The debate is live between Congressman Santos and Senator Vinnick. The moderator is Forrest Sawyer and the NBC News Live Coverage logo is in the corner.
Vinnick has a brief pause to start out with. I thought it was a mistake on Alan Alda's part.
Santos proposes tripling the border control. Vinnick only wants to double it. With Vinnick's tax cut proposal, there is no way to pay for the border control.
Vinnick favors CAFTA and Santos voted for it before he voted against it. It turned from a free trade and fair trade bill before special interests got to it.
Santos and Vinnick are debating a bulk of the first few minutes of the debate just talking about the border control debate.
Here comes the tax cut promise. Vinnick talks about cutting the allowance for Congress and will veto a non-balanced budget. Santos points out Vinnick will not say what spending he'll cut. Sawyer still has no answer from the candidates.
Talking about education policy and national security. Mainly education. Vinnick alleged that Head Start does not work.
There is a heckler in the audience accusing Senator Vinnick on being a liar. Sawyer asks about changing back to the regular rules. They are going back and forth on education.
Moving on to health care. Vinnick says to make it tax deductible. Santos' plan would cover 15 million people. Santos' ideal plan "is to delete the words over 65 from the medicare statute." Vinnick is opposed to both of Santos' plans. Vinnick pledges to not raise the medicare tax. They are really going at it and it's not yet 8:30 PM.
Vinnick says to forgive the debt. He then goes on about tax cuts once again. Commmercial break.
Let's focus on jobs. Will they be outsourced? Santos talks about trade-adjusted assistance. He will create 1 million jobs. Vinnick would create no jobs. He wants to reduce jobs in the federal government. Vinnick says he'd go after corporate crime. Is it liberal or progressive?
What about a moratorium on the death penalty? Santos favors one, Vinnick against.
Gun control? Vinnick for, Santos says to forget about and focus on bullet control.
How about the energy policy? I missed that one. Nevermind that one. Vinnick is talking about oil contributers. Sawyer stops Vinnick. He and Santos were getting heated in that debate. Santos says ANWR only has one year worth of oil--and is against drilling in ANWR. Vinnick: "It sounds like a lot to me." No one has been there. Everyone has been to the Grand Canyon and said no one should drill there. Power plants? Santos is against nuclear plants. Vinnick says it is completely safe. One final question on foreign oil. Santos says "I will never go to war for oil." Vinnick? Senator Vinnick says it is ridiculous to ever go to war for oil. Vinnick will not join the pledge, says it is similar to going to war for sugar.
Closing statements. Santos goes first. Santos says he is ready to do the job. Vinnick thanks Santos for dropping the rules to have a real debate. Vinnick wants a government that the people will believe in and won't make bad promises. Efficient and honest. He says the choice is more government or governmental control.