October 30, 2014

Baldwin, Thompson face off in second debate

Another debate wraps up in an extremely tight U.S. Senate race.

The two candidates vying for the open U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin duke it out Thursday in their second of three debates. Former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson and Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin discuss jobs, healthcare, education, debt, Iran sanctions, and the polarized political climate.

The discussion starts out slow but gets spirited at times. At one point, when Baldwin interrupts Thompson, he scolds her. “Let me finish. Let me finish. You had two minutes; let me finish. You wanna interrupt me, Joe Biden? Just give me a chance.”

AUDIO: Candidates discuss Medicare :41

Thompson and Baldwin are tied among likely voters, according to the latest Marquette University Law School Poll, released Wednesday.

Regarding bipartisanship, the candidates are asked whether they can name one of their challenger’s policy positions they would support. Thompson stalls. “Ah … it’s pretty hard … but … I would certainly support anything that we can do on a bipartisan basis.”

Thompson says he’d agree to measures that would cut back on spending, saying we have to learn to live within our means.

Baldwin names specific issues upon which they can agree, including the Dream Act and SeniorCare. “I believe I heard him at the last debate say that he believes that we should bring our troops back from Afghanistan as quickly and safely as possible. If that’s what I heard, I’m in strenuous agreement with him on that.”

AUDIO: Candidates discuss taxes :48

Baldwin and Thompson are hoping to fill the seat being vacated by the retiring U.S. Senator Herb Kohl.

Both candidates have taken advantage of a lot of star power in their respective political parties as Wisconsin is considered to be one of just a few a battleground states in the presidential race. This week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham both campaigned for Thompson; and Baldwin plans to appear with former President Bill Clinton, and first lady Michelle Obama on Friday.

AUDIO: Candidates discuss Iran 1:15

(Audio courtesy of Wisconsin Public Radio. The second debate took place Thursday night at the UW Marathon County campus in Wausau. The third and final debate is schedule for next Friday, October 26th)

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:34