The debate before an audience of 350 people at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County included several extended segments that were unmoderated, leading to some testy exchanges. Thompson painted Baldwin as a liberal extremist, and Baldwin said Thompson was a Washington insider who worked for a lobbying firm and was beholden to special interests (sound familiar- they say these same things in their negative ads).
Here are their stances on the issues:
Stances on Iran:
In the debate, Thompson blasted Baldwin for accepting nearly $60,000 from the Council for a Livable World, which opposes nuclear weapons and argues that Iran is not a current threat to the United States.
Baldwin voted for two sanctions bills since she announced her run for the U.S. Senate. She previously opposed several sanctions bills but also voted in favor of a five-year extension of sanctions against Iran and Libya in 2001. She said in the debate she had not voted for sanctions for a period because she thought a pro-democracy movement in the country could take root.
Baldwin said she supports President’s Barack Obama’s approach to Iran – that all options are on the table.
Then, she told the audience Thompson had investments in companies that do business in Iran, including holdings in a company that mines uranium for Iran. Thompson said his stockbroker bought the stock and that he sold them as soon as he learned of them Thursday.
On Health Care Plans:
Baldwin voted for the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and has backed a single-payer system that would have the federal government fund health care costs for all Americans.
Thompson has railed against Obamacare, saying he would vote to repeal it and replace it with a voucherlike plan similar to the one authored by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesville, the Republican vice presidential candidate.
On Economic Issues:
Thompson reminded voters that while he was governor he cut taxes 91 times. Meanwhile, Thompson said Baldwin has increased taxes 155 times and charged that during her time in Congress she’s done little to help the economy.
Baldwin touted a measure passed in the last session with the help of Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) that will provide penalties on Chinese companies that compete unfairly with U.S. paper companies.
Thompson also touted his tax plan, which would allow people to either pay a flat tax or fill out the usual forms so that they could take deductions. He joked that people could do their taxes during halftime while watching a Green Bay Packers game.
The final debate will be this Thursday. All information for this article is accredited to JS Online.