Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) defended her economic record in last night’s Washington state Senate debate, while Republican challenger Dino Rossi tried to tie Murray to Democratic programs he said are unpopular in Washington and the country. For her part, Murray took on Rossi over Republican economic rhetoric, including the party’s suggestion that extending the Bush tax cuts will pay for itself, er, somehow.
“Murray asked Rossi how he’d pay for the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest Americans that are set to expire soon,” SeattlePI.com reports. “Rossi wouldn’t say, instead attacking his opponent’s record of ‘taxing, spending and growing government.’”
When pressed by Murray for an answer, Rossi eventually said “that creating jobs will grow the economy and a tax increase will ‘kill jobs.’”
Rossi had his own lines of attack as well.
“Citing the state’s 17 percent functional unemployment rate — which includes the jobless and those underemployed — Rossi said businesses need stable regulation and low taxes to start hiring again,” the Seattle Times reports.
“It’s not with more government, it’s not with stimulus, it’s not with the health-care plan. It’s got to be with small business being more successful,” Rossi said.
Murray countered that “business leaders she speaks with tell her they need more from the government than just tax cuts.”
“They need the infrastructure in place to allow them to bring goods to their stores or sell them overseas,” she said, according to the Times.
Other topics came up, too, though reports say the debate was mostly over the economy. Murray was “unequivocal” in her support for repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, while Rossi “side-stepped” the topic, according to SeattlePI.com. Rossi also “refused to say whether he favors allowing children of illegal immigrants to remain in the country and start on a path toward citizenship.” Murray “touted her support for a law that would give such people a chance to be citizens after going to college or joining the military,” the Times reports.
The paper also says that both candidates “refused to say whether they’d back raising the Social Security retirement age or other changes to the entitlement.”
The TPM Poll Average shows Murray ahead 49.4-45.9.