social security is jobs. the most recent report on it said, gosh, it would be insolvent three years earlier and the reason it's three years earlier is because there's fewer people working. one of the ways to fund social
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security is having a vibrant economy with more people working. there are some changes that i think should be put on the table and i think are reasonable ideas on protecting the solvency of social security. and that is, for example, have a -- this would be for those under 50. it wouldn't affect anybody who's age 50 right now or older, but have a gradual increase in the age of eligibility. the other is have some income adjustments. to those that are millionaires, they don't need to have the same benefits as those of lower income. and that would be a way of doing it as well. the one thing that we shouldn't be doing, though, is what tim kaine tried to do as governor and that is raise taxes on seniors, working women, and people earning as little as 17b$,000 a year. those are the folks you're talking about who are getting social security and the last thing they need is more taxes imposed on them by the government. >> mr. kaine. >> george admits the fact that as governor, i eliminated the estate tax and took more than
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100,000 low income virginians off the income tax roles and just thought i'd correct him there. bill, your question on social security is a good one. george and i have very different strategies for the way to deal with social security and medicare. this is one of the most important programs that has ever been done by government. more than 50% of american seniors work their entire lives and retired into poverty before social security was passed and thank god we have those days behind us. when george was in the united states senate, he voted to privatize social security. that would have been a huge cat tra strove prior to the collapse of wall street. what i would do is over time allow the payroll tax cap to adjust upwards as fairs way of protecting the solvency of the program rather than changing the retirement age. on medicare, george allen supports the ryan budget that would turn medicare into a roucher program and push costs on to the shoulders of seniors. what i support is fixing medicare by saving costs, for example, ending the prescription drug give away that we currently
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give. that would save us $250 billion without jeopardizing the benefit at all over the course of ten years. >> mr. allen, can i ask both of you to take a minute to respond to tim kaine's assertion about medicare and whether you support the ryan budget and the voucherization of it? >> yeah, what i support is preserving medicare as well as social security. both are programs that people have worked through their lives paying into and expecting those benefits. some of the things that can be done in social security also ought to be done in my view insofar as medicare and that is a gradual increase in the retirement age of eligibility, not for those that are 50 or older, but under 50. there's also identified over $50 billion misspent on waste or really fraudulent payments. that ought to go into medicare. the one thing that shouldn't be done is what tim kaine supports, and he said previously that obamacare, the healthcare tax law would be, quote, great for
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democrats. well, the seniors i've heard from don't think it's at all great. that over $700 million is being taken out of medicare to pay for the programs. i've heard from so many folks who -- cardiologists gotten out of the cardiology business. he will be a researcher rather than providing those services, so seniors are going to be having, and are already seeing, difficulty in getting access to physicians because of obamacare taking so much money out of medicare and my general view is that healthcare decisions ought to be made by doctors and patients, not government panels up in washington. >> mr. kaine? >> social security and medicare, again, george as a saerns voted for -- senator, voted for a very risky privatization scheme for social security and i can tell you if i'm in the u.s. science, i will fight efforts to privatize social security till my last breath. it would have been a disaster.
