Republican Congressman Steve King and Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack debated for the sixth time tonight, both portraying themselves as in step with Iowa values, but taking one another to task on a host of issues.
“I would like to know whether he believes that women in this community have the opportunity, have the right– the legal right — to go into the drug store down the street and fill a prescription for birth control pills…and get some of the new, long-acting, reversible contraceptives…and I don’t think he’s made his position clear on that,” Vilsack said.
King responded: “And I’d say that’s really brazen to make such of a misstatement here in front of everybody in Iowa and the country. That’s manufactured from the other side of the aisle. It’s a manufacture that even flows as far as the president of the United States in a tweet that his people put out earlier today.”
King said he “accepts” a 1965 Supreme Court ruling that prohibits states from banning contraceptives, like “the pill.”
“I think that you need to let the people of Iowa know whether you believe in the right to privacy,” Vilsack said. “…Do we have the right to privacy under the constitution to allow us to go into the local pharmacy and.purchase contraceptives?”
King answered: “If you were listening, you heard me say that I accept the decision.”
Vilsack said: “I take that as a no.”
King replied: “Well, you misunderstand it.”
The two addressed a host of issues raised at previous debates, from inaction on the Farm Bill to U.S. tax policy. When it came to foreign policy, both expressed support for Israel’s stand against Iran’s nuclear ambitions and King said he’d like to see a new constitution in Afghanistan, to change the centralized government in the country which King argues is abusing its power.
“I’d like to look at offering them a new constitution that would represent the people in Afghanistan far better than it is today,” King said.
Vilsack said the sooner the U.S. can withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the better.
“‘And we need to build schools here,” she said. “And we need to build infrastructure here.”
Tonight’s debate held in the Santa Maria Winery in Carroll and broadcast live on Iowa Public Television and on C-SPAN. It will be rebroadcast Friday night at 7:30 on IPTV. The two debate a seventh and final time on Tuesday, in Mason City.