Roy Blunt in 2010 MO Senate Debates


On Health Care: Medical liability reform would reduce cost of health care

The Kansas City Star reports that in the race for a Senate seat in Missouri, "Democrat Robin Carnahan and Republican Roy Blunt exchanged accusations and promised changes in Washington during a crisp, pointed one-hour debate. The sharpest exchange came during a discussion of health care reform. Carnahan accused Blunt of opposing the health care law because of ties to lobbyists. 'I think people should have access,' she said. 'They should have the same access you have as a member of Congress. So I think if you want to repeal health care reform and let insurance companies go back to their worst abuses, Congressman, then you ought to repeal your own first. And man up. And do what you're asking other people to do.' That prompted a quick response from the Republican, who accused Carnahan of opposing medical liability reform, a move he said would reduce the cost of health care, because she's taken support from lawyers."
Source: Medical News Today coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate Debate Oct 18, 2010

On Budget & Economy: Bailout ok; stimulus package a huge mistake

Carnahan criticized Blunt for his role in a 2008 bill bailing out troubled financial institutions, suggesting that it demonstrated a willingness to help Wall Street more than ordinary people. "Congressman Blunt time and again is on the side of Wall Street. He can figure out every rationale to give bailouts to Wall Street, he can say that it was great that it helped our economy--he's said it over and over again," Carnahan said. "But as I travel around our state, it hasn't helped. It hasn't delivered as promised."

Blunt defended the financial legislation, noting that much of the money already has been repaid. He contrasted the bailout with the 2009 federal stimulus package, which Blunt described as a "huge mistake" and a "huge waste of money." Blunt said the stimulus is not helping the economy. "It didn't have the impact on the economy that the president promised, and we should have known from day one that it wouldn't have," Blunt said.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Budget & Economy: Bailout ok; stimulus package a huge mistake

Carnahan criticized Blunt for his role in a 2008 bill bailing out troubled financial institutions, suggesting that it demonstrated a willingness to help Wall Street more than ordinary people. "Congressman Blunt time and again is on the side of Wall Street. He can figure out every rationale to give bailouts to Wall Street, he can say that it was great that it helped our economy--he's said it over and over again," Carnahan said. "But as I travel around our state, it hasn't helped.
Source: Kansas City Star coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Government Reform: Took $200K from lobbyists for 2010; tops among House members

Carnahan repeatedly criticized Blunt for ties to lobbyists. He has taken $200,500 from lobbyists this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, tops among current House members. "Even your own party thought you were too tainted by these special deals & relationships with lobbyists," she said.

Blunt rejected the criticism, contending that some Senate candidates have taken more money from lobbying groups. He criticized a federal grant to Carnahan's brother for a wind farm project.

Carnahan responded that she had nothing to do with her brother's business. The federal government previously has provided tax incentives to boost renewable energy. The stimulus package offered cash payments instead of tax credits for wind-energy projects. The U.S. Treasury Department has said it had no discretion in deciding who qualified.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Government Reform: Carnahan's $107M wind energy project created only 16 jobs

Blunt pointed out that a wind-energy company headed by Carnahan's brother, Tom, had received a $107 million grant through the federal stimulus package. That money, Blunt said, created only 16 jobs. "Tell me if that's a good investment of money," Blunt said.

But Carnahan said the business created thousands of jobs around the state and accused Blunt of below-the-belt attacks. "I've got nothing to do with my brother's business," she said.

Source: Kansas City Star coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Government Reform: Took $200K from lobbyists for 2010; tops among House members

Carnahan repeatedly criticized Blunt for ties to lobbyists. He has taken $200,500 from lobbyists this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, tops among current House members. "Even your own party thought you were too tainted by these special deals & relationships with lobbyists," she said.

Blunt rejected the criticism, contending that some Senate candidates have taken more money from lobbying groups. He criticized a federal grant to Carnahan's brother for a wind farm project.

Source: Kansas City Star coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Government Reform: Ban earmark requests, but only for this year

The two also differed over earmarks, which are funding requests for local projects inserted into federal spending bills. Carnahan accused Blunt of accepting too many and pledged not to seek any if elected. House Republicans, including Blunt, have banned earmark requests, but only for this year. "For you to come back to Missouri and pretend to be a reformer, I just don't think Missourians buy it," Carnahan said.
Source: Springfield News-Leader on 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Health Care: Missourians know ObamaCare won't work

Blunt zeroed in on several recent Democrat-backed bills--the $787 billion economic stimulus package, health care reform and the proposed cap-and-trade climate change legislation--as he sought to tie Carnahan to the Democrats in power. "This agenda is way too extreme for Americans," said Blunt.

