Are you watching the Kaine-Allen debate, which starts at 8 pm tonight? Here is a list of stations you can watch it on. Personally, I’ll probably check it out on C-SPAN, and attempt to live blog it (we’ll see how that goes). Anyway, feel free to use the comments section to discuss the debate, and go Kaine!
P.S. Oh, and if you’re following the debate on Twitter, I hear that hashtags to use are #peoplesdebate and #VASEN, while folks you might want to follow are @timkaine, @moelleithee, @adamslily, and @brandihoffine. Enjoy!
UPDATE 10:11 pm: Turns out moderator Bob Holsworth was totally wrong. In fact, he himself announced the rules 90 seconds-90-60 (for rebuttal) at the beginning of the debate, then didn’t follow them at all and even told both candidates they were wrong! Amazing, apparently it’s impossible to find a decent moderator, either one extreme (Jim Lehrer passive/wuss #FAIL) or the other (Holsworth control freak/dead wrong #FAIL).
UPDATE 8:56 pm: Once again, Tim Kaine dominated George Allen in terms of substance, not even close. Kaine also dominated in terms of honesty and truthfulness, whereas Allen just spouted ideological talking points, no matter how crazy or false. Finally, in terms of style, they were both fine I guess (although I find Kaine far more sincere than Allen, and Allen to be oily and insufferable to listen to), but the bottom line with these political debates is we should focus on SUBSTANCE not on who’s more “energetic” or whatever other idiocy the corporate media loves to focus on.
UPDATE 8:54 pm: We’re on the verge of economic breakthrough, Congress is holding us back. Need new ways of thinking in Congress. Need to invest in infrastructure. I’ve got a record of being fiscally responsible. We were at top of all accolades when I was governor. My opponent has a different record, turned huge surplus into deficit, wrecked both sides of balance sheet and hasn’t said anything today about how to balance it. Allen said his job was to enjoy knocking Dems soft teeth down their whiny throats, he ridiculed John Warner for trying to reach a compromise. We need to work together.
UPDATE 8:52 pm: Closing statements. Allen says he’ll be there for the same people as when he was chair of the DNC. Says he wants to see change in Washington, send message that America’s open for business. Anyone who pays taxes, uses electricity, drives a car, agree that doctors and patients should be making health care decisions, work for a living or want a job…should be on our side. (Note: all of that is demonstrably, almost absurdly, false.) Says he hopes to be “your voice” in Washington (more like the voice of powerful corporations and wealth individuals!)
UPDATE 8:49 pm: Question on affirmative action. Kaine – We want to have a university system that looks like our state, diverse! Hopes that Supreme Court affirms right of public institutions to try to make sure student body looks like the state. Certainly should use factors other than race, such as income, but need diversity, it’s a strength. Allen – Some agreement with Kaine, supports affirmative recruitment. Don’t want people better qualified denied the opportunity, either. Repeats the Big Lie about repealing Obamacare saving $1 trillion. Blah blah blah drill baby drill.
UPDATE 8:45 pm: Question on sequestration. Allen – Should never have done it in the first place (did Allen tell that to all his Republican allies who voted for it and supported it?). It’s all about a “vibrant economy” (yeah, Republicans have been great on that – not!). (Lies again, claims repealing Obamacare will save money, which is NOT what the non-partisan CBO says.) Unleash energy resources (what on earth does this have to do with sequestration? this guy just babbles and babbles, blah blah blah). Kaine – Allen dodged sequester question, other than repeal Affordable Care Act, which CBO says would REDUCE the deficit (THANK YOU!). Let Bush tax cuts expire for over $500k, take away subsidies for Big 5 oil companies, fix piece of Medicare I talked about earlier. Fix those three things, we only have $225 billion not $1 trillion of cuts we need to find.