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let's talk about medicare. george suggests i want to take money out of the medicare program. the 700 billion he refers to was ending overpamess to insurance companies so we -- overpayments to insurance companies so we could expand benefits to seniors in the medicare program. prescription drug benefit preventive care. george's plan repealing the affordable care act would take the benefits back from seniors and give them back to insurance companies. he would give back to insurance companies the right to turn people down for pre-existing conditions. he would give back to insurance companies the right to charge women differential premiums than men. we're not going to solve our healthcare problems or medicare problems by putting insurance companies back in control. let's end the sweetheart deal waifs negotiated with pharmaceutical companies and negotiate for pricing. we'll save $250 billion over ten years of medicare. >> let's go a question by bill miller for mr. kaine. >> mr. kaine, rerecollecting -- reflecting on last friday's
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unemployment numbers, which could congress have done differently at this point that could have led to greater or faster improvement? >> bill, i really believe what i said in my opening that there are some signs that the economy is starting to move forward. last friday, just on the same day, we had the highest down number in five years and the lowest unemployment rating in four years, but i think congress is the ankle weight. just look at recent history. there was a veterans jobs bill that was pending before congress within the last few months and a decision was made by the senate minority to philly buster the bill rather than pass it. that was devastating to our veterans who have a higher unemployment rate than the national average and all the reporting suggested they did it because they wanted to wait until after election day to do something positive. over the summer, now, i'll praise republicans. republicans in the senate and democrats together passed the farm bill. drought relief, flood insurance, school lunch programs, good for kids and good for farmers, but when the bill passed out of a
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bipartisan senate, it went over to the house and the house decided to bottle it up until after election day. we have a congress that is so dysfunctional that people will not work together and we see that again and again. and as i travel around virginia, this is the thing they most say. if ideas are perfect but people don't work together, who cares? that's why weigh can't afford to -- we can't afford to go back to a day when we put people in congress who want to add to the partisan rancor. we have to have bridge builders. when george was in the senate, he ridiculed john warner's efforts in the gang of 14 to find compromise. i think we need compromise. we need people in the senate who know how to compromise and that will move the economy forward. >> mr. allen. >> i'm going to get a few things straight here in answering your question. first of all, we need to refeel and replace obamacare. i've worked with people on both sides of the aisle as governor as well as a united states senator on everything from
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internet access to screening of newborn babies and nanotechnology, the same as governor and over 300,000 net new jobs were being created in virginia during my four years as governor as opposed to 100,000 jobs being lost. my idea of what we ought to do in healthcare reform is not take away decisions from doctors and patients, but empowering individuals. we ought to replace obamacare with ideas that will address pre-existing conditions. i do think children ought to be able to stay on their parents' policies until age 26, but the other thing for jobs and the economy, this obamacare law is a real impediment for small businesses to hire people on. i think small businesses ought to be able to band together across state lines and have more competition, more choice, and more affordable health insurance. we also ought to have health savings accounts be made more prominent. they're more personal, they're portable, you can take them from job to job and not have to worry about a pre-existing condition when you have a new job. so there are a lot of things
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that can be done to get the economy moving. the things we don't need is higher taxes, more regulation. what we need to do is unleash our american energy resources, have a tax code that is more simple, more competitive and fair, and if you look at my blueprint to america's come back, that's a way of getting more jobs in north america and sending a message to the world that america is open for business again. >> i'd like to give each of you a minute and a half now on another follow-up that is related to the conversation we just had. mr. kaine, could you address mr. allen's assertions that we don't need any tax increase, and secondly the idea that obamacare should be repeeled and i'd like to give you a minute and a half and mr. allen a minute and a half to respond. >> let me dive right in on taxes. we have a balance sheet that's broken. when george allen went into the senate, it was fixed, we actually had a surplus, but he broke both sides of the balance sheet. he dramatically slashed taxes and he jacked up spending $16,000 of debt every second he
