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TN gubernatorial debate

Haslam

Wamp

Tonight there was a gubernatorial debate held at Belmont University for the four remaining candidates. Here are some notes from the debate as well as my thoughts.

7:05 Ramsey comes out firing saying his opponents don’t have plans or don’t have the guts to cut spending.

7:09 Ramsey says pre-k funding is a “waste”. McWherter has mentioned Bredesen numerous times already.

7:13 All the republicans say they will not reduce sales tax. McWherter says he will reduce the sales tax on groceries.

7:14 Wamp asks Haslam why he donated to Al Gore’s presidential campaign and Haslam sidesteps the question. Then Haslam asks Wamp while he continues to run negative ads when he said he would stop. Wamp says he doesn’t know what Haslam is talking about.

7:22 McWherter says he believes there is a place for evolution to be taught in public schools. All three republicans say they are Christians but believe there is a place for science and God’s creation both to be taught in schools.

7:30 Candidates are asked if there is a petition to build a mosque what they would do. Haslam said it is up to local governments to decide. McWherter says they have to be built ,but only in certain places. Ramsey says it is a zoning issue. Wamp says our nation is “pluralistic” but we should be careful of sharia law.

7:36 Someone finally goes after the lone Dem as Haslam asks what taxes McWherter wants to raise in order to pay for Obamacare and other spending programs. McWherter does not give a clear answer.

Ramsey

7:43 A question is asked about the death penalty. Haslam first responds that he will side with the jury on the case unless new information is brought up. McWherter says he would not second guess the court. Ramsey says he is “in favor of the death penalty.” Wamp uses the question to talk about protecting life from conception. Then says the only way a governor should not carry out what the court mandates is if there is DNA proof that could change the situation.

7:46 McWherter can hardly answer a question without praising Bredesen. He says Bredesen will be a role model for him when he is governor.

7:50 “There are some things worth fighting for.” Ramsey’s response to how he will pay for immenient court case if Tennessee has a law similar to Arizona’s immigration law.

7:51 Haslam is asked again why he hasn’t released all of his financial statements and he again does not answer the question.

7:53 Closing statements: Ramsey says we don’t need Wamp’s Washington ways and that Haslam is trying to buy the race. He says Tennessee needs common sense. McWherter says he is a businessman not a career politician. He says he knows how to create jobs. “We need jobs” is what McWherter closes with. Wamp quotes the Bible saying “where there is no vision the people perish.” He says Tennessee needs a vision and he has one. Haslam uses the time to lay out his plan for Tennessee and asks Tennesseans for his vote.

McWherter

Overall it was a great debate with good questions and good responses from the candidates. Wamp and Haslam were very heated with each other which is not unexpected but very entertaining to watch. The best moment of the night came when Wamp asked Haslam why he gave money to Al Gore during his presidential bid and Haslam did not have a clear answer. McWherter came off very unqualified and he was the only candidate that appeared to be nervous. Ramsey was very confident in his answers but he seems to always want to say what he thinks people want to hear not necessarily what is the right thing. Haslam dodged a lot of questions but he had a solid performance overall. Wamp was definitely the winner of the debate. He obviously was the most prepared and he was also quick on his feet. For example, Ramsey said that he found out during the flood how great Tennesseans were. Wamp quickly said that he already knew that. Zach Wamp is down in the polls, but in politics you never know what can happen and it’s still possible for him to make a comeback.