The race for California's newly redrawn 3rd Congressional District is heating up. So KQED's Forum invited Democratic Congressman John Garamendi and Republican challenger Kim Vann to debate the issues on this morning's Forum show.
Host Dave Iverson--and several callers--asked Garamendi and Vann about a variety of topics. Here's a sampling of the debate:
Q: What do you think of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's controversial "47 percent" comments.
Vann: "I look at it very differently. We're in an environment where we aren't creating jobs. It's sad that we're even having to have that conversation, and what we should be focusing on is that those people don't have good solid jobs to be going to... [But] no I don't think that 47 percent of people believe they're victims."
Garamendi: "It's disgusting, it's a disgusting comment about America. I mean, this is a great country, and Americans are the hardest working people in the world. Now there's a lot of people that are unemployed--they want to go back to work."
Q: How do you think federal regulations affect employment?
Garamendi: "Not all regulation is bad. Some of it doesn't make sense so it ought to be eliminated. But regulation is the rules that govern the way commerce takes place in the United States."
Vann: "We keep putting bandaids over the same wound, but we adamantly refused to address why businesses aren't functioning at a high level in this country. We are over-regulating them, we are over-taxing them, we are not giving them the confidence that they need to grow their business."
Q: What do you think of the Affordable Care Act? Would you repeal it?
Vann: "Yes, I would support my colleagues in repealing the Affordable Care Act... there are some good things in it... but this bill was put together with politics in mind first, and it will not be the best healthcare system when it was designed to move forward an agenda and not put my healthcare first."
Garamendi: "What we have in the Affordable Healthcare Act is: 40 million Americans will be able to get insurance. And there will be a market place established in this exchange program that allows to shop for insurance and be part of a large pool so that they are no longer isolated as individual."