Rep. Schwarz, Republican Opponent Debate the Issues

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

Debate between the two Republicans was mostly civil, but sometimes argumentative.

It opened with first-term Rep. Joe Schwarz (R - 7th) leveling serious accusations of campaign finance violations against his opponent.

"You violated the law," Schwarz said. "Down the road, there may be fines."

Schwarz says opponent Tim Walberg's campaign worked with someone who also worked for an outside political group funding ads for Walberg.

"We have followed the law implicitly," Walberg said in response.

Debate moved to the conflict in Israel and Lebanon; candidates were asked if they would support sending U.S. troops to quell the violence.

"America is Israel's friend and Israel is America's friend, and if necessary to conclude this war. I would support that," Walberg said.

Schwarz declined to answer, saying that based on congressional briefings, he believes American troops would not be called upon by Israel.

"They're not going to ask for them tomorrow or the next day. Israel is not going to ask for American troops," Schwarz said.

On another international border issue, the candidates tackled immigration in the U.S. Walberg calls Schwarz's position amnesty for illegal immigrants. The congressman calls it a reasonable compromise.

Attention was also focused on the ads run in the campaign. Some of the most recent spots focused on Schwarz's votes for bills including so-called earmarks.

"Things like a bridge to nowhere, private purchases of Viagra," Walberg said.

Schwarz defended the funding for Viagra, with the medical doctor saying the drug's active ingredient is also used to treat children with heart conditions. He downplayed the significance of the ads.

"I don't much give a rip about what the ads say," Schwarz said.

Still, debate moderators suggested those ads might have tightened up the race. The congressman's response?

"I don't think it's that close, dude," Schwarz said.

Walberg followed: "Well, I would respectfully disagree with that."

Close or not, the two men will face voters in the Republican primary on Tuesday, August 8.


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