When Tierney was asked to defend his labeling of Tisei as “an extremist,” the congressman said the first vote Tisei would take would be to put Republican leaders back in charge.
“He said he would put the same leadership in there that is in there now, the same people who have voted against women’s rights, against equal rights, against the middle class, for voucherizing Medicare ... and one thing after another,” Tierney said. “What sense is it, Jim, to say you’re a moderate or to say that you wouldn’t do these things, but your first act would be to go down there and put these people in charge of the agenda?”
As he has throughout the campaign, Tisei insisted last night that he would vote in the best interest of constituents, not with Republican leadership.
Tisei reiterated that he would not have voted for Paul Ryan’s Republican budget, but reiterated that it “it’s a good start,” a quote the Tierney camp has used to criticize him in the past.
“You have to have a plan in place ... the country is in so much trouble right now, nobody is talking, nobody is sitting down, nobody is trying to work together,” Tisei said, adding that he also thought the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan was a good start.
“They will kick you to the curb so fast,” Tierney said of Tisei’s pledge to be an independent voice in Congress.
“In the state Senate, he was totally irrelevant, he and four others being led to oblivion, they did whatever the majority said they were going to do, and that’s where he’d be in this Republican group, he’d be in oblivion,” Tierney said.
The candidates did find some common ground last night.
Both support state ballot questions allowing assisted suicide for terminally ill patients and allowing medicinal marijuana. Both said they would support a federal assault weapons ban.
When asked to offer something each has done well in their legislative careers, both offered that the other has done a good job fighting for equality.
The candidates also sparred on taxes, health care, equal pay for women and the economy in the 30-minute debate, which aired on NECN.
Libertarian candidate Daniel Fishman was not invited to the debate.
The election is Nov. 6.