Governor Hopefuls Debate First-- And Likely Only-- Time

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

"I have to share with you some disturbing news," says Virg Bernero, the Democratic nominee for governor. "We've also learned another one of Mr. Snyder's companies has created jobs in China as recently as a couple of months ago."

And they were off.

Bernero began the hour-long debate Sunday by charging that a Rick Snyder company is taking jobs to China. It's a claim Snyder dispels as a gross exaggeration.

"It's a small office with a card table on it to sell to the Chinese," Snyder says. "Where our research is based, as I said in the debate, in Ann Arbor, Michigan."

This was the first time we've seen the men debate each other. They touched on many topics, from the economy to education.

"Instead of putting a bandaid on something, instead of addressing a symptom, let's address the issue-- let's eliminate the Michigan Business Tax," says Snyder.

"People ask me, what's the next big thing in Michigan?" Bernero says. "The next big thing is in the mind of a child sitting in a class in Detroit."

There were some tense moments, like when Snyder talked about the creation of the Michigan Business Tax.

"It's just like Lansing went to the video store and rented Dumb and Dumber," Snyder says.

"It's funny my opponent talks about Dumb and Dumber-- he's got one of them working for him. One of the guys who authored the MBT he wants to eliminate is actually Brian Calley, his Lt. Governor," Bernero comes back.

Snyder-- who has gone on record saying he doesn't like debates because they're usually soundbites and bickering--weighs in on this one.

"There were points of thoughtfulness, but in many respects-- how much time was spent going back and forth talking about things that weren't about creating jobs and keeping our young people here?" Snyder says.

"Perhaps people can see now why he [Snyder] doesn't want another debate. Because when the truth comes out, we scratch beneath the veneer," we don't know who he really is, Bernero says. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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