Schauer, Walberg Share Blows in First Debate

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

CHARLOTTE -- "Maybe this doesn't mean much to you -- the issue of integrity."

Republican Tim Walberg delivered one of the first blows at his Wednesday night debate with incumbent Democrat Mark Schauer.

And the two did not disappoint from there. Schauer painted Walberg as a Wall Street puppet in favor of outsourcing.

"I think he's the only person here who thinks we're actually getting jobs back from China," Schauer said to a packed crowd at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. "Due to China's unfair trade practices, Michigan has lost 68,000 jobs."

Walberg, who lost the seat to Schauer two years ago, fired back at his rival as a big spender.

"Did we ask Mark Schauer to vote for a stimulus package that stimulated really nothing except the government economy?" he asked rhetorically. "No."

A number of times, the two devolved into all-out shouting matches, first over a law, favored by Walberg, that allows corporations to anonymously donate as much as they want to candidates.

"I support people putting money in my campaign," he told Schauer, who answered "And you don't think they should have to state who they are?"

Then they sparred over one of the key issues of the campaign -- social security.

"You were either lying to this tea party group, or you're lying to the people here tonight," Schauer said to Walberg, who told a special interest group in a recording that he "supports the privatization of the so-called social security system."

In the end, Walberg expressed disappointment with the issues that were debated.

"We really didn't get to the key issues in-depth, and those issues are the key issues on people's minds -- jobs, economy and spending," he said.

This as Schauer promoted his key issues: End what he says are unfair trade practices and continue pushing policies to help the average Michigander.

"I will continue to fight for fair trade and fight for manufacturing jobs here," he said.

They both can take a breath until they debate again in front of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce -- Thursday morning. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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