Charlotte, MI –
The two candidates running for Michigan's 7th congressional district traded jabs and accusations in a public debate Wednesday night in Charlotte. One of the most highly charged issues between Democrat Mark Schauer and Republican Tim Walberg was Social Security.
The no-rules debate took on a combative tone early on. Schauer, the incumbent, and Walberg, the former congressman, chided each other's stances on jobs and trade policies, the Kalamazoo River oil spill and pork barrel spending.
But the apex of the AARP co-sponsored forum was social security. Walberg said he introduced legislation to put a so-called "lock-box" on social security funds.
"We have to keep the promise, we have to secure the contract," Walberg said. "And so I put that in. Nancy Pelosi, your speaker, didn't even let it up for a hearing. You've not introduced anything to protect Social Security. You've kept spending it into oblivion."
Schauer grilled Walberg to explain why he told a Tea Party caucus that he favored privatizing Social Security, a claim which Walberg denies.
"Tim Walberg said it, he won't say it here tonight...you are either lying to this Tea Party group, or you are lying to people here tonight," Schauer charged. "Which is it?"
The debate was the first of four such forums scheduled for this month. The next will be this morning in Lansing, sponsored by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Election 2010 - WKAR
For more election reporting, interviews and analysis from WKAR, visit WKAR.org/election2010