Bristol — In their second scheduled debate, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) and Democratic challenger Kathy Boockvar sparred over hot button topics such as the budget, women’s issues, and health care. The candidates sought to excite their bases at the same time they worked to appeal to moderates.
It was a civil debate, but the candidates pulled no punches.
Boockvar attacked Fitzpatrick’s support of the Paul Ryan budget and accused him of being an advocate for the rich becoming richer at the expense of the middle class. Fitzpatrick fired back in defense saying he supports the idea of budget prioritizing and spending government money in the right way unlike what the budget under Obama entails.
Continuing on the budget, both Fitzpatrick and Boockvar supported the “No Budget No Pay for Congress” idea.
The number $716 billion appeared to be a favorite focal point for both Fitzpatrick and Boockvar throughout the debate as well. Boockvar repeatedly reminded the crowd that Fitzpatrick voted for the Ryan budget that would allow for $716 billion to be given towards tax breaks, and Fitzpatrick countered the attack by saying that Boockvar supports Obamacare, which takes the same $716 billion away from Medicare.
The most significant disagreement between the two candidates was in the realm of women’s rights issues. The candidates were given the opportunity to answer one of three questions dealing with women’s issues: whether Roe v. Wade should be the law of the land, the role government should play in mandating birth control in health care plans, and whether same sex marriage should be federally recognized.
Boockvar, who has run her campaign in part on women’s rights, took the opportunity to answer all three of these questions. She proudly defended the Roe V. Wade decision and said she would fight to uphold it and urged that contraception should be considered equally as important as other health issues and should be offered in healthcare plans. Finally, she voiced her strong support for same sex marriage.
Fitzpatrick dodged abortion and contraception questions, however, he did answer questions about same sex marriage. He said he opposed a constitutional marriage amendment and that the matter should be left up to the states to decide.
In another interesting exchange, Boockvar attacked Fitzpatrick for his lack of support for the nation’s veterans, in which Fitzpatrick refuted the allegations by stating that there was “no specifics” in her argument.
Both the candidates also repeatedly brought these issues they were debating closer to home in an effort to show voters how their policies now, or their intended policies for the future, may affect the people, families, and businesses in the areas of Bucks and Montgomery counties. Boockvar made a clear appeal to the people throughout her arguments that “we are all in this together” and she wants those in the 8th congressional district to know that they can hold her accountable when it comes to fighting for what is best for the people of Bucks and Montgomery counties.
Fitzpatrick also appealed to the constituents of his district when he repeatedly defended his support of the Ryan budget so that we don’t have to, “expect our children to pick up the bill” left by the Obama budget.
The third and final debate between Mike Fitzpatrick and Kathy Boockvar is scheduled for Friday morning at 8am at the Waterwheel Restaurant in Plumstead.