Video From the Tom Mullins – Ben Ray Lujan Debate

Sep
28
2010

From The New Mexico Watch Dog

Political worlds colliding: Video from the Ben Ray Lujan-Tom Mullins debate

By Rob Nikolewski On September 27, 2010

Sometimes voters complain there’s little difference between Democrats and Republicans. Well, that’s certainlynot the case in New Mexico’s Third Congressional District race this year between incumbent Democrat Ben Ray Luján and Republican challenger Tom Mullins

Although the two candidates were polite to one another at their debate at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Santa Fe on Sunday (Sept. 27), they each see the political world very differently.

Luján defended President Obama’s health care reform and his own votes on Capitol Hill during his freshman term in office and said, “I agree with the 90 percent of the scientists who say there is a problem” with climate change. Mullins said he would work to repeal the health care bill, called for immediate spending cuts to the federal government (advocating for the elimination of the US Department of Education, among other things) and criticized “the audacity of federal entities who want to regulate your energy use.

Mullins said a cap and trade program would amount to a tax on Americans between $600 billion-$800 billion while Luján said that opponents  made the same sort of dire predictions in the 1970s and ’80s when the government put forth measures to curb acid rain.

Luján has raised exponentially more money that Mullins (see this chart from the most recent quarterly reports from the Federal Election Commission) and is considered a heavy favorite in November.

Mullins, for his part, speaks plainly and whether it’s political courage or naivete, he’s willing to broach some subjects that are considered taboo (he readily admits he is willing to look at privatizing Social Security for younger Americans) and when he talks of reducing spending he doesn’t exempt the military — going so far as talk about closing bases in places like Germany and Korea.

Here’s about five edited minutes from Sunday’s debate:

Both candidates are scheduled to have at least one more debate — on Oct. 9th in Portales when they tape a program for public television at 4:30 p.m

Ben Ray Lujan/Tom Mullins

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