Though tame compared to the presidential debates, the CD9 debate that aired on the local PBS station’s show Arizona Horizon here in Phoenix wasn’t without its high points. In fact, on the topic of healthcare and returning it to the states, Republican candidate Vernon Parker said he had no problem with that type of system in an effort to allow people to have more choices, not less in their medical coverage. This didn’t seem to sit well (returning healthcare to the states) with the moderator Ted Simons who forcefully questioned Parker on why he would support that. Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema favors Obamacare and quickly said there were some stinkers in the bill, but didn’t seem too clear on what she said they were.
Parker has made his position quite clear that he wants people to be able to choose for themselves which healthcare plan they want. However, for the moderator Ted Simons it was an answer that didn’t seem to sit well. Yes, there might be a little media biaseness here in favor of Sinema from the moderator, although at the beginning of the debate he did state that it would be almost a free for all. Libertarian Powell Gammill who was almost invisible was not a speaker and didn’t look into the camera when he made his opening and closing statements. It was obvious to the viewers he was reading from a script but he certainly had a moment of toughness when he blasted Sinema on her position of supporting Obamacare. Score one for the Libertarians on that one.
Parker clearly won on the facts. While Sinema attacked Parker about wanting to give tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas, Parker has never stated that. In fact Parker interjected that he wants to bring jobs back to the United States and that the only way to do that is to cut taxes, especially for businesses that have 50 or less employees. Sinema then refocused and said she’d help mid range companies.
Sinema, in some ways was saved in this debate as issues regarding illegal immigration, abortion and yes even proving that you have to show a birth certificate in order to run for President. She also is against SB 1070 and on her web site supports the DREAM Act. Sinema mentioned that when it came to healthcare, she’d fight for kids but didn’t mention that she was endorsed by Nancy Pelosi, one of the main Democrats that helped push Obamacare onto the American people. Vernon Parker should’ve brought those things up.
Overall, the toughest one in the debate was Parker. He was very quick to answer a lot of the liberal spin coming from Sinema. The Democrats have attacked Parker with ads suggesting that he would take eliminate education, destroy Medicare and basically vote to raise taxes on everyone accept the rich. Parker was clear in this debate and once again stated that he’d work with both parties to get things done.
Parker showed some directness. Although not the most perfect public speaker, he is pretty clear on his mission. Helping small businesses has been a big part of his platform. Early in his campaign and through the primary election he went on a small business tour of his district and asked entrepreneurs how he can help them should he go to Washington. Parker should’ve brought this up in the debate as it would’ve solidified his position of being a best friend to small business. Parker says he also wants to lower taxes.
Overall, Parker won the debate but there wasn’t a clear knockout blow. Parker should’ve gotten much tougher as the debate unfolded and brought up Sinema’s entire voting record as well as questioned her about having some acquaintances tied to CAIR and other questionable groups. Then again, this was only a 30 minute program. It’s hard to tell whether or not Parker or the other candidates would get a push from this. We’ll just have to wait and see.