Liveblogging Tonight’s WPRI Senate Debate

[7:55] Whitehouse closing: Will fight against privatizing SS and for Medicare benefits and for the middle class.
[7:54] Hinckley closing: wipe away the labels, send a job creator to Washington.
[7:53] Whitehouse tries to drive home the idea that the Ryan budget would end Medicare.
[7:52] Hinckley says there are parts of Obamacare he would save.
[7:50] Whitehouse tries very hard to get in the fact he’d raise the earnings cap to save SS.
[7:49] Hinckley: Actuaries can put together a plan to save SS; it might mean some people collecting benefits later, means testing is a possibility.
[7:48] Hinckley: Dems have no plan to save social security. It will go broke, before people in their 30s and 40s begin to collect.
[7:46] Nesi forwards an email Q: Is it hypocritical for you to run on not changing Social Security, when you didn’t intervene to stop pension reform. Whitehouse: Pension solution was necessary; pension crisis informs my position on SS
[7:44] Hinckley likes Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan; Whitehouse doesn’t (Ed Fitzpatrick question).
[7:42] Term limits? Whitehouse, not any less than 36 years (Claiborne Pell’s time in office); Hinckley, yes.
[7:41] Trade embargo on Cuba? Hinckley, not a priority; Whitehouse, I could go either way.
[7:41] Same-sex marriage? Yes and yes.
[7:40] End filibusters? Hinckley no; Whitehouse, yes.
[7:39] Oh, no — lightning round. I’ll try to keep up. No promises.
[7:37] Whitehouse cites Chinese currency manipulation as a place where he agrees with Romney.
[7:36] Answering a Ted Nesi Q, Hinckley says his pro-choice and pro-gay marriage positions align more with Ds than Rs.
[7:35] Hinckey: More than just people with money should have the choice to send their kids to good schools.
[7:34] Hinckley cites religious nature, as a reason for sending his kids to private schools.
[7:33] Whitehouse wants to extend Race to the Top to middle schools.
[7:32] Whitehouse sends his kids to private schools, because he wants them to have the best education they can get.
[7:31] Fitzpatrick asks why do you send your kids to private schools, and what would you do for education in RI.
[7:30] Whitehouse rather aggressively defends foreign aid to Egypt.
[7:29] White asks if Whitehouse supports hearings on Libya. Whitehouse responds that the Intelligence committee will be holding them.
[7:28] Hinckley: We shouldn’t be spending on nation building, when we can’t afford to maintain our own bridges at home.
[7:27] White to Hinckley: How would cutting foreign aid help with the problem of terrorism?
[7:26] Hinckley says he would support fewer deductions as part of a simpler tax code.
[7:25] Hinckley says Whitehouse’s rigid partisan attitudes make resolving the deficit problem impossible.
[7:24] Whitehouse says Dems have put 2T of cuts on the table, but he seems to be defining tax increases as spending cuts in his examples.
[7:24] Whitehouse says we need to eliminate 4T dollars in a 10 year budget plan. 2T should be cuts, 2T should be revenue.
[7:23] Whitehouse cites conference of Catholic bishops opposition to the Ryan plan.
[7:22] I lost the question, but Whitehouse says he opposes the Ryan budget. Hinckley says he supports Simpson-Bowles, but not necessarily Ryan’s budget.
[7:21] In a dive towards the middle, Hinckley says he might not support Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority leader.
[7:18] Nesi asks Hinckley if Medicare should be converted to a premium support system? Hinckley says he supports choice, and that legislators should discuss a wide range of options.
[7:18] Whitehouse: We have to control overall healthcare costs. Mentions US system is less efficient than most other countries.
[7:17] Paraphrasing Ted Nesi: Can we continue with unlimited growth of spending on medicare?
[7:16] Tim White asks about favorite justice (cribbing a question from the Brown/Warren debates). Hinckley, Clarence Thomas; Whitehouse, Sandra Sotomayor
[7:15] Whitehouse: “We have a court that has turned to the extreme right”. Cites Citizens United as the decision that needs to be overturned.
[7:14] Hinckley cites the Roberts healthcare ruling.
[7:13] Ed Fitzpatrick asks about SCTOUS justices, and what rulings should be overturned?
[7:12] Hinckley says we should lower the corporate tax rate. White notes that the Prez would lower it to 28%, and asks if Whitehouse would support the same. Whitehouse says yes, but in the context of moving towards a balanced budget.
[7:11] Hinckley: Our Federal delegation has to work, to push Smith Hill to act more reasonably to help economic growth.
[7:10] Hinckley basically answers growth. White asks about the 60,000; will growth happen fast enough to help them?
[7:09] White to Barry Hinckley: How would you pay for the programs you’ve advocated for your in your campaign.
[7:08] In response to a Tim White question, Whitehouse says 6% unemplyment would be reasonable 6 yrs for now.
[7:07] Whitehouse cites infrastructure projects going on in RI. White asks if the 60,000 people unemployed in RI. Whitehouse: There’s lots of infrastructure work to be done.
[7:05] First question from White on unemployment. Whitehouse blames Bush. We need manufacturing, innovation and infrastructure to rebound.
[7:04] Whitehouse actually complemented Hinckley’s point pretty well.
[7:03] Sheldon Whitehouse: We have to press from the middle class out, and its basic mainstays, medicare, social security and Pell grants.
[7:02] Barry Hinckley goes first. He runs short on time, after saying Whitehouse’s plan for RI is more taxes and more government.
[7:01] Edward Fitzpatrick is 3rd man in, with Tim White and Ted Nesi.
[6:57] We had a earthquake during last week’s Cicilline/Doherty debate, and there’s a possible tropical storm/hurricane heading for this region for next week. I’d just like to let Mother Nature know there’s no reason to keep the streak alive this week.
[6:55] For tonight’s debate event, we have a conventional liveblog of the WPRI-TV (CBS 12) debate between Sheldon Whitehouse and Barry Hinckley. There is also a debate between Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline being boradcast on WLNE-TV (ABC 6) at the same time.

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9 years ago

RIC? No fair – Whitehouse “home” advantage.

9 years ago

Yes, Senator, some of the worst roads and bridges thanks to your party and policies.

9 years ago

Really, Senator? The US spends a higher percentage of its GDP on healthcare than other countries because of inefficiencies, not because we deliver better care? The patients in Great Britain who had to get their drinking water from flower vases (to cite one of the least horrific examples) might disagree.

Max D
Max D
9 years ago

Will fight against privatizing SS and for Medicare benefits and for the middle class.
All this clown has to offer is smoke and mirrors. Protecting SS & Medicare is a non-issue. The Democrats agenda and platform have been empty attempts to define Republicans, handouts, and divisiveness across the country. Way to bring the country together A’holes!

9 years ago

I would love to know where Whitehouse thinks people would get the money to privatize Social Security. He complains about it a lot, but he doesn’t seem to notice or care that there is no SS money around that could be invested — everything the government takes in goes right back out the door. Any privatization scheme would require higher taxes.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
9 years ago

if Sheldon were a musical instrument,he’d be an air guitar

9 years ago

Agreed, Mario. It is sad that whitehouse says that privatization is republicans trying to get their hands on your money. Actually, the Gov’t spends every dollar it gets…to include money that should be invested in SS. Privatization actually takes money out of the Gov’t’s spendthrift hands and gives the taxpayer a chance to get a return on their investment. Talk about deception/straw man arguments…

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