UPDATE 8:41 pm: Question on Medicare financial ground going into future. Kaine – Medicare is challenging because of something good, we’re living longer. There are right solutions and wrong solutions. We should cut costs and save costs rather than shift costs onto seniors’ shoulders. Medicare Part D – provision made it unlawful for government to negotiate on price of prescription drugs. Make that one change, will save $240 billion over next 10 years. Should pay for healthy outcomes, not for # of procedures. Allen – Tim criticizes me for supporting Medicare Part D (that is NOT what Kaine said, he criticized Allen for the WAY he passed Medicare Part D and for the prohibition on negotiating prescription drug costs). Raise eligibility age, means test. Allow people to use 401ks and IRAs to purchase long-term care insurance.
UPDATE 8:38 pm: Question on illegal immigrants, DREAM Act. Allen – we need immigration reform, immigrants can contribute a great deal to our country, Obama ignored the law (WTF?). Need to secure the border. There are positive, constructive reforms we can make. Be magnet for talent. Don’t reward illegal behavior. Kaine – We need some visa reform, make process easier for tourists to visit US. I do support the DREAM Act, comprehensive immigration reform that would have significant financial penalty to people here illegally and they can get in line to get a green card. Allen actually proposed to eliminate birthright citizenship.
UPDATE 8:34 pm: Question on DISCLOSE Act. Kaine says he’ll support it, says current way of funding campaigns needs to be changed. No secret money. I offered George to make a deal on that for this campaign, he turned that down. I tried again in February with deal on SuperPACs disclosing their donors, once again he turned us down. What you see on TV is huge #s of ads by these organizations, often labeled false. George will defend this status quo. Allen – Says he’s strongly in favor of freedom (what does THAT mean in this context?). Says Kaine is running ads attacking Allen for raising his own pay, says he returned his salary as governor, Kaine didn’t cut his pay at all, except half-heartedly and late. Shouldn’t be any pay increases for Congress, should withhold their pay.
UPDATE 8:30 pm: Question about ultrasounds, personhood amendment. Allen – Says they’re state issues (dodge!), says he’d never prohibit contraceptives (sorry, George, but personhood WOULD do that!). Claims this is some sort of attack on religion, which of course it isn’t. Goes back to budget deficit (notice how he TOTALLY dodged that question rather than be seen as the extremist he is? I hope Kaine calls him on this.). Kaine – Allen repeatedly voted to raise his own pay. On women’s health, the spectacle in General Assembly was horrifying, invasive ultrasound against their will, horrible bill. Allen says on his website that we should pass personhood legislation, overturn Roe v. Wade, supports Blunt amendment to deny women contraceptive coverage, I’m against that, I’ll protect women’s rights.
UPDATE 8:27 pm: Kaine – On taxes, we have a balance sheet that’s broken. When Allen went into Senate, we had a surplus, but he broke both sides of the balance sheet. When he left, the balance sheet was completely out of whack. Have to fix it on both sides of the balance sheet. $2-$3 in cuts for every $1 in revenue. George has never shown an ability to make any kind of cuts. Let Bush tax cuts expire for those making more than $500k per year, that will raise $500 billion over next 10 years and avoid sequestration cuts. Allen won’t fix either side of balance sheet. Allen – Needs to be cuts made in federal spending, need to grow economy (notice no revenues?). Repeal Obamacare (note: CBO says Obamacare REDUCES the deficit). Comprehensive tax reform, reduce rates (note: that will INCREASE the deficit). Blah blah blah drill baby drill blah blah blah.
