October 10, 2008
Noriega v. Cornyn, round 1

It's on my TiVo for later, as I was unable to watch the debate between the US Senate candidates in real time last night, but it sounds like it was a good one.

Sen. John Cornyn defended his leadership on the economy as his Democratic challenger Rick Noriega asked Texans if they are better off now than they were six years ago during a wide-ranging debate Thursday night.

"Government in Washington has got us in the ditch because its priorities have been about special interests and not Texas families," said Noriega, a member of the Texas House.

He noted that the controversial $700 billion bailout plan passed by Congress has not helped the stock market from its severe slide.

"We've seen today that the market has not responded," said Noriega. He said he wouldn't have voted for the economic rescue bill because it lacked oversight and was sugar-coated with earmarks.

Cornyn, who is seeking his second term in the U.S. Senate, noted that 75 senators, including Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, voted for the bill.

"Sometimes, I think leadership calls for hard decisions," Cornyn said. "And when I hear people say, 'Well, I wouldn't have voted for that' even though it would have left the American people and our economy in ashes potentially, (that) is not responsible leadership."


The candidates also clashed on health policy. Noriega said that since Cornyn has been in office, health premium costs have gone up 80 percent.

"We're number one in the United States in children that are uninsured. That's unacceptable," said Noriega.

Cornyn said Noriega and other Texas lawmakers have failed to reach 800,000 children who are eligible for government programs but have not signed up.

"Let's cover those low-income children who were intended to be covered in the first place," Cornyn said.


The candidates took a few questions from reporters after the debate.

"Right now, Senator Cornyn has had kind of a deathbed conversion on energy choices, although he's voted I don't know how many times against renewable energy," said Noriega.

Cornyn unveiled a new ad Thursday that shows him with West Texas wind turbines.

Well, at least it's not another cow-themed ad. BOR, who remembers that Noriega didn't do very well in the primary debate against Ray McMurrey, thought he won last night. Texas Kaos has a comprehensive liveblog of the proceedings, and also thought Noriega did well. Texas Politics also liveblogged it. The Noriega blog did the rapid-response thing. If you watched last night, what was your impression?

Yesterday was also the debut day for Noriega's first general election TV ad. No cows or phony cowboys were involved.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 10, 2008 to Election 2008
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