"I'm different," Carnahan said, accusing Blunt of wanting to disband Medicare, the government health care program for seniors and the disabled. Blunt disputed the claim.

Blunt pushed back on health care reform, citing the Proposition C ballot initiative opposing the bill that passed by more than 70%. "Missourians know this won't work," he said. "As people find out what's in this bill, they know there are better ways.

Carnahan accused Blunt not addressing the problem of rising health care costs sooner. "If you wanted to do something about health care, why didn't you do it when you were in charge?" she said.

Source: Springfield News-Leader on 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Homeland Security: Amended defense bill for company donating $20,000

Carnahan accused Blunt of doing favors for a California company by slipping in a helpful amendment to a defense bill. Blunt's action, Carnahan said, resulted in campaign donations a short while later from company executives and trips on the corporation's jet. "I think that's wrong," Carnahan said.

Blunt countered that the $355 billion defense bill in question passed overwhelmingly. Even former Sen. Jean Carnahan, Robin Carnahan's mother, voted for it, he said. "Don't act like this is something that made a difference, that somebody makes a $1,000 contribution and that makes a difference to me," Blunt said. "Give me a break."

Carnahan's campaign said afterwards that executives from the company, Perfectwave, had given Blunt's leadership committee about $20,000 in donations. As Blunt was speaking, Carnahan cut him off and demanded to know if he had ridden the corporation's jet. Blunt said he had ridden it once and reimbursed the company.

Source: Kansas City Star coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Principles & Values: Married a lobbyist for tobacco giant Phillip Morris

Blunt sought to tie Carnahan to the Democrats in power. And Carnahan repeatedly referred to Blunt as "Congressman," reinforcing Blunt's insider status. She accused him for being more responsible for the recession than she.

"The fact was that I was in Jefferson City and he was in Washington," she said. Blunt shot back that voters put Democrats in charge in 2006, when the party took over the House, and in 2008, when Pres. Obama was elected, "and look where that got us."

Blunt also addressed an issue that's been the crux of Carnahan's "insider" allegations: She says Blunt attempted to put a provision that benefited his then-girlfriend's company into the bill that created the Homeland Security Dept.

Blunt said the provision was one of many that he heard that made sense when Congress crafted the bill, though he didn't mention his now-wife, who was then a lobbyist for tobacco giant Phillip Morris. Blunt previously had remained mum on the provision, saying only that it was a national security issue.

Source: Springfield News-Leader on 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On War & Peace: Huge mistake to announce date for Afghan withdrawal

The two sides agreed on at least one thing: there should not at this time be a firm deadline for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

"The president made a huge mistake when he announced a date for withdrawal," Blunt said. "The world is a dangerous place."

Carnahan said that while there shouldn't be a date for withdrawal, there also should not be an open-ended commitment for troops.

Source: Springfield News-Leader on 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Budget & Economy: TARP was a plan that worked

"I've been in Jefferson City while Congressman Blunt has been in Washington," she said. "To me, if you put somebody in charge of something for 14 years and they don't get the job done, you fire that person."

Carnahan took some positions to Blunt's right: Promising to ban spending earmarks, for example, and criticizing the financial bailout known as TARP. "Congressman, you were there to let these banks run wild," Carnahan said. "You were there to bail them out with $700 billion of our money."

Recent reports estimate the actual cost of the TARP program at much less than that, Blunt pointed out, adding the bipartisan program prevented financial calamity. "It was a plan that worked," he said. "Hopefully, we'll never get in that situation again."

Source: Kansas City Star coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 14, 2010

On Health Care: Limit health costs by limiting medical malpractice liability

The pair's sharpest exchange came over the health care reform law, which Blunt has said should be repealed. Carnahan suggested Blunt should first surrender his own congressional health insurance. "If you want to repeal health care reform and let insurance companies go back to their worst abuses, Congressman, then you ought to repeal your own first," she said. "And man up, and do what you're asking other people to do."

Blunt responded by saying he tried to limit health care costs by limiting medical malpractice liability--a position he said Carnahan opposed because of financial support from trial lawyers. "Don't tell me I wasn't doing my job," Blunt said. "Don't tell me I wasn't trying."

Source: Kansas City Star coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 14, 2010

The above quotations are from 2010 Missouri Senate Debates.
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Page last updated: Nov 01, 2010