Here am I in the NRECA center where I used to attend Arlington County Republican Committee meetings and after some audio difficulties the debate is about to begin.
Does this moderator know what he’s doing? He forget to ask the candidate who won the coin toss (Murray) to deliver his opening statement and thought it was time for questions. Now, Murray is speaking, reminding us of the election of MIke Lane to the Arlington Country Board, the last Republican to win election in this jurisdiction–and the last campaign on which I worked in the Commonwealth.
He’s telling us about the 151 precincts in this district and talking about his momentum. He says, “Send me to Congress and we’ll spend within our means.” His delivery is kind of flat. Kind of? Well, very flat.
Matthew rises to speak, thanking us for coming out. He is far more animated than his rival, salutes the Republican Jewish Coalition, the lead sponsor of this event, saying “If there’s one group” that Jim Moran wouldn’t like. He says he decided to run to give the 8th District the kind of campaign it hasn’t had. He says what he’s going to do, end TARP, returning the money to the taxpayer, end earmarks. He says he comes from three generations of entrepreneurs, reminding us what his father said about the worst words he could here, “I’m from the government, I’m here to help you.”
He says he’ll cut the corporate tax rate and oppose card check. Interestingly, he’s not distinguishing himself from his Republican rival, but instead showing how he differs from the Democrat he’s going to beat in November. Much more specific than his rival and the applause was far more sustained.
Asked to name the three things where he most differs from his opponent, he says he won’t speak ill of his opponent. He’s kind of droning on. And on. And on. Do I have to cover this? If he keeps on like this, I won’t need any Sominex.
Matthew says that Patrick and he agree on most issues and notes that he disagrees with his opponent on the imposition on a national sales tax. Matthew is concerned about imposing a sales tax while Obama is considering a Value Added Tax. He is now detailing the number of issues on which he has worked, saying he has a lot of background in different areas that Congress deals with.
He says there are a lot of people in Congress who aren’t familiar with the Constitution.
Murray is trying to defend his support for the Fair Tax whereas Matthew said that Tim Burns ran on that issue in Pennsylvania 12 and got savaged in Democratic attack ads. Now, Murray drones on about the IRS.
Matthew asked about ramifications of new deal between Iran, Turkey and Brazil. He says that the reason this has come to pass is because of the utter failure of the Obama Administration foreign policy because discussion with that radical regime have failed–Iran is not interested in dialogue. He says that we should consider sanctions on Iran, particularly blocking the sale of gasoline because Iran lacks refining capacity.
He sees this deal as an attempt to buy more time. Matthew believes we need to work with the underground in Iran as we worked with underground in Poland, with the goal being regime change.
Murray drones on again, pretty much saying the same thing as Matthew but with less passion. Much less passion. Much, much, much less passion. He asks if anyone is paying attention to what’s going on on the Korean principle. I’m wondering if anyone is paying attention to what he’s saying.
Noting that Hezbollah has more rockets than any nation in the world (region?), we need to have some “fierce” diplomacy with Russia. He does make a good point that we’re not going to get anything from the UN Security Council.
Matthew differs with Murray who says that under Obama about building bridges to our allies and notes that instead the Administration has burned them and notes how they have slighted such allies as the United Kingdom, Israel, Columbia and Honduras.
Murray is asked how he would reduce the debt and the deficit. He says Congress needs to take entitlement reform off auto-pilot.
Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Jim Moran think we have a deficit problem because we tax too little. Matthew thinks we have problem because we spend too much. He has a program called progressive indexing for Social Security. (Alas that I missed the details because I am typing this.) Now, he’s onto reforming Medicare, suggests we should encourage the age of eligibility for this program.
Very tough to follow all this while typing. Basically, Mathew is offering more details of what he would do once elected while Murray has offered vague notions. Interestingly, as Matthew speaks, he’s not taking notes. Matthew was taking notes when Murray was speaking.
Matthew is now talking about TARP again, pointing out that not one dime of that money has been used to buy up toxic assets. He calls earmark a gateway drug to higher spending. He says he would end farm subsidies.
In his rebuttal, Murray said he would get more specific, but didn’t.
Matthew asked Patrick what he would do in terms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform. After calling these Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) the 800-lb gorillas in the roof, all he says is that he would spin them off but otherwise drones on about something else, but finally says we shouldn’t bail them out.
In his rebuttal, Matthew says we should split up its function, privatizing many. He talks about how the GSEs fueled the financial crisis by guaranteeing mortgages to those who couldn’t afford them.
Murray asks Matthew what he would do to improve the ridiculous transportation in Northern Virginia. Matthew that we need more revenue, but doesn’t believe we can do this by raising taxes. Instead, he believes we could get that revenue from drilling off the Virginia coast. He favors structural reform of Metro, saying we need people whose primary responsibility is Metro.
Instead of offering any detailed solutions, he says he would trust the Virginia Secretary of Transportation deal with it.
Moderator asks how we would feel if either of these two gentlemen represented the 8th District. Nearly everyone applauded, including Matthew, but not Murray.
Time for closing statements.
Murray goes first. Why did he ask to give the opening statement? Well, at least my man Matthew gets to speak last.
Murray is telling us that he is not an establishment politician, but he doesn’t yet offer a broad outline of his program. He reminds us of military service, says he’s been out in the world dealing with issues. Promises not to be another Congressman to serve for another two years. He doesn’t even offer vague promises of his platform, saying instead something about his service.
Now, Mathew is up, talking about a letter he received from a senior citizen in Alexandria, saying that Jim Moran has got to go. Matthew says that he and his opponent pretty much agree on the issues. He says that we should ask who has put together the better campaign, noting that whoever can best get the message out. He says that his campaign has the capacity to get the message out. Hmm. . .sounds like the reason I’m backing Carly.
Matthew wins! Please help celebrate by making a donation to his campaign!