UPDATE 8:23 pm: Question on unemployment. Kaine – there are signs economy’s starting to move forward, lowest unemployment rate in 4 years, but Congress is the anchor weight. Senate Republicans filibustered veterans jobs bill. Over summer, the Senate passed a farm bill, but House bottled it up. Parties won’t work together, we can’t afford to put people in Congress who want to add to partisan rancor, we need bridge builders. Allen ridiculed John Warner’s efforts to find compromise. Allen – We need to repeal and replace Obamacare. Says he’s worked across aisle on a bunch of different things. Empower individuals, don’t take away choices from doctors and patients (of course, nobody’s doing that). Claims Obamacare is an impediment to small business (FALSE). Health savings accounts…
UPDATE 8:21 pm: Question on Ryan plan, whether candidates support it. Allen dodges, attacks Obamacare, lies about $716 billion being taken out of Medicare, except he says “million” not “billion” (does he know the difference?). Kaine – Points out that Allen voted for risky privatization scheme. I will fight that to my last breath. On Medicare, Allen says $716 billion is to end overpayments to insurance company and helping people receiving Medicare benefits. Says Allen would take that $716 billion from seniors and give it back to insurance companies. (GREAT formulation by Tim Kaine – nice!)
UPDATE 8:19 pm: Very different strategy from Allen on how to deal with Soc. Security and Medicare. Notes that Allen voted to privatize Soc. Sec., would have been a “huge catastrophe.” Adjust payroll tax cap upwards. Don’t turn Medicare into a voucher system, instead work to save costs without jeopardizing benefits.
UPDATE 8:17 pm: Question on Social Security benefits. Allen says we need to preserve Social Security benefits. Vibrant economy, more people working will help fund Social Security. For those under 50, have gradual increase in age of eligibility, have some income adjustments (aka, “means testing”). Again, uses the words “increase taxes” and “Tim Kaine” in the same sentence. Sensing a theme here? 🙂
UPDATE 8:14 pm: Question about Libya. Kaine says he supports military action against al Qaeda, including in North Africa. Al Qaeda terrorists have declared war on the United States, we need to go get them wherever they are, they’ve committed an act of war against our country. Allen – We ought to go after the terrorist who killed our ambassador. Reminder of how wrong and dangerous it is to have cuts to military preparedness. Claims Tim and his allies don’t want to avert these cuts, but want to raise taxes instead, which will cause job losses. Cut off aid to Egypt.
UPDATE 8:12 pm: Lots of efforts to block women’s progress, Allen and I differ on this issue. Supports paycheck equity, Lily Ledbetter, Family and Medical Leave, women’s right to choose, Allen opposes those things.
UPDATE 8:10 pm: Question to Allen on women earning less than men. Allen – noone works harder than women, I see that in my wife Susan. Says he cares a lot about pay gaps. Need to get economy moving in right direction. Women have disproportionately been feeling the brunt of the economy. Mentions high gasoline prices and need for more affordable energy.
UPDATE 8:09 pm: Allen says Kaine could have said “no” when President Obama asked him to serve as DNC chair, could have said people are hurting in Virginia, you needed to give all your attention to the people of Virginia.
UPDATE 8:07 pm: Kaine points out he worked closely with Bush administration on a number of key initiatives, such as rail to Dulles, aftermath of shootings at Virginia Tech. Great track record of working across party lines, as mayor and governor. Best managed state, etc. Points out that Allen served in a partisan role as well while governor. Lists success stories as governor.
UPDATE 8:03 pm: Allen says he has a detailed plan for “America’s comeback.” Which one of us can be counted upon? Says he was one of the most accomplished modern governors, worked across the aisle. Attacks Kaine for serving as national party chair rather than focusing on Virginia’s economic crisis, says Kaine proposed to raise taxes, claims Kaine supported sequestration. Says he’ll work to create jobs.
UPDATE 8:01 pm: Tim Kaine goes first with opening statement. Pledges not to fire Big Bird or defends public broadcasting. Will work to invest in talent, infrastructure, grow the economy. We have a ball and chain, that’s Congress, they’re holding us back. We need to change Congress. Need people who are more fiscally responsible, who know how to work together. Governed during tough times. I know how to be fiscally responsible. My opponent has a different record…turned surpluses into deficits. Allen bragged about knocking Dems’ soft teeth down their whiny throats.
UPDATE 8:00 pm: Moderator Dr. Bob Holsworth introduces the candidates, lays out the rules, introduces panel.