DEBATE RECAP: Hackett v. Walorski On Issues Impacting Indiana's 2nd Congressional Dist.
In the one and only live debate between the candidates for Indiana's 2nd District Congressional seat, Democrat Pat Hackett and Republican incumbent Jackie Walorski squared off on a whole host of issues.
The debate began with the topic of healthcare and the pandemic.
Hackett accused Walorski of endangering the elderly and toddlers by "frolicking on the streets of Goshen" without a mask recently. Walorski did post photos to social media picturing her without a mask posing with constituents earlier in October. Walorski did not respond to that comment directly during the debate. But she did accuse Hackett of supporting a healthcare plan that would take away employer healthcare plans. She characterized it as a socialist government takeover. She also said Pat Hackett and Nancy Pelosi are "tied at the hip."
Hackett countered by encouraging voters to look at Walorski's record. "If you rely on the ACA (Affordable Care Act) 37 times she voted against you." Hackett went on to say she was the only one in the debate who is a small business owner. She says Walorski will take away the protection for pre-existing conditions that is currently part of the ACA.
Walorski rebutted that saying, "I have a voting record, Pat has an opinion." Walorski also touted the rise of telehealth as being a key part of any future healthcare plan and because of that she says we'll have "unbelievable healthcare."
Hackett pointed out that, "I hope everyone is paying attention that Jackie Walorski is debating Nancy Pelosi and not me." Hackett characterized herself as a responsible capitalist. She characterized her opponent as voting for a tax break that was a "gift" for the wealthy and that exploded the national deficit. Hackett also said that that vote by Walorski has contributed to the demise of the middle class.
On the topic of taxation, Walorski is calling for a stop to the taxation Hackett supports saying "take burdensome regulations off our district." She touted the passage of the USMCA trade agreement saying "it's the best deal we've ever had" and that it will benefit farmers.
Hackett framed the USMCA as a stopgap measure that doesn't really take care of workers. She also said Walorski tries to speak from a fear-based perspective about taxes. Walorski responded that "there is not a piece of fear in me."
Walorski accused Hackett of wanting to raise taxes so extreme left wing Democrats can spend the money on big government programs. Hackett responded by saying that Walorski is of the "80's greed is good" school of thought and she said it is time to end "welfare for the wealthy."
On the issue of immigration, Walorski accused Hackett of wanting to de-fund ICE. Hackett said that is untrue. Hackett does not support a merit based immigration system and she accused Walorski of using the DACA "Dreamers" as a "bargaining chip."
Hackett called out Walorski for being silent when President Trump has been accused of making derogatory comments about veterans. Walorski said that 75% of all the case work in the district she has done has been on the behalf of veterans.
Walorski is seeking her fifth term in Congress. Hackett ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary in 2018 in the 2nd District Congressional race. She won the primary this year and this marks her first run as a Democratic challenger looking to unseat Walorski.