Wonder what you would find if you frisked the first Michigan Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Debate?
Answer: Great discourse about cutting Michigan’s budget and taxes mixed with some political fireworks.
The State News reports:
The early focus of the debate was fostering a better business climate in Michigan, which Bouchard said revolved around lowering and simplifying taxes for citizens and companies.
“Our taxpayers, our citizens have left,” Bouchard said. “We cannot ask them for more because they cannot give it. We’re sending them across the border every time we ask.”
Cox, the Michigan Attorney General since 2002, said the state needs to expand tax breaks similar to the system devised in 2008 to bring more film businesses to Michigan.
When the debate shifted to the recently passed health care legislation and its impact on Michigan, the candidates found a common ground.
Hoekstra, a vocal opponent in Washington, D.C., said “Obamacare” needed to be scrapped.
Cox, who championed his lawsuit against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of a federal health care mandate, said he would “undo the lack of focus on cost.”
Snyder also agreed that health care needs to be reformed, but added he’s not sure if suing the federal government is the best course of action.
The debate often shifted back to Michigan’s economy, which all agreed needed an emphasis on building more jobs and encouraging college graduates to stay in the state.
“When I graduated, I knew there’d be a quality job waiting for me,” said Bouchard, an MSU alumnus.
“That is not the case today. Every day these problems aren’t fixed, another family, another child leaves this state, and that’s not acceptable. I will fix that. This must be about the next generation and not the next election.”
Overall, I thought it was an informative first debate and I had a great attending the event. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the debate posted on the internet, but I will keep looking and hopefully I will have it up on the blog for you within the near future.
Here’s my opinion on who won last night’s debate:
- Winner: Mike Bouchard – You could tell that he was well-versed on the issues, because he did not slip up, mumble, or stutter once throughout the intense debate. Also, he was able to relate to the viewers and quickly propose solutions – stemming from his past experience – that will eventually rebuild Michigan.
- 2nd: Tom George – He came into the debate as the underdog and I must admit that I underestimated him. When the moderator listed off the first question, he quickly jumped to his points using a lot of enthusiasm that made the other candidates seem quiet. Overall, he did a great job, but all his talks about having a Michigan Constitutional Convention tuned me out.
- 3rd: Pete Hoekstra/Rick Snyder – Going into the debate, I thought Hoekstra was going to do a great job, but he came across – in my opinion – as a so-so candidate. Perhaps it was just the debate setting, but he seemed dual and appeared to be a deer in the highlights as he gathered his thoughts at certain points during the debate. As for Snyder, I got really annoyed with his repetitive “career politicians” tagline. Granted, it was great to start off with that argument, but it got odd pretty quickly. Although he’s a successful businessman, it takes an experienced knowledge in government to work with both parties in order to get legislation passed. Also, the last two Republican candidates Michigan had running for governor against Jennifer Granholm were successful businessmen. Part of me cautiously asks: If Snyder wins the Republican Primary, will a third time be the charm?
- 4th: Mike Cox – Unfortunately there is something about Mike Cox that just radiates a negative vibe. He started off the debate doing quite well, but his constant reference back to his “62 page plan” got old. Personally, when I am at a debate, I want to get a sense of what each candidate is about. I do not want to go read a book online – using my free time – to find out if I ‘like’ a candidate or not. Overall, it was the constant attacks on the other candidates during the second half of the debate that put Cox into last place. Blogger evidence: Let’s not tear down the Republican Party before the primaries, because the Democrats will try to do plenty of that this fall.
Great debate! I cannot wait until the next one!