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serve for six years. when he left the senate, the balance sheet was completely out of whack and it's there to the day. i really believe, bob, that to fix it, you have to fix it on both sides of the balance sheet. you have to make cuts. i believe that we should be looking to make cuts in the federal budget of about 2 or $3 of cuts for every dollar of revenue. i know how to make cuts. i'm the only governor in modern times who left office with a smaller general fund budget when i started, 5 billion worth of cuts, but george has never shown an ability to make any kind of cuts. the state budget went up by 45% when i was governor in four years and debt and spending skyrocketed in the united states senate. on the other side of the balance sheet, we should let the bush tax cuts expire for those who make more than $400,000 a year. that's a compromise between 250,000 and the republican position of make all the tax
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cuts permanent. if we do that, we will raise $500 billion over the next ten years and that's how we can avoid these catastrophic sequestration cuts. george has pledged to never raise any taxes, not one dollar of revenue for any cuts. he will not fix either side of the balance sheet and i have a record of fixing both sides of the balance sheet. >> we need a balance and i think there are a variety of things that right off the bat what ought to be cut and repealed and replaced is obamacare. that will save over one thrun dollars and that will be -- one trillion dollars and that will be beneficial for small businesses. we can look at the auditors of the government where there's inefficiencies and overlap. we also need to have comprehensive tax reform. we ought to have a tax code that's more simple, more fair, and more competitive. what i've been advocating is to reduce the tax on jobs creating
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businesses by 25%. the federal government is imposing the worth in the world tax of 35%. if we reduced it to 20%, over 500,000 jobs, created and $23 billion of new revenue and that would send a message to the world that america is open for business again. the other thing is that we're blessed in america with the most energy resources of any country in the world. and virginians, from our coalfields to our coasts are ready, willing and able to provide america with the energy to four our economy and if we unleashed our energy resources throughout the country, i believe we ought to do so in virginia and on day one after being sworn in as your senator, i would introduce a bill to allow us in virginia to produce oil and natural gas off our coast and use the royalties for roads and transportation, but if we did this nationwide, there would be hundreds of thousands of jobs created and the federal government would be able to get over a trillion dollars of revenues without raising taxes, and best of all, we'd be keeping
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our money here in the united states of america. that's the way to get our economy going in a balanced approach that improves people's quality of life. >> mr. allen? >> i'd like to change the topic here once again and to move to the question that last spring here in virginia, the general assembly had legislation proposed that on one hand would require women obtaining be abortions to have ultrasounds and secondly would propose a personhood amendment in which the government would define when life began. do you think your party has gone too far on these issues, so much so that it might invade the legitimate privacy of women? >> some of those issues are state issues on informed consent. one of them, kim brought it up earlier, i would never prohibit contraceptives. i think women ought to be able to have access and should be able to have access to contraceptives. some will say, well, you can't have access to contraceptives and religious freedoms, but
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anybody who says something like that is just playing politics. we can have religious liberty and have women have access to contraceptives. those were the issues they were talking about in the general assembly. the one issue has to do with accountability as far as i'm concerned, if a criminal attacks a woman who is pregnant, i think that if that attacker injures the woman and injures or killed the unborn child, i'm one who's for accountability and i think that measure on personhood would in effect allow to have accountability for that attack. let me add one other thing that tim was talking about when i was in the senate. when i left the senate, tim, unemployment was only 4.4%. the budget deficit, annual deficit was $160 billion and on a trajectory to being balanced. now it's 1$1.1 trillion, seven times higher. you mentioned spending at
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$16,000 per second. you know what it is now? $47,000 per second. the amount makes it much, much worse, and the other thing is our credit rating has been downgraded for the first time ever in history. when i leaf the senate, the government was bore roerg about six cents of every dollar being spent and now it's 31 cents being borrowed of every dollar being spent. that's why we needge fiscal discipline in washington? >> i've never heard someone defend increasing the debt by $16,000 a second as a good thing and the thing that's kind of mystifying about it is as he was doing, that he was repeated voting to raise his own pay, as if that somehow merit add pay increase. on the issues of women's health, there was a very, very vivid and i think horrifying speck spectacle in the general assembly last year when the legislature tried to force women to have and i vai sieve ultrasound proceeding against their will, medically
