Perriello and Hurt Spar in Candidate Forum
Candidates for Virginia's Fifth Congressional District traded barbs in Roanoke last night. Jeanne Faulconer says the discussion got heated at times.
Incumbent 5th District Congressman Tom Perriello and State Senator Robert Hurt squared off in a televised candidate forum on WSLS-TV in Roanoke last night. The thirty-minute round table discussion saw each of the candidates attempting to characterize the other negatively. Hurt said Perriello's vote for health care was not what constituents said they wanted at Perriello's town meetings; Perriello criticized Hurt for not having read the federal health care bill Hurt opposed. Hurt said the federal health care bill should be repealed and free-market competition should be encouraged to lower health care costs. Perriello said Hurt's plan would cut prescription drug benefits for seniors and bankrupt Medicare in six years.
Hurt said the health care legislation has increased the cost of health insurance premiums and that, quote,'what you're doing is passing a legacy of debt and out of control spending to our children and grandchildren.' Perriello countered that Hurt's plan would raise taxes on small businesses and that Hurt had, quote, 'already raised taxes on Virginians 27 times.'
News releases sent from each of the campaign offices after the forum characterized their own candidate as having won the night. Potential voters can decide that for themselves by watching video of last night's candidate forum on the WSLS-TV website.
The candidates' next televised appearance will be a more traditional debate format in Charlottesville, 7 pm October 19, airing live on WCAV-TV Channel 19 and streaming on www.newsplex.com. Virginia's 5th District Congressional race remains one of the tightest and most closely watched in the nation.
Jeanne Faulconer, WCVE News, South Hill