James Wensits, reporting for the South Bend Tribune, has an article on last night’s debate between challenger Joe Donnelly and incumbent Chris Chocola. He rated it something of a draw, or at least stated that neither candidate landed a knock-out blow.
Fred Brown, of Rochester, thought Donnelly won, thinking that Donnelly made a good point about Chocola sitting on his hands during the Toll Road privatization debate.
(An aside, but I certainly admire Mr. Wensits working the word “gigged” into his story:
The candidates also gigged each other on their willingness — or lack thereof — to conduct more debates than have been scheduled.
The most likely definition I found is “slang n. To give a military demerit to.”)
On the issues.
War in Iraq
Donnelly: “What we need is leadership in Washington as good as our troops. We can’t walk out of Iraq. We have to stabilize that country, and we have to win, but we need better leadership.”
Chocola: Conflates the War in Iraq with the War on Terror. (Doesn’t mention that it was Bush’s invasion that provided terrorists with opportunities in Iraq.)
Stem Cell Research
Donnelly: [T]here are different branches of stem cell research, such as adult stem cell research, cord stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research, where one stem cell can be taken out while the embryo continues with life. “That holds incredible potential for greater scientific development,” he said. “I believe in pushing the frontier, but in not damaging the embryos.”
Chocola: Agrees with Bush. Says the government shouldn’t pay for stem cell research but there is nothing wrong with it being funded privately.
During the debate, Donnelly needled Chocola for not intervening in the Toll Road decision. “All you had to do to get started was to call Mitch Daniels, but you wouldn’t do it,” Donnelly said.
“Joe has no idea whether I called Mitch or not,” Chocola said after the debate. “This is a state issue,” he added, saying that if Donnelly wants to focus on the Toll Road, “he’s running for the wrong office.”
Let me repeat, “Joe has no idea whether I called Mitch or not.” How is that for an evasive answer? If he called Governor Daniels, he could have just said so. If he didn’t call Governor Daniels, why waste everybody’s time with that “you don’t know what I did” statement.