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unnecessary, at their own cost. the bill was moderated, bit still horrible. i stroke out against it strongly and george allen took no position. george allen on his campaign website says we should pass federal personhood legislation. that would jeopardize fda birth control. he supports the overturn of rowe vs wade and that would be a bad idea and he voted to allow employers to deny women choices of contraceptive. i'm against that, i will protect women's rights to make their own health decisions. >> question from lynn gordon to mr. kaine. >> thank you. mr. kaine n order to retain our american democracy, it is important for there to be full disclosure of -- i'm sorry. full disclosure of all contributi
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contributi contributions, not just individuals, but also those made by third parties such as corporations and special interests. the bill currently pending in congress is the disclosure act of 2012. will you support this bill? >> lynn, i will. i think the current way of funding campaigns that allows secret third-party organizations to run ads without disclosing their donors and often run false ads because there's no shame in being associated with a lie if you can't be associated with a lie, i think it needs to be changed and i would sign on day one to a principal, no secret money. no one should be able to give money to am pains and give it in secrecy. at the beginning of this campaign in december, george and i debated and i said to george, let's have that campaign be tim kaine against george allen and ask all third parties to stay out and we'll lay out our positions to the virginia public and they will be able to decide based on the visions we lay out what they want to do. george turned that offer down. it's working in one other state in massachusetts, but he
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rejected pits i went back to him in february and said how about this? if super-pacs are going to be involved, how about a rule that they have to disclose their donors? george had often praised the virginia system of requiring full disclosure of campaign contributions and i thought maybe he will bite on this and we can at least have a transparent campaign. once again he turned us down, so if you turn on tv now, you will see huge numbers of ads run by the thaerd party organizations, often false. you can bet if i'm a united states senator, i will go in and not try to again the status quo as george has done, but i will try very, very hard to make sure there's no secret money in politics and that voters have the right to know who is funding campaigns. it seems basic to me. >> in allen? > i'm one who's strtrongly in favor of freedom the supreme court has ruled on these matters. i do like virginia's laws based on freedom and disclosure and if there was more freedom, more of the contributions would come to the campaigns. what i'd like to see in any ads run, whether by candidates or by
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independent groups, including the ones that are running negative ads that are false and misleading with me, is honesty. now, tim has brought up this issue of pay and he's running these ads saying that, quote, he set a positive example by cutting his pay as governor and he attacks me on it. he's attacked me again today on it. let me give you truthful facts and you be the judge. as governor on day one, i returned 10% of my salary, all four years. mark werner followed up after me a few years later and cut his by 20%. what did tim do? he didn't cut his pay at all. when he came in, he could have followed mark werner or my example, but he didn't cut his at all. it was well into his second year as governor that he cut it by just 5%, so i was the one who actually set the positive example, tim, that you followed, but you did do it half heartedly and late and and as far as in the senate, i returned over six
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years $1.4 million from our office accounts. that's about over 9%. i don't think there ought to be any pay increases for congress, and indeed, i think they ought to withhold the pay of congress because they haven't gotten the budget and appropriation bills done on time. >> he went over, can i at least have -- >> no, no, not now. stephanie rochon for mr. allen. you've gone over too. >> mr. allen, president obama decided not to enforce deportation for children of mig grants who came here illegally. do you agree with the decision to allow children of illegal immigrants to stay in this country? >> i think we need real immigration reform. my mother's an immigrant and so i think immigrants can contribute a great deal to our country, and our immigration laws should be based on what's in the best interests of our country. i think what the president did is he ignored the law and rather than taking these cases on an
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individual basis, he put a whole class of people exempt from the law, which i think is going to make it, unfortunately, more difficult to get real i am mig granet reform. what i hear from the people of virginia is they want our borders to be secure. that's a primary responsibility of a federal government. people are for, at least i am, for making sure america is the world capital of innovation and one of the ways of doing that is making sure we're a magnet for the best minds in the world, and just yesterday at the university of richmond, i was saying, gosh, if there's somebody graduating with a science or technology or engineering degree and there's jobs and they're needed, attach a green card to their diploma. and so i think there are positive constructive reforms we can make, and in fact, even for the temporary workers, the h2 d workers and the seafood industry, they can't find americans to do the work.
