Berntsen/Townsend Debate: LIVE BLOG PART 2
7:57pm: Candidates just wrapped up their closing arguments. Stay tuned for our post debate analysis…
7:52: Kaitlyn asks the candidates about their stance on gun control. Both candidates vehemently defend the Second Amendment.
7:48: Liz asks Townsend to explain why Republican New Yorkers should vote for him on September 14th.
Townsend says that he is the only one on the stage who has the Conservative line. He is focusing on the fact that he is better equipped to represent the needs of Upstaters.
Berntsen says he has the Taxpayers line (the line that Carl Paladino started). He says he is the Republican designee and that he has the power of the Tea Party behind him.
Townsend offers a rebuttal saying that he also has support from the Tea Party movement. Bernsten replied by saying “not even close.”
7:46: Roma asks Berntsen to evaluate Schumer’s time in office.
Berntsen says that Schumer has been trading influence in Washington against the best interest of New Yorkers. Roma asks for clarification as to whether he has anything nice to say. Bernsten says he has “absolutely nothing nice to say.”
Townsend says that if he could come up with an instance of when Schumer had ever cut anything then maybe he could think of something nice to say. ”He’s more interested in being majority leader..”
Berntsen follows up by saying Schumer is in the “fetal position in his office on the mosque issue.”
7:44: Kaitlyn asks Townsend:
President Obama is in favor of civil unions for gay couples. What is your take? Do you support the Defense of Marriage Act?
Townsend says his position mirrors the President’s and Hillary Clinton’s. Says that he supports civil unions. Says he is a federalist at heart and believes it is a state issue.
Berntsen says marriage is between a man and a woman. He supports civil unions and thinks it is a states’ issue.
7:42: Erin asks Townsend a follow up about off-shore drilling in light of the BP oil spill.
Townsend says the question is why BP (which he once called PB) was drilling so far off-shore in such deep water where it was difficult to get to in the event of a crisis.
Berntsen agrees it was a problem that the drilling was done so far off-shore and blames federal regulators.
7:40: Erin asks Berntsen:
Do you believe that global warming exists and the planet is facing an environmental crisis?
Berntsen says that environmentalists have perpetrated a “charade” and that solar flares on the surface of the sun are more detrimental to the environment than anything that man has done.
Townsend says that much of the science has been flawed and scientists have “perpetrated a hoax” about global warming.
7:38: Roma asks whether there are elements of the Arizona law that would not apply here.
Bernsten says that the Arizona law mirrors federal law and he would not change a single word.
Townsend says it’s important to remember that the Arizona law is not being enforced because of an “ill conceived” lawsuit from the federal government. Once it is enforced we will get a better idea of the parts of the law that would work here.
7:34: Liz asks Townsend:
New York is a melting pot state, and residents oppose Arizona’s controversial immigration law by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, according to a recent poll. Would you support a similar law here, despite the fact that it is being challenge in court by the Obama administration? If so, how do you expect to win enough cross-over support in this Democrat-dominated state to win the general election?
Townsend says he’s looking at different surveys that show that New Yorkers support Arizona’s immigration law. ”I don’t believe Arizona should be faulted for trying to fix a problem that the Schumer-led Congress refused to fix.” Townsend says that if New York the kind of “invasion” that Arizona is experiencing on its Southern border, it would have every right to impose a similar law.
Berntsen is now delivering his rebuttal in Spanish! Translates that he supports the law and calls America the most generous country in the world. Says he believes New York has an illegal immigration problem. Says we have gangs forming that are “preying on our Latin citizens.” Says he would support an “Arizona-type law” across the entire country.
Townsend says he is in agreement. Federal government did not do its job on immigration.
7:31: Kaitlyn asks Berntsen:
Hydrofracking has become a particularly divisive issue in the Southern Tier. Are you familiar with the practice? Would you allow drilling? What about New York City residents whose drinking water would be affected?
Berntsen says he will look for locations for drilling that are far from water sources. Insists we must drill to produce energy. Appears to call the Marcellus Shale the “Maracellus Share.”
Kaitlyn asks follow up about the use of eminent domain. Bernsten he would not use eminent doman.
Townsend says ask long as it doesn’t endanger drinking water, then it should move forward. Says the notion that we should get energy from the “silly tyrant” in Venezuela is absurd.
Kaitlyn asks whether he would wait for EPA report on the safety of drilling.
Townsend said he would wait on report from the EPA or DEC on the safety. Berntsen says he would ask the EPA to hurry up their study.
7:29: Roma asks whether each candidate would have voted against the TARP funding that was approved by the Bush administration.
Townsend rails against concept of “too big to fail.” Says they “took care of the big guys and left families and Main Street behind.”
Berntsen says people were bailed out by the stimulus plan that should not have been bailed out. Agrees the TARP funds were unfair to people on Main Street.
7:25pm: Erin asks Townsend:
How do you respond to critics of Wall Street deregulation who say it deos not help with job growth in other sectors?
Townsend points a finger at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for peddling mortgages to people who could not afford them. He says Wall Street got bailed out and they are making some money and Main Street got left behind. He advocates solutions that include keeping business taxes down. He also wants to get rid of health care bill especially because “no one can figure out what it cost.”
Bernsten says agrees with Townsend about the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
7:22pm: The panelists are now asking the candidates another round of questions.
Liz Benjamin asks Berntsen:
President Obama has already made two historic US Supreme Court appointment by tapping women with New York roots – Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s rumored retirement would give him a third chance to remake the nation’s highest bench. Do you have any “litmus test” issues that would prevent you from supporting a nominee, and how would you have voted on Sotomayor and Kagan?
Bernsten says he would voted against both Sotomayor and Kagan. Says the litmus test would be whether he believes the nominee would be an activist on the bench.
Berntsen did not offer too many specifics on why he was against Obama’s nominations, though he did indicate that their positions on abortion would have played into his decision.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Elizabeth Alesse on August 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm, and is filed under 2010, Republicans. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|