Skip to comments.Bowles, Burr trade barbs in debate [Senator Debate - NC]
Posted on 09/27/2004 9:29:02 PM PDT by TaxRelief
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- U.S. Senate candidates Erskine Bowles and Richard Burr battled Monday night over trade and health care, accusing each other of harming North Carolina workers and seniors.
Each of the candidates, participating in a broadcast debate at the University of North Carolina television studios, charged the other with failing to represent the state's citizens.
On the issue of trade, the Bowles accused Burr of continuing to support expanded free trade.
Bowles, who helped advance free trade deals while in the Clinton administration and later as White House chief of staff, said he won't support additional treaties unless the existing deals are enforced.
"Richard and I both have a history on trade," said Bowles, a Democrat. "Times have changed. I think I've figured it out. I don't think Richard has."
Burr, a five-term Republican congressman from Winston-Salem, fired back, saying that he wasn't in Congress in 1994 when Bowles pushed for the North American Free Trade Agreement. He also said Bowles pushed to give China permanent normalized trade relations once out of Washington. Many blame cheap products from China for the loss of textile jobs in North Carolina this decade.
"I voted eight times against China. That's the facts," Burr told Bowles. "You can't change that and you can't change your involvement in negotiating that trade agreement."
Bowles said later in the debate he had called then-U.S. Rep. Eva Clayton, D-N.C., to get her to support permanent trade relations for China only if tobacco farmers received money to combat blue mold.
On health care, both candidates said they generally supported the creation of a prescription drug benefit for Medicare patients approved by the Congress last year.
But Burr alleged the 1997 budget deal that Bowles helped negotiate with Congress led to health care cuts at North Carolina rest homes and other facilities.
Bowles shook his head in response, saying: "Richard, sometimes you amaze me."
He then went on to blame Burr for failing to back a provision in the Medicare drug program that would have allowed older adults to collaborate on prescription drug costs and bring down prices.
Bowles then noted that Burr voted against a 1995 budget that reduced the rate of Medicare spending by $270 billion.
The candidates later presented sharp differences over a recently expired ban on assault weapons and on fiscal responsibility.
Bowles said he would have kept the ban in place, citing support from former presidents while they were in office, as well as the nation's police chiefs. Burr, who said he wanted the ban to expire, retorted that he could find a list of police leaders who opposed the ban.
Burr said the tax cuts backed by President Bush and approved by the Congress has worked to improve the economy. He attributed the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and anti-terrorism efforts for causing some of the revenue shortfall.
"We've got to show better restraint in Washington," he said. But efforts to rebuild to New York and other post-Sept. 11 spending "has been a good investment."
Bowles again pointed to his efforts while White House chief of staff to get a balanced budget approved in 1997 but said Burr voted against it. He said the current fiscal troubles and large deficits are "little more than a tax on our kids."
On Iraq, Bowles largely focused on efforts to improve reconstruction efforts there, while Burr highlighted President Bush's leadership on the war. They traded allegations each candidate harmed the government's intelligence gathering capabilities before Sept. 11.
Bowles also attempted to portray Burr as a partisan representative who voted 96 percent of the time with the president and said he would offer an independent voice.
"You won't see me voting with the party 96 percent of the time," Bowles said. Burr responded: "I'm not embarrassed to vote with the president 96 percent of the time. He's right that often."
Both candidates said they were opposed to same-sex marriages, although Burr was more inclined to approve a constitutional amendment banning them.
The debate, sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation, was moderated by National Public Radio's Carl Kasell, a North Carolina native.
The event came the same day a new poll was released showing Bowles with a 9-point lead over Burr. The survey of 600 likely votes was taken last week by Research 2000 and commissioned by three Triangle media outlets.
There are no additional debates scheduled.
Dems will say they're against same-sex marriage, but they won't ever commit to doing anything about it.
I saw some of it. I thought Burr did a great job. Bowles kept looking off stage, hardly ever at the camera. Of course the N&O poll has Bowles doing better but you know the N&O, it's like a CNN online poll.
I applauded at this one: "You won't see me voting with the party 96 percent of the time," Bowles said. Burr responded: "I'm not embarrassed to vote with the president 96 percent of the time. He's right that often." Burr hit it just right.
I thought both scored some points, mostly on past voting history. Burr comes off as more likable and attractive. He smiled a lot and remained positive about NC's future. He stated more than once that NC's best days are ahead of us.
Irksome shifted his eyes a lot. I felt he was lying every time he did that. He wears old lady plastic frame glasses from the 80's and he has a VERY small mouth. Not an attractive man to watch or listen to. Of course, I may be a little biased : )
Why they haven't given him an extreme makeover before running him again is beyond me.
Bowles mentioned several times how proud he was to be involved in the aftermath of the Oklahoma city bombing. Could someone find out what he actually did.
I find both canidates foundly of eachother. To darn nice for my blood. The whole debate was well scripted. I was looking for one line zingers. They read too much and did not have feeling in thier convictions. The issue about gay marriage made me sick. I guess all democrats are trying to become Republicans during election time and turn back to slime when elected.
I hope that recalls become more common across the country and we can yank out any double talk people.
Bowles may have appealed to conservative Dems, but he probably upset the "greenies" in the state. Since the "greenies" have no one else to vote for, they'll support him anyway.
Bowles is a member of a church that is actively supporting gay marriage.
Helped Clinton with the cover-up?
If Bowles is against gay marriage, what is he doing being a member of a church that supports gay marriage? He can't have it both ways. Another "Kerry" resides among us.
That ain't Mrs. Doubtfire, that is Tootsie.
That's it! He is "Tootsie" out of drag!
Anglican, unlike Episcopal, is extremely conservative.