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Shays Defensive at First Debate

by: Jim Himes For Congress

Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 12:13:43 PM EDT

(Shays whiny and petulant? What's new? - promoted by Scarce)

(Chris Shays defends failed Bush economic policies, Bridgeport Debate, 10/14)

(Jim Himes' Opening Statement at Bridgeport Debate, 10/14)

Just got back to the office from the debate in Bridgeport, which focused on health care. Congressman Shays was defensive for the entirety of the debate - defending his positions against allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, his procedural vote against S-CHIP, and his support of the disastrous Bush economic policies.

Ken Dixon at the CT Post seems to agree:

Shays, Himes clash in first debate

U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays and Democratic challenger Jim Himes finally engaged, face-to-face this morning, exchanging charges on tax cuts, health care and the nation's perilous economic state.

During a nearly 90-minute debate in Housatonic Community College -- the first of seven candidate forums over the next week -- Shays called Himes' campaign attacks of the last few months "scurrilous" and "deceptive."...

"I frankly hope that this election is decided on the facts," Himes said in the college's new $55-million Beacon Hall. "If this election is decided on the facts we will see wholesale change in this country, the kind that we need. The fact is, for a long time Chris Shays has been wrong on the critical issues of the day: on the war and the economy."

Jim Himes For Congress :: Shays Defensive at First Debate

And here is Mark Pazniokas on this morning's debate and Shays' bizzare characterization of allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices as some type of "price control" (isn't it exactly the opposite?):

The candidates disagreed on basic aspects on health policy, with Shays standing by his refusal to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, a policy that Himes said is driving up health costs. Himes said health care consumed 5 percent of gross domestic economic activity 45 years year ago during the presidency of John F. Kennedy, but it has reached 25 percent and threatens to climb.

"That's unsustainable," he said.

A Republican-controlled Congress, in expanding drug coverage for the elderly under Medicare, forbid the federal government to negotiate prices, an ability that the Veterans Administration has used to cut costs for veterans.

Shays said the federal government and Medicare are so big that negotiated prices are tantamount to government-controlled prices, a curb that will discourage research by drug companies.

"I don't believe in price controls. I'm willing to lose the election over that," Shays said.

Paz also notes the best part of the debate (video above) - where the only sustained applause came for Jim after his discussion of Shays's support for the failed Bush borrow and spend policies:

Himes said he would oppose any tax increase in a recession, but that the Bush cuts supported by Shays were "tax deferrals," not true cuts.

"That is double-speak," Shays said.

Himes replied that Bush and Shays cannot take credit for a tax cut, since spending increased, pushing off the eventual tax bill to the next generation.

"They didn't cut taxes. They put spending on a credit card," Himes said.

He was interrupted by applause from the rear of the room.

It came from college students.

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Jim did a nice job (0.00 / 0)
Shays looked angry, as usual. And made no sense about those Bush tax cuts not adding a tax burden onto children without the necessary cut in spending. That's just a flat out lie.

Good job of Jim to call him on it.  

Shays looked angry? Can't understand that!! (0.00 / 0)
I mean when has Shays ever been "angry"?  He's such a nice guy.  Of course, don't tell that to the police officer he verbally assaulted in a "profanity-laced" verbal attack.  And don't tell that to the grieving widows of the four American contractors brutally murdered in Iraq who were suing Blackwater for virtually throwing them into the enemy's clutches.  Shays wanted to throw them out of the congressional hearing room.

And don't tell that to Diane Farrell, whom Shays accused two years ago of "not knowing what she was talking about" when she said that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11.  (We won't get Chris riled up any further over that one, because I don't think he'll want to be reminded that he was completely wrong).

Nope, Shays is a really nice guy...unless, of course, you're questioning him about whether he believes that the economic fundamentals of the country really are "strong".  Just like McCain, he redefined "economic fundamentals".  Of course, no one who works in finance in Fairfield County will believe for one minute that Shays' definition is correct.  But we won't point that out; might just make him ornery.

Nope, all in all, Shays is a really nice guy....unless, of course you have a child who has to serve in Iraq- that senseless, bloody war in Iraq that has killed and wounded 35,000 Americans....

Come to think of it, how did any of us ever think that Shays was a "nice guy".  He's a complete slimeball.

[ Parent ]
More Video, Please (0.00 / 0)
I thought Chris Shays blaming the press for the breakdown in society in response to the last question from the audience was hilarious.

It's the bloggers fault (0.00 / 0)
And those terrorists with their video cameras and camera phones. Truly the bane of society..

[ Parent ]
Is anyone watching?? (0.00 / 0)
Geeze Himes is arrogant and BORING

Troll alert (0.00 / 0)
Republican trolls coming out early, must be a sign of desperation. Nategreen, here is a link to your other moronic comments.

Let's add this one to the list.  

[ Parent ]
Shays is Mr Excitement, I admit (0.00 / 0)
I keep watching to see when he inevitably blows a gasket when someone actually dares question his record of aiding and abetting in the republican catastrophe he helped create. It's like watching McCain, in a way.

[ Parent ]
death of journalism (0.00 / 0)
Can somebody just check into the accuracy of Shays' remarks being shown on the video at WTNH:

"The Congressional Record puts me at 48% liberal and 52% conservative and the Congressional Quarterly says that I voted 1/3 of the time with the president and 2/3 of the time with my party."

I'm trying to do the math on that.  I assume that the 1/3 of the time that he voted "with the president" that he also was voting "with his party".  I think that implies that 1/3 of the time that he's voting with his party that he's voting against the president.  Do you think the GOP has opposed Bush 1/3 of the time?

How about some real journalist out there taking up the challenge and verifying the above quoted statistics.  I know you can twist the numbers any way you want but it's hard to make them let you play both sides of the street and make your party appear to oppose the president when your party is the reason he's in there and has been in there this long.

AND he is on the financial services committee (0.00 / 0)
So if his math is that bad, it won't be good.  ;)

[ Parent ]
WTNH on Himes/Shays Debate (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Here's the thing... (0.00 / 0)
Shays is correct in quoting those numbers.  But at the Westport town hall meeting last April, he admitted the truth behind the numbers when he said, "of course, not all votes are created equal."  And that's how he plays it, and how "catch and release" works.  Jim Himes' campaign absolutely nailed it in exposing Shays when it reported that nearly 90% of the time that Shays votes in a close vote, he sides with his right-wing leadership.  That's what catch and release is all about.  Shays votes with the Democrats when the bill is popular back home, or the Republican position is unpopular back home, provided that his right-wing leadership has sufficient votes to pass the measure.  But when it's close, like the 2006 Republican budget for which Shays cast the deciding vote (including the biggest cut in the history of the federal loan program), Shays votes with his buddies.

It's just incredible to me that our dimwitted press corps never, ever, calls Shays out on his cynical voting tricks.  Incredible.  And people wonder why people turn to the internet and stop subscribing to newspapers!!

[ Parent ]
It's important to know the "period" involved. (0.00 / 0)
How is Shays counting?  Does he include his entire time in the House?  Is he including all of his time since Bush took office? And I think it would be interesting to compare his votes in the six months or so before each contested election to those taken when people are paying less attention.

[ Parent ]
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