BUFFALO, NY-- Congresswoman Kathy Hochul and Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins went toe to toe in their first televised debate for the 27th District Congressional campaign.
WEB EXTRA: Analysis from Democrat Anthony Masiello and Republican Carl Calabrese
The debate held Tuesday night and was sponsored by WGRZ-TV and WNED-TV.
Both candidates began the debate claiming they each work across party lines to get things done in government.
However, it didn't take them long to take some jabs at each other.
Healthcare and jobs topped both candidates' lists of what needs to be fixed in America.
Collins called out Hochul for voting for Obamacare, stating he would vote to repeal it if elected. Hochul said she is willing to look at Obamacare again, but there are good parts to it.
Both candidates agree medicare should be there for seniors.
Hochul said there should be an obligation to seniors that rely on medicare. She says they have to get the costs of healthcare under control to meet our Medicare obligation.
Collins wants Medicare to stay intact for current seniors. He said that what we had before Obamacare was good.
On Specific Projects in Buffalo & Rochester they would try to champion in Washington:
Collins will work for immigration reform for local farmers and getting the EPA off their backs. He also wants to repeal "Obamacare."
Hochul will continue to fight to keep jobs at the Niagara Falls Air Base and wants to make more expansions to the Niagara Fall Airport. For Rochester, Hochul wants to expand the Small Business Innovative Research Program.
On the most important change needed for WNY:
Hochul says people have to get back to work and the government has got to give a helping hand where needed, but also sometimes get out of the way.
Collins agreed job creation is key, and he says repealing "Obamacare" will do that.
Hochul said there is a need to reopen the "No Child Left Behind Act" to deal with urban education problems.
Collins says education money from Washington should go locally to help with urban education problems.
Collins said hydrofracking is needed as part of an energy policy.
Hochul said there are still a lot of unanswered questions about Hydrofracking.
On Withdrawing U.S. Forces by 2014:
Hochul said we need to better job of transitioning control so we can come home. Accomplished mission to obliterate Osama Bin Laden. It's time to bring the troops home.
Collins disagrees with putting a date certain on withdrawal, but thinks 2014 is reasonable. He believes we need to rely on commanders in the field to say when mission is accomplished.
Collins said family and that's why he's running for Congress. He said he's worried about his grandchildren's future when it comes to debt and jobs.
Hochul also said family then pointed to a professional accomplishment of helping a Vietnam veteran cut through the red tape.
When asked to grade the performance of Hochul in Congress, Collins gave her an 'I' for ineffective. When asked to grade Collin's performance as Erie County Executive Hochul gave him a C.
In closing, Hochul said she knows that neither party has all the right answers, and that's why she works across the aisle. She says she has the backs of the people she's represented, but she won't balance the budget on the backs of seniors and continue tax break for millionaires and billionaires.
In closing, Collins asked for the votes of people who want a member of Congress who has spent his life in the private sector creating and saving jobs in our area, who believes in smaller government and personal accountability, local decision making, fiscal discipline, serving tax payers and respecting future generations.