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there ought to be a much better system to people can come in, are checked out, here on a temporary basis to provide good work that's needed here and actually support american jobs. those are the sort of reforms we need and i think we all need to get together and get a comprehensive reform done. the one thing that doesn't work in my view is rewarding illegal behavior because if you did. >> we're good out of time. >> if you reward illegal behavior, you only get more of it. >> mr. kaine. >> here's something george and i agree with. we need visa reform so students at our universities who get degrees and they want to stay and create opportunities for others, we want them to stay, that's very, very important. we also should make the process easier for tourists to come to the united states. if you live in brazil and you want to take a vacation, it answer lot easier to go to europe than the u.s. we agree on veez is a reforms. where we disagree, i do support the dream act. i think youngsters who are brought here by their parents,
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we shouldn't lock them into underachievement. we should help them be overachievers and i support immigration reform, a significant financial penalty for those who are here unlawfully and they can work it off over a period of years. we'd use the money to add border security and they can get in line to get a green card. george's record in congress has been to oppose comprehensive immigration reform and opposition to birthright citizenship which is part of american law since the civil war. >> bill kallio for mr. kaine. >> i want to go back to medicare. it does provide guaranteed health coverage for people 65 and older and some disabled citizens and when i talk to people, they call that peace of mind. >> call it what? >> peace of mind. but it's also not free. out of pocket costs are high for virginia's beneficiaries who spend an estimated $4200 or about 13% of their income on
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premiums, copayments and duct i believe so. we know that every day, more boomers are coming in to the system and that numbers of people that have earned the right of medicare will continue to grow. at the same time, we also know that the cost of healthcare still continues to go up. put that all together and medicare needs to be rethought of in terms of where we're going to be get the financial footage for it. so i'd like to ask you to specifically either give one proposal that you would oppose or one proposal that you would approve that would put medicare on a strong financial ground going into the future without passing on an undue financial burden to seniors and retirees. >> well, bill, medicare is hugely important. it's an important part of the safety net and it is also a challenging problem. let's acknowledge it's challenging because of something good, we're living longer. thank goodness for that, so that creates a problem. we have to solve it, but we can. i think there's right solutions
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and wrong solutions. i think solutions in medicare that cut costs and save costs rather than shift costs on to seniors' shoulders, so to give you an example. when medicare part d was expanded to provide a prescription drug benefit, i've alluded to this a bit earlier, and that was voted on when george allen was in the united states senate. it was a good program to expand, but two mistakes were made. first, congress decided to pay for it and just put it on a krid credit card. second a provision was inserted that made it unlawful for the federal government to negotiate with the companies for prices of prescription drugs, even though the federal government does negotiate for the same drugs with the same companies wheen we buy them for the v.a. system. if we make that one change, that will save up for $24 billion every year, $240 billion over the next ten years. it's good for the deficit, good for the solvency of med kairk but it doesn't jeopardize people's care. the second thing i would do, and some work on this is being done, but there's more to do in medicare but also in the private
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insurance area. i think an important reform that remains is, as a nation, we should be paying for health, not procedures. we pay for procedures and we get some of the best, most expensive, and the most procedures in the world, but if we pay for health and healthy outcomes, we could actually save money and have healthier seniors, but also healthier citizens who are happier and more productive. that's a path to cost reforms. >> mr. allen. >> well, tim criticizes me for supporting medicare part d. i think it's been very beneficial to a lot of seniors who now don't have to choose between heat and food and getting prescription drugs. especially coming under budget because there's competition and there's choice. there are also the aspects of health savings accounts that i think are beneficial as well. the wrong thing to do in medicare is to be raiding it, taking $700 billion out of medicare to pay for other programs. tim may call it another program in a different way, but that's
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hardly going to help make sure that medicare is solvent in the future. i think solutions that make sense are a gradual increase in the eligibility age for those who are under age 50. i do think income adjustments makes sense. there are people who don't need and don't want to have medicare, who have over a million dollars in income a year. those are ways of addressing it, and also there's the $50 million -- $50 billion a year that has been appropriated for fraudulent payments. that ought to go back into medicare. the other thing that ought to be done is allow people to use, if they so desire, voluntarily, their 401(k)'s and iras if they desire to get long-term care insurance so they don't have to lose all of their assets and spend down if they need assisted living later in life. >> thank you. we have a question from bill miller for mr. allen. >> in allen be both you and mr. kaine are on record as wanting to avoid some of the automatic spending cuts caused by see
