Nebraska U.S. Senate hopefuls Kerrey and Fischer square-off in second debate

Fischer and Kerrey spent their second U.S. Senate debate on issues including health care, social security, abortion, the military and changing politics in Washington D.C.

Story and photos by Jake Sorensen and Michael Sholes, NewsNetNebraska

Republican Deb Fischer and Democrat Bob Kerrey met Friday for a second debate in the race for Nebraska’s second seat in the U.S. Senate.  The candidates spent a large part of their hour-long debate fielding questions about the economy.

The Omaha Community Playhouse hosted the candidates who spoke before a full house and TV audience.  KETV and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce sponsored the debate.

Kerrey, a former U.S. Senator and Nebraska Governor, repeatedly attacked Fischer’s support for a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.

“Senator Fischer I’ve looked at your plan…your balanced budget amendment would at least double unemployment in Nebraska,” he said.

Fischer, a Nebraska State Senator from Valentine, said a balanced budget amendment has led to a strong economy in Nebraska, and would work at the federal level as well. “Anytime that you don’t have controls on Congress on spending on politicians, they will spend every dime they can get their hands on,” she said.

(Click here for audience reaction to the debate.)

Healthcare Reform

The candidates stands on the Affordable Care Act, referred to by some as  Obamacare, was also a debate issue. Fischer supports repealing the act if elected, saying health care reform is necessary, but there’s a better way to go about it. “Health care right isn’t’ really affordable for anyone, and we need to find efficient ways to help lower the cost of it,” she said.

Democratic U.S. Senator Ben Nelson attended the debate. Kerrey and Fischer are vying for Nelson's U.S. Senate seat.

The mood was light at times as well.  At one point, a panelist asked Kerrey a question while looking directly at Fischer. “You are charming,” Kerrey said of Fischer. “What are you doing tonight?”

KETV News anchor Rob McCartney moderated the event.  Questions came from a panel made of NET’s Mike Tobias, the Omaha World-Herald’s Robynn Tysver and Todd Andrews of KETV.

The next debate is set for Monday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. in Lincoln and will be hosted by NET.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *