Rand Paul, Jack Conway Debate

In Kentucky’s Senate race, the Democratic state attorney general is struggling against popular Tea Party candidate Rand Paul.

In Louisville, Kentucky yesterday, Fox News Sunday hosted a debate between Republican Senate candidate Dr Rand Paul and his Democratic opponent, the state’s Attorney General Jack Conway. Among the issues discussed were the nation debt, spending, cap-and-trade, and the Obama agenda.

Moderator Chris Wallace pointed out early in the debate that whereas Conway was running campaign ads which portrayed Paul as being out of the mainstream, the libertarian candidate’s campaign hardly mentioned Conway. On air, Paul stressed that the issues were at stake in his campaign and he wasted little time to talk about them. He said that he opposed the administration’s energy agenda because its effects would be disastrous for Kentucky’s coal industry. Conway moreover, according to Paul, had in been in favor of President Barack Obama’s stimulus package; something that he believes has failed to recover the American economy. When pressed on the jobs supposedly saved or created by the stimulus, Paul claimed that 17,000 have been lost because of it while each of the jobs saved had a price tag attached to it of $430,000.

Conway responded by pointing out that while he supported the stimulus, he had opposed the bailouts for lack of accountability.

When the discussion came to federal regulation of environmental and workplace safety, the candidates agreed that unelected bureaucrats shouldn’t be the ones making law, as the Environmental Protection Agency recently attempted with regard to greenhouse emissions. They disagreed however on the extent to which government should be involved. Rand, who has been critical of the Democrats’ health care and economic policies, is a proponent of limited government and argued that local authorities are always better equipped to legislate on the things that directly affect people’s lives.

Discussing his role in the Senate, if elected, Conway expressed support for union card checks and the health-care reform bill enacted by Democrats. When asked about his political position compared to President Obama, Conway repeated his pledge to “put Kentucky first” by focusing on national security and the war on the drugs.

Paul, finally, said that he would support fellow Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell for Majority Leader if Republicans manage to win back the upper chamber this fall. His allegiance was in question because McConnell previously endorsed Paul’s primary opponent for the nomination. He further promised that more of Kentucky’s tax dollars would stay if Kentucky and that he would fight to rein in government spending.