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crest administration at the end of the year. assuming there isn't any change between now and then, congress doesn't take any action, which should the congress do next year if and after sequestration takes effect? >> i'm on this first, right in. >> yes. >> it should never have been -- it was a decision i was never in favor of. i thought it was sloughing off responsibilities to yet another commission. tim supported it. he said it was the right thing to do. it was not the right thing to do in jeopardizing over 200,000 jobs here in virginia as well as affecting adversely our military preparedness. what leadership is is setting priorities. as governor, i felt the top priorities with state government, education and law enforcement. the way you pay for it is with a vibrant economy where people are working and businesses are prospering, not higher taxes. what needs to be done at the federal level is set a priority and clearly national defense as paramount responsibility of the
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federal government enumerated in the constitution. what needs to be done is make cuts elsewhere, but the other aspect of it is lets grow the economy. repealing and replacing obamacare, that's going to save a trillion dollars over a 10-year period. there are efficiencies and redundancies in government that can behave tense of billions of dollars. i mentioned earlier and i had to get rushed through it, energy and how energy resources in our country can allow us to have a more secure country, less vulnerable to hostile outside forces, but if we unleash our energy resources from virginia to the gulf and the appalachians to the rockies, to the barren north woods of alaska, there would be literally hundreds of thousands of jobs created and over a trillion dollars of revenue coming to the government without raising taxes. the only thing that's missing is the political will to unleash the resources and i provide that
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leadership. >> ploo cane. >> the question was about sequester and i did not hear specifics from george how to accomplish it other than to repeal obamacare. it would put us right back in the mix of a partisan battle we've had for the last three years. we have to do the fiscally responsible thing and find a compromise. here's a grom. here's now we deal with the problem. instead of cutting a billion dollars out of defense and non-defense, let's do three things. let's let the bush tax cuts expire for the first dollar of income over00,000. let's take away the big subsidies we give to the oil companies and let's fix that piece of medicare i talked about earlier. if we do those three things and they're all compromises, we don't have a trillion dollars of cuts to fine over ten years, we have about 225 billion dollars of cuts spread across government and secretary panetta says we can find savings. just don't give us a number
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that's too ugly or too big. now, there's some specifics and there are things we can do this year to avoid the sequestration effect. >> mr. kaine, this week, the u.s. supreme course is going to tackle the issue of of a firn missive action. do you think a college applicants race should be a factor in whether or not they're admitted to a virginia college? >> bob, the supreme court is going to tackle this case, which i think they last sort of dealt with in two cases from the university of michigan in the early part of the 2000s. and the issue there and the issue pending today is, do our public colleges accept students in a student body that sort of looks like the state or looks like the population they serve. my kids have gone to the public schools in richmond and they have come up in classrooms that are extremely diverse. they have gotten really good academic education, bought they have also really gotten spectacular education in living with the folks who are the real virginia today. we are increasingly diverse state and that's an important part of education. so i would hope that what the
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supreme court would do in this case would be that they would affirm that it is okay for a public institution, whether it's a government body handing out contracts or a student -- college admitting students, that it's okay for them to try to make sure that their student body looks like the state looks like. they should use factors other than race, certainly. economic disadvantage, are you the first in your family to go to college, but if you see institutions, public institutions where the numbers of students look dramatically different than the state population, i think it's an indication of challenge and a problem that we have to try to solve, so i strongly believe that the diversity of our commonwealth is a strength, the diversity of our nation as strength, and we ought to see diversity in our public bodies. >> mr. allen. >> i'm in some agreement with what tim's expressions were. i'm one who's in favor of
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affirmative recruitment. i think everybody ought to have an opportunity to compete and succeed regardless of background, regardless race. while affirmative recruitment makes good sense, i don't want people who are qualified or better qualified being denied that opportunity. we'll see how the supreme court rules on this case, but i think that people of good hearts and good minds can come up with a proper way of addressing the need for young people, all people to get a good quality education. i do want to say this, tim missed it. my plan in getting our budget in order is pretty clear. number one, repeal obamacare and replace it. that will save over a trillion dollars. secondly, the auditors of the government have identified $50 billion of overlap and redundant programs. three, unleash our american energy resources. that's over a trillion dollars of revenue, and number four, have a more comprehensive or
