It was brief, but all eyes were on Congressman Mark Critz and Republican hopeful Keith Rothfus in their first debate at Penn State-Beaver.
According to The Tribune Review, the debate, which was limited to about 20 minutes due to time constraints with other state legislative races, touched on partisanship, the economy, and Obamacare.
“We’re elected to lead, we’re not elected to draw a line in the sand like my opponent,” Critz said.
Rothfus criticized Critz on bipartisanship, pointing to Critz’s 95 percent voting record with Nancy Pelosi as a hypocritical point.
“That’s an interesting moderate record,” Rothfus said.
After the debate, Rothfus’ camp released a statement saying that this debate shows the real difference between Rothfus and Critz.
“Keith Rothfus stressed his plans for the future and how vastly different they are from Congressman Critz. With new leadership under Governor Romney and Keith Rothfus, we can relight the American job engine, the American spirit, and the American dream by repealing Obamacare, reforming our complicated and unfair tax code, and rolling back the onerous regulations that are stifling job growth.”
However, Critz’s surrogates did not back down either. The AFL-CIO released a fact-check statement from Politico, refuting a tweet sent out by Rothfus during the debate saying 800k jobs would be lost because of Obamacare.
“The CBO report didn’t say 800k jobs would be lost, it said around 800k people would voluntarily leave the workforce. These are people who have enough money to live off of, but need to maintain health care coverage that they can only afford if its provided by an employer. ACA will bring down costs, so people can afford it without employer benefits.”
The newly redrawn PA-12 district is a golden goose in the 2012 election. Thus far, both parties have poured tons of resources into their candidates in order to win. While this debate was disappointing in that it only went on for 20 minutes, keep an eye on twitter, as Rothfus and Critz spar on the social media website every couple of hours.
The event was hosted by the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce. Pa. Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) also debated his opponent, Democrat Kim Villella, along with the state House candidates in Beaver County.