Nebraska’s US Senate candidates debated before the Lincoln Independent Business Association this afternoon [Download debate audio]. Republican Mike Johanns emphasized his experience in government.
“I am the only candidate, that is actually dealt with a budget and balanced it and made it come out right while trying to pull spending down, and cut your taxes, while growing our community and our state.
Democrat Scott Kleeb said Johanns’ experience is a reason to vote for a change.
“One thing that we all agree on is that one of us has much more experience being a part of this system. And that we know every single one of us when we can’t afford that business loan because credit rates are up or when we can’t afford health care costs or when the Chamber of Commerce in Scottsbluff has 79% increases, we know that we can do better than what we’ve had.”
There’s agreement, but at the same time there are differences in the energy thoughts of Nebraska’s two major candidates for U-S Senate. Democratic candidate Scott Kleeb points to expanded energy production and decreasing dependence on foreign oil.
“We should be expanding our energy resources here in the United states, that we should be expanding alternative energy here in the United States, and every time we pay $3.50 at the gas pump, do you know what we are paying for? We are paying for a failure of leadership over 30 years.”
Republican Mike Johanns says the expanded drilling is only part of the answer, but it needs to start now.
“Some day we need to move in the direction away from dependence on foreign oil, but also on fossil fuels, but in the meantime we need to continue exploration and drilling.”
Republican Mike Johanns criticized the campaign strategy of Democratic opponent Scott Kleeb.
“You won’t see anything like you’re seeing over in this corner, Lisa Hannah follows me across the state, she tapes everything I say, hoping that I’ll somehow slip up. We’re not going to do that with Steve or Scott, Why? Because it’s not the right way to run a campaign.”
Johanns also criticized push-polling he says favors Kleeb. The Kleeb campaign has said they have nothing to do with the push-polling. Kleeb continues to says that voting for Johanns won’t change Washington.
“What we are doing is that we are rewarding a system that is broke if we continue to say ya’ know it’s ok, we’re gonna send the same people back that got us into this bind in the first place. That’s what this election is about. It’s about recognizing that the greatest risk that we have is that nothing will change.”