Rhetoric heats up in Terry, White debate
By KVNO News
October 14th, 2010
By Robyn Wisch
Lee Terry and Tom White stepped up the rhetoric in their second televised debate Thursday. The two are fighting to represent Omaha in the U.S. House.
The debate centered, much like the first one, on spending and taxes. White, a Democrat and state senator, has tried to paint Terry, a Republican running for his seventh term in Congress, as a cheerleader for Wall Street. White said Terry supports big tax breaks for the wealthy, while shortchanging the middle class. Terry countered White is trying to villainize job creators and strangle economic growth. Terry hit White on his support of two large spending bills, the healthcare overhaul and the federal stimulus package.
â€œI think itâ€™s time that instead of creating government jobs in gray buildings in Washington DC,â€ Terry said, â€œthat we start focusing on policies that are going to create jobs on Main Street.â€
White responded, â€œWell, first of all Congressman, the stimulus spending was, one third was tax cuts for the middle class. Now why is it that when itâ€™s tax cuts for Wall Street, thatâ€™s a tax breaks but when itâ€™s tax cuts for the middle class, thatâ€™s deficit spending.â€
The two also battled over the war in Afghanistan, taking different stands on whether fighting terrorism abroad should include nation-building. White said while he supports pursuing anyone who kills Americans, fighting a war in every terrorist base is unrealistic. â€œWe cannot afford to keep doing, quote, the right thing by the people of Afghanistan when weâ€™re not doing the right thing for the people here at home.â€ He added, â€œWe canâ€™t rebuild other countries as our countryâ€™s infrastructure comes apart. We cannot seriously say weâ€™re going to go after Al Qaeda and rebuild every country that they go to and have a base of operations.â€
Terry countered that Whiteâ€™s position straddles both sides of the argument, saying you canâ€™t go after terrorists without dealing with their country of operation. â€œIf you say youâ€™re going to go after terrorists, then thatâ€™s what weâ€™re doing now, Tom.â€ He added if the war in Afghanistan, sparked by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th,â€œdoesnâ€™t qualify as going after terroristsâ€¦ when do you go after them? And Iâ€™ll tell you what, if thereâ€™s terrorists setting up camps to attack American citizens in Yemen or Somalia, yeah, letâ€™s go get â€˜em.â€
The debate got heated at times. White called on Terry to listen to him even though, as he said, heâ€™s â€œnot a lobbyist.â€ Meanwhile, Terry egged White on, implying heâ€™s in the pocket of teachersâ€™ unions. The two will face off for their third and final debate Tuesday, Oct. 19 at Bellevue University.
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