Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley and Republican challenger Ben Lange tangled in a debate tonight that featuring raised voices and even swearing at point.
“Your mom is listening to this, congressman. Tell the truth,” Lange said about halfway through the hour-long event.
Braley replied: “Oh, please! Don’t lecture me.”
Lange — an opponent of “ObamaCare” — had challenged Braley’s assertion that he read the bill.
“You’re telling us that you read 2700 pages?” Lange asked.
Braley replied: “You’re damn right I read the bill.”
They spent another minute quarrelling about the topic. Earlier in the debate Lange defended remarks he made recently, suggesting some federal aid for flood prevention should be deferred until the national debt is paid off.
“I have said that we have to do everything we can to help Cedar Rapids rebuild. I have said everything that we can do from a federal perspective, but what we are not going to do is ignore the problem with the national debt which you have done for six years,” Lange said.
Braley replied: “All you have to do is read the story in The Cedar Rapids Gazette and judge for yourself. The bottom line is when my district was in crisis, I went to Washington and fought to get disaster assistance funding to rebuild the cities in my district, including Independence where Ben lives.”
The new first congressional district covers the northeast Iowa cities of Waterloo and Dubuque, along with Marshalltown and Cedar Rapids. The only issue the two candidates agreed upon tonight was the need to extend the wind production tax credit.
Tonight’s event was held in the historic Opera House in Dubuque and broadcast live on Iowa Public Television. It will be replayed Friday at 7:30 p.m. Watch the video online here.