Congressman Fred Upton and Jack Hoogendyk met for a second debate today on WKZO. I'll link to audio when I can find it.
Fred Upton and Jack Hoogendyk agree on much during second debate
The media's choice of questions is incredibly frustrating. This is a Republican primary debate, not a general election debate. Questions should focus on issues of interest to Republican primary voters, particularly issues where candidates disagree. Obamacare and the Keystone Pipeline are issues where Upton and Jack agree, at least on the bottom line (No and Yes, respectively). So of course they spent a lot of time on these issues.
Still, there were some interesting contrasts. It now comes out that despite hyping himself as Obamacare's biggest enemy, Upton actually supports several major provisions of Obamacare. Specifically, he supports keeping children on their parents' insurance until 26, and he supports the provision banning insurance companies from "discriminating" based on "preexisting conditions", meaning that you can wait to get sick until you buy insurance. But if you support that, on what basis can you oppose the individual mandate? The whole point of the mandate is that people have to buy insurance or else insurance companies would go broke since everyone wouldn't buy insurance until they got sick. How does Upton square that circle?
As Jack pointed out, Upton is hardly a principled opponent of government involvement in health care. Upton supported the Medicare prescription drug bill. Upton defended his vote by pointing out that the bill is popular. When is free stuff ever unpopular? The problem is that all the free stuff handed out by self-serving politicians is bankrupting the country.
Upton also supported the expansion of SCHIP, and was one of very few Republicans supporting overriding President Bush's veto. Upton again failed to defend his vote. He pointed out that SCHIP was created by Newt Gingrich, whom he cited as a conservative authority, showing how out of touch with conservatives he is.
On Keystone, despite Upton's talk, he folded at the first opportunity, voting for a massive highway bill not including the Keystone Pipeline because President Obama threatened to veto it. As Jack said, why not make him do it? Republicans have gotten Obama to sign some things he opposed before, like ending the national parks gun ban, by attaching them to larger bills. What's the point of supporting the Keystone Pipeline if you won't fight for it?
On immigration, Jack's response was weak, ceding too much ground to the left.
Also noteworthy is that for the second straight debate, Upton did not bring up any of the smears against Jack that he has been promoting in his mailings. Apparently he doesn't want to bring them up in a forum where Jack has a chance to respond.
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