Rhetoric heats up in Terry, White debate


Rhetoric heats up in Terry, White debate Competitors for the 2nd District Congressional seat, Rep. Lee Terry and challenger Tom White focused on spending and taxes, but turned up the heat in their second televised debate Oct. 14. White, a Democrat and state senator, has tried to paint Terry, a Republican running for his seventh term in Congress, as a cheerleader for Wall Street. White said Terry supports big tax breaks for the wealthy, while shortchanging the middle class. Terry countered White is trying to “villainize” job creators and strangle economic growth. Terry hit White on his support of two large spending bills, the healthcare overhaul and the federal stimulus package. “I think it’s time that instead of creating government jobs in gray buildings in Washington DC,” Terry said, “that we start focusing on policies that are going to create jobs on Main Street.” White responded, “Well, first of all, Congressman, the stimulus spending … one third was tax cuts for the middle class. Now why is it that when it’s tax cuts for Wall Street, that’s a tax break, but when it’s tax cuts for the middle class, that’s deficit spending?” The two also battled over the war in Afghanistan, taking different stands on whether fighting terrorism abroad should include nation-building. White said while he supports pursuing anyone who kills Americans, fighting a war in every terrorist base is unrealistic. “We cannot afford to keep doing, quote, ‘the right thing by the people of Afghanistan’ when we’re not doing the right thing for the people here at home.” He added, “We can’t rebuild other countries as our country’s infrastructure comes apart. We cannot seriously say we’re going to go after Al Qaeda and rebuild every country that they go to and have a base of operations.” Terry said White’s position straddles both sides of the argument, saying you can’t go after terrorists without dealing with their country of operation. “If you say you’re going to go after terrorists, then that’s what we’re doing now, Tom,” he said, adding that if the Afghanistan war “doesn’t qualify as going after terrorist … when do you go after them? And I’ll tell you what, if there’s terrorists setting up camps to attack American citizens in Yemen or Somalia, yeah, let’s go get ‘em.” The debate got heated, at times. White called on Terry to listen to him, though he’s “not a lobbyist.” Terry implied White is in the pocket of teachers’ unions.


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