Both Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Democratic challenger Roxanne Conlin say jobs and the economy are the defining issues for voters this November.
The two candidates sparred this morning in what may be their only joint appearance before the fall election. After taping Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program, Grassley told reporters that Conlin supported new environmental regulations that would be job killers, including new limits on offshore drilling.
“She wants you to believe she’s going to create jobs and I think it’s an extension of the Reid/Pelosi/Obama program that is destroying jobs and her affiliation in almost every instance with that program,” Grassley said during a news conference in IPTV’s lobby. “And so you’re going to get more of the same if she would be elected to the United States Senate.”
Conlin said during the show that she is her “own person” and she’d vote against the second “stimulus” package President Obama proposed this week. “I believe that what we need to create jobs can’t be the same-old/same-old,” Conlin said during a separate news conference in IPTV’s lobby. “Giving tax breaks to rich people has not worked out. That’s the Republican plan and that’s what we did and it got us where we are and instead of doing that we need targeted tax breaks for small business. We need to loosen credit for small business. We need to stop rewarding companies that send our jobs overseas.”
The “Iowa Press” program airs tonight at 7:30 on Iowa Public Television. The two candidates often interrupted one another and quarreled over policy issues ranging from immigration to health care.
“Two tax cuts, mostly benefitting the very wealthy, passed by Senator Grassley, chair of the committee — not a dime paid for; two wars — fought on the credit card,” Conlin said at one point during the program.
Grassley quickly responded: “Do you know that she doesn’t even know that the Senate Finance Committee doesn’t appropriate money? We don’t appropriate money for the war. We handle tax policy, so she’s half wrong right there.”
Conlin interjected: “Aren’t you a senator? Didn’t you vote?”
At another point Conlin complained Grassley was “filibustering” during the program.
(This story was updated at 3:20 p.m.)