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PHILADELPHIA (AP/KDKA) – A debate between Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and his Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, ended in a personal and emotional exchange.
Saturday’s hour-long debate was in Philadelphia.
In his closing, Barletta raised the issue of a Casey TV ad accusing Barletta of voting to let insurers strip coverage for pre-existing conditions. It features a woman whose twin daughters were diagnosed with cancer. Barletta asked Casey why he won’t take it down, and says it’s inaccurate and hurtful since his toddler grandson, also a twin, is fighting cancer.
Casey responded that he’s sorry if the ad caused Barletta pain, and that it wasn’t intended that way. Casey had the ad removed from TV in Barletta’s hometown market of Scranton, but Barletta later questioned how sorry Casey really is.
Barletta spoke to KDKA-TV’s Stacy Smith about the ad a few days before the debate in Philadelphia.
Barletta: “It’s so bad it can’t be viewed in Scranton, but not bad enough for the people of Pittsburgh? And not so bad for the people of Allentown? And, how does he think I feel as I travel around the state and I’m in a hotel room and I see the ad, or my daughter.”
Smith: “You know that politics gets like this, though.”
Barletta: “No, no it doesn’t get like this. No it doesn’t. No it doesn’t, nor should it.”
KDKA-TV has reached out to Sen. Casey for a one-on-one interview, but his representatives have not contacted us back.
KDKA’s Senate debate between Barletta and Casey will air at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26.
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