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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The two candidates for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania squared off Friday in their second and final debate.
Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and his Republican challenger Rep. Lou Barletta debated at the KDKA-TV studios and some of their exchanges were sharp.
The candidates met, shaking hands, but the goodwill seemed to disappear pretty quickly as the debate got underway.
Sen. Casey: “They cut programs for people, and they give the rich and big corporations. Go ahead and see if you can talk about that.”
KDKA’s Ken Rice: “Mr. Barletta, I’ll let you respond.”
Rep. Barletta: “Sure, let’s talk about the $718 billion that was taken out of Medicare. You wanna talk about hurting Medicare.”
Sen. Casey: “Not true.”
KDKA’s Jon Delano Reports:
They debated the question of preserving Obamacare’s guarantee of affordable health insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Sen. Casey: “There should be no effort by any public official to take that away. Unfortunately, the congressman has at least seven votes that would deny people these kinds of protections.”
Rep. Barletta: “Nobody is going to deny anybody with pre-existing conditions. Maybe we should talk about why we had to replace Obamacare in the first place. The fact that our premiums went up to 114 percent.”
WATCH: U.S. Senate Debate (Pt. 1) —
The candidates took on questions on a wide-range of topics, including the hotly-debated issues of climate change, President Trump’s new proposal of a tax cut and the caravan of immigrants headed to our southern border.
Rice: “Why do some politicians — like you, I believe — substitute your judgment for that of our top scientists?”
KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland: “Given the record deficit, $779 billion in deficit spending in Trump’s first year, is this really a time for tax cuts?”
KDKA’s Jon Delano: “Is this a humanitarian crisis or a law enforcement issue? Do you still support separating children and parents?”
WATCH: U.S. Senate Debate (Pt. 2) —
The concluding statements of each was another attack.
“He told us he was pro-life. Now he’s not. He told us he would protect our Second Amendment rights. Now he doesn’t. He went to Washington and he forgot about Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Barletta.
“So much is at stake in this election for the middle class, for seniors, for our children, and especially by workers threatened by policies by the Republican congress and this administration,” Sen. Casey said.
A clear divide — something both candidates would agree with.