On Friday afternoon, incumbent Sen. Bob Casey and Republican challenger Rep. Lou Barletta participated in their second and final debate at KDKA-TV’s studios in Pittsburgh.
The candidates for U.S. Senate sparred over a number of different topics ranging from the GOP tax reform bill, immigration and more in the hour long showdown.
Like their first debate, Barletta credited the GOP tax reform bill and President Donald Trump’s agenda for the current state of the economy, which he suggested is “the greatest economy in our lifetime,” quoted in the AP report of the debate.
“I don’t know what policy it was in eight years that could have caused that, that waited, hibernated for eight years and all of a sudden showed its head when our administration came into power,” Barletta said according to the AP.
Casey believes that President Trump inherited a good economic situation and credited President Obama and the Democratic Congress that “dragged the country out of recession and back to health, cutting the unemployment rate in half under Obama, without the help from Republicans,” according to the AP.
“This idea, that somehow the magic was created, starting in January 2017, is a big lie and everyone knows it,” Casey said according to the AP.
The candidates traded significant jabs while discussing immigration and how the Senate should handle the issue moving forward.
According to the AP, Barletta described the migrant caravan on it’s way to the United States as an “invasion” and blamed Casey and progressive Democrats for advocating for “catch-and-release” policies that would allow them into the nation and live in sanctuary cities.
“Senator, you’re not part of the problem with illegal immigration, you are the problem,” Barletta said in the AP story.
Casey believes the GOP is using the issue of immigration to divide people and suggested bipartisan immigration legislation would help address the topic.
“What you just heard was a Washington politician who’s had eight years in the majority in the House and they’ve done nothing on immigration because they don’t want to solve the problem,” Casey said according to the AP. “They want to use this issue to divide people.”
Barletta wonders why Casey does not support GOP immigration measures.
“That’s amazing that you’re talking about a bill four years ago when you just voted this year,” against the Republican immigration legislation effort, according to the AP.
The debate was taped shortly after federal authorities arrested the suspect in connection with the variety of bombs sent via mail to current and former Democratic officials and news outlets.
According to the Post-Gazette, the candidates were asked who they believed is to blame for “hate speech” in the U.S.
Casey stated he’d like to see Trump “lead by example” and lessen the “negative tone of his rhetoric, and that’s true of any public official.”
Barletta believes not one individual in office is responsible and that this is not the time to point fingers at fellow Americans.
For further in-depth coverage to see where the candidates stood on healthcare, minimum wage, gun control and more here are the links to various news outlets that covered the debate. The full debate is also linked in two separate videos from KDKA in this story above.
KDKA: Sen. Casey, Rep. Barletta Square Off In Heated Final Debate
AP: Casey, Barletta duel over guns, immigration, economy
Post-Gazette: Casey, Barletta spar in one final debate before U.S. Senate election