Red, White and Blue
Economy, health care take center stage during GOP U.S. Senate debate
MADISON- The four GOP candidates vying for a shot at Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat have kicked off their last debate by saying the federal government must cut spending.
Tommy Thompson, Eric Hovde, Mark Neumann and Jeff Fitzgerald appeared on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus Friday for an hour-long debate sponsored by Wisconsin Public Television, Wisconsin Public Radio, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and TODAY'S TMJ4.
The first half of the debate focused on the economy. All four candidates sounded similar themes, saying the government must make tough spending cuts, scale back regulations and simplify the federal tax code.
"Cut corporation taxes at 25 percent and cut some other taxes -- initiate the movement forward," said former Governor Tommy Thompson.
"Reforming our tax system, lowering the corporate tax rate, deregulating the economy and whole host of other things, we can get our private sector moving that will absorb those jobs," said Madison businessman Eric Hovde.
"The single most important thing that we can do in this county is to get our budget balanced," argued former Congressman Mark Neumann.
Health care was a hot topic between the Republicans as well.
"Health insurance is very expensive today," said Thompson. "If you offer competition and allow reverse auctioning like I'm talking about, put it out for bids across state lines."
"The problem with our current health care system is that it's not market driven, we need a market base," said Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.
The survivor will face Democrat Tammy Baldwin in the November general election.
See below for a live chat of the debate.