SENATE DEBATE - Mitch Perry

08/04/04

Last night in West Palm Beach, the 3 top candidates running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate debated on issues of national security, health care, and their experience.

Last night's Debate was televised by all of the NBC Stations throughout Florida , and locally on WFLA News Channel 8.

South Florida Congressman Peter Deutsch is the only candidate in either Political Party who had a vote regarding the authorization to give to President Bush regarding the war on Iraq. He voted "yes", and was asked last night why didn't he ask more questions regarding the intelligence that led the Bush Adminstration to go to war (roll tape#1 o.q." on that issue, alone")

Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Pinellas remains in 3rd place in the most recent polls He has tried to separate himself from his competitors by forcefully arguing that he would do whatever was in his power to bring home U.S. Troops from Iraq (roll tape#2 o.q." for that")

Former USF President & State Education Chief Betty Castor said she too would have voted FOR the authoritzation to allow President Bush to go to war...The man all three candidates are vying to succeed, Senator Bob Graham, voted AGAINST giving the President that authorization.

Later in the debate, when the candidates were allowed to question one another, Alex Penelas asked Castor if she was willing to fight to bring the troops home from Iraq?

(roll tape#3 o.q."as well as we should")

On the November ballot, Floridians will have no less than 3 Constitutional Amendments to vote on regarding Medical Malpractice......A question asked was : did the candidates believe in putting a lid on Medical Malpractice lawsuits against Doctors....The question was sidestepped by both Betty Castor AND Peter Deutsch, as Alex Penelas referenced in his response (roll tape#4 o.q." and that's wrong")

The candidates were asked about the Constitutional Amendment endorsed by President Bush banning Gay Marriage? Betty Castor said she couldn't believe the topic was even being seriously discussed (roll tape#5 o.q."decisive trail") Penelas and Deutsch agreed that they didn't support same sex marriage, but did not support an Amendment banning it from happening.

This campaign began with fireworks when Peter Deutsch blasted Alex Penelas at a Campaign Forum, accusing the Miami Dade County Mayor of doing nothing to help Al Gore during the Recount in the Presidential Election in November of 2000. Gore himself went public in June, essentially saying the same thing. Alex Penelas responded

(roll tape#6 and the Republican Party")

When asked to comment, Betty Castor said the outrage in the 2000 election had little to do with Alex Penelas, and everything to do with Voting issues (roll tape#7 o.q."work on in this state")

South Florida Congressman Peter Deutsch has been complaining in the past week about the Abortion Rights Political Action Committee Emily's List supporting Betty Castor....As he said in a debate last Friday in St. Petersburg , Deutsch trotted out his credentials with women's rights groups (roll tape#8 o.q. "twice in this state")

Next Tuesday night, the same NBC stations statewide will broadcast a debate between the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

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