U.S. Senate candidates keep it civilized during debate - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

U.S. Senate candidates keep it civilized during debate

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

DAVIE, Fla. (WFLX) - The debate at Nova Southeastern University Tuesday night began with the issues most people care about: jobs and the economy.

Republican candidate Marco Rubio says the Obama-backed stimulus plan was not a good idea. Instead, "What we need from government leaders is to create an environment where starting a business is easier," he said.

"Now, if my opponent would have been your governor and not taken any stimulus money, 20,000 educators would not be employed," countered Independent candidate Governor Charlie Crist.

Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek said, "I'm for middle class tax cuts and credits. What they're advocating is tax cuts for the super wealthy."

On Social Security, Crist said the system is ok for now.

"Social Security is solvent until at least 2037, yet Marco Rubio wants to tinker with it," he said.

Rubio talked about his position on Social Security. He said he would like to extend the retirement age for younger people, "but not for people on it today".

Meek said "expanding the middle class workforce in Florida will help the social security trust fund."

When it comes to healthcare reform, Kendrick Meek said he supported the president's plan, Charlie Crist said the plan he passed in Florida reduced insurance rates, while Marco Rubio wants Americans to have access to every insurance plan available.

While it was a civilized debate, there was some bickering.

Meek chided Crist's position on drilling saying, "I don't know. You were with Sara Palin saying Drill Baby Drill."

Crist also accused Rubio of pay to play to politics.

Polls have shown Rubio with a comfortable lead for weeks, followed by Crist and then Meek.

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