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more competitive simple tax code with fewer deductions and that would create not only over 500,000 new jobs a year, year, but $23 billion a year. set priorities, and make cuts that grow the economy. >> sometime for our closing statements and by the order of coin flip, mr. allen, you go first. >> well, thank you for the opportunity to have this debate and thank you all again for watching. there's a lot at stake in this election. it's a pivotal laection that's going to determine the trajectory of this country. if tim is in, he will be in there for all the same folks campaigning all these years when he was chairman of the democratic national committee, ignoring the dire needs of people in virginia. i want to see change in washington. there's positive constructive ideas that can get this country going in the right direction. i believe we ought to get united behind the mission of sending a message to the world that
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america is open for business again, so i think that anybody who pays taxes should be on our side unless they want to pay higher taxes. i think that if you use electricity, you ought to be on our side. if you want more affordable electricity, if you drive a car and don't like the fact that you're paying over $30 more every time you fill up, you ought to be on our side. if you agree with me that doctors and patients ought to be making healthcare decisions rather than panels of bureaucrats up in washington, you ought to be on our side. if you are working for a living or if you want a job, the approach that i've been advocating has proven to work. over 300,000 net new jobs created in virginia when we were working together, republicans and democrats, making regulations more reasonable. taxes lower, making sure that we froze college tuition to make sure it was accessible and affordable to virginians. all of that was beneficial to virginia, and indeed, if you care about the future of your children or your grandchildren, you should be on our side.
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i hope to be your voice in washington, but hard working tax paying families of virginia need someone on their side in washington, and i hope to be there working for you and making sure that all americans, no matter their background, have that great opportunity to catch their dream here in america. >> mr. kaine. >> bob, i think the u.s. economy is ready for a break-through. there's some positive signs as we saw last week, but as i mentioned in my opening, i think congress is the shackle. congress is the ankle weight right now, an ineffective congress that's fiscally irresponsible and doesn't know how to work together. the decision to philly buster and block a veterans jobs bill and to block a farm bill before election day is a perfect example that we've got to put new ways of thinking in congress. we've got to pick the economy by investing in infrastructure and expanding educational opportunities and leveling the playing field for small businesses. but we can't get there if congress is fiscally irresponsible and doesn't work
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together. on the fiscal side, i've got a record. governor during the worst recession since the 1930s, cut $5 billion in spending, cut my own pay as lieutenant governor and as governor to try to do the right thing to keep virginia leading the way among other states. we were at the top of all the accolades of states when i was governor at a very difficult time. my opponent has a different record. he was in the united states senate and as i indicated, started with surpluses, started with a budget in the best shape we've ever had it and by the time he left, it was in a shambles. he wrecked both sides of the balance sheet and hasn't said significant today about what he would do to get is back. also we need to fine people who know how to work together. here in richmond at governor in a tough time it was about working together to ban smoking in bars, do the biggest higher ed expansion in the state's history, but a billion dollars this the chesapeake bay, we worked together. my opponent famously said when
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he was governor, his job was to enjoy knocking democrats' soft teeth down their whiny throats and when he went into the senate and there were everyday efforts to find compromise led by virginia's senior senator john warner in the gang of 14, he not only did not join the efforts, he ridiculed them saying we don't need a compromise. we will not move forward as a nation if we can't join together. that's the way i've served and that's the way i will serve if i have the honor to be virginia's next united states senator. thanks. >> thank you very much. mr. allen, mr. kaine, i want to thank both of you to taking part in a very vigorous debate this evening. i want to thank our audience, both here at wcve and at home, for watching and try to remind everybody to vote in what is going to be one of the crucial and critical elections in america. i'd like to turn it over to our
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host. >> it's been a vigorous debate. this debate has brought toy the league of women voters in virginia, aarp, and wcve, a community idea station. we want to say thanks again for the candidates for appearing together on the stage toinlt. we heard a lot of social security, medicare, many of the issues virginians are facing. i want to thank those voters for watching. don't forget, election dwnos le now less than a month away. on behalf of everyone who brought this debate to you, i'm bill fitzgerald. good night. captioning provided by caption associates, llc
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