Candidates Go Head to Head in First Senate Debate

July 26, 2014

Senator Mark Warner and Republican candidate Ed Gillespie went head to head during their first senate debate, hosted by the Virginia Bar Association.

The first question went to Sen. Warner, asking him about voting with President Obama 97 percent of the time, including a vote for Obamacare..

Warner however said the numbers were misleading and that Virginians want healthcare to recover.

“On healthcare, what I hear from Virginians is they are tired of this issue being used a political football and they actually want to see it fixed,” says Sen. Warner (D). “And they don't want to go back in the days where people with preexisting conditions can’t get healthcare.”

Gillespie was questioned by PBS NewsHour moderator Judy Woodruff on policies that he wants to implement. She says that they are similar to that of President George W. Bush, whom he worked under.

“I believe policies like unleashing American energy, replacing Obamacare with market oriented reforms, having tax and regulatory relief, education reform, which I believe is a pro-growth economic initiative and cutting wasteful spending could result in doubling our economic growth rate,” says Gillespie.

Warner also criticized Gillespie’s' work with President Bush as well as his work as a lobbyist for Enron, and throughout the debate spoke about Gillespie being a partisan warrior.

“He views every issue through the lens of republicans versus democrats,” says Sen. Warner.

“I believe that we can spare economic growth, but not with the kind of intrusive government, regulations, and mandates and taxes that senator warner has supported,” says Gillespie.

Gillespie, who is the former chair of the Republican National Committee, continued to challenge Sen. Warner's independence from the president throughout the debate, however towards the thing they did agree on was that there should be tougher sanctions on Russia when it comes to national security.

Other topics that were discussed were on immigration and social issues like contraception, but ultimately Sen. Warner, who has a solid lead in the polls over Gillespie, is trying to keep his seat.

Robert Sarvis, the libertarian candidate also running for senate, was not invited to this debate.

To see video of the full debate, click on the link under the picture.


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