Candidates in 2nd District meet for first, and possibly only debateby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The two candidates facing off in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District held their first and possibly only debate Tuesday.
Four-term Republican Rep. John Kline is seeking re-election, and he said that he'll help lead the fight to roll back the health care overhaul and extend Bush-era tax cuts if he's re-elected.
Kline's opponent, former DFL state Rep. Shelley Madore said in the MPR News debate Tuesday that she wants to help defend the federal health care overhaul from Kline and Republicans in Washington.
"Does he want to repeal free cancer screenings? Does he want to repeal lifetime caps? As a parent of two disabled children, let me tell you that's a worry for me every day," Madore said. "I think there is a lot of work we need to do on health care. Moving backwards is not the way for us to go."
Kline said there are steps that Republicans and Democrats agree on, but that the existing health care law will hurt small businesses and delay economic recovery.
Kline is in line to become a committee chair if the Republicans win back the House, but he said extending the tax cuts has bipartisan support in Congress.
"We shouldn't be raising taxes on anybody in America when we've got an economy that's struggling as it has been," Kline said. "We've now had over 17 months of unemployment above 9 percent, since the passage of the stimulus bill. This is not the time to be raising taxes on businesses, on small businesses."
Kline said that when you raise taxes on the wealthy, you are disproportionately raising taxes on small businesses, who he said are the job creators.
Madore said the tax cuts should focus on relief for the middle class.