WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) - There was actually two political debates Monday night. Besides President Obama and Governor Romney, a debate featuring 7th Congressional District candidates took place in Wausau.
Democratic challenger Patrick Kreitlow and Republican first term incumbent Sean Duffy debated before a full house at the UW-Marathon County Center for Civic Engagement. This hour-long forum featured a Wausau media panel asking questions of the candidates before the Presidential Debate broadcast. The format allowed the candidates two red challenge flags, similar to what NFL coaches use, when they choose to challenge the comments of the opponent.
The issues ranged from bank bailouts to tax policy and breaks. The topic of Medicare shows the two are far apart on the solution. Duffy is opposed to taking money from Medicare to fund Obamacare, and wants the Medicare promise to seniors kept in tact while creating options for those 54 and younger. "Our seniors paid for their Medicare. They deserve to get it. I think the first thing we should do in Congress and in Washington is figure out how we keep Medicare viable and solvent for seniors before you make another new promise to more people", referring to Obamacare.
Kreitlow believes repealing Obamacare would create an expense seniors can’t afford. "We already know that voting to repeal (Obamacare) would open up the donut hole, so it's not that seniors would wait ten years for Congressman Duffy to charge them more out of their pocket, seniors would start paying thousands more out-of-pocket right away."
Duffy is in his first term as a representative. He defeated Julie Lassa in 2010, filling the seat held by David Obey since 1969. Kreitlow is a former State Senator in Wisconsin.
The 7th Congressional District has been represented by 13 Republicans and only 3 Democrats since it was formed in 1873, but David Obey’s 42 consecutive years is a record time in this office.