1st District debate

The candidates in the race for Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District debated health care reform, the federal budget deficit and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The debate, sponsored by Debate Minnesota, was held in Mankato.

Republican Randy Demmer criticized DFL Rep. Tim Walz for voting for the federal health care overhaul bill

Demmer denounced Walz’s vote on the federal health care overhaul.

“There is nothing in this health care bill that will drive us to healthy living lifestyles,” Demmer said. “Take care of ourselves. Its wrong and it has the wrong people in control of it and it needs to be repealed.”

Walz defended his vote, saying it was better than doing nothing.

“We’ve made a good decision in this country,” Walz said. “We’ve moved forward. It’s not going to be perfect. It’s going to continue to (be) reassessing. But we’ve made a step forward.”

I-P candidate Steven Wilson told the crowd the bickering between the two main party candidates is why he’s the best candidate to get things done.

“Both parties deserve to take responsibility because both of them had a stake in that,” Wilson said. “This is something that’s been going on for 20 years, that we’ve become addicted to debt as a nation. We’re all responsible.”

You can listen to the full debate here:

The copy and audio were supplied by MPR’s Elizabeth Baier. Here’s her full story on the debate.

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