Party politics took center stage in the final debate between Second District Congressman Brad Ashford and challenger Don Bacon.
KETV and the Omaha Chamber of Commerce sponsored the third debate held at the Omaha Community Playhouse Wednesday between Ashford, a freshman Democrat, and Bacon, a Republican.
Ashford tired of hearing Don Bacon try to tie him to the top House Democratic leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California.
“Don, you’re going to have to work with Nancy Pelosi if you get elected to Congress,” Ashford responded. “You’re obsessed with her. This must be 30 times you’ve talked about Nancy Pelosi.”
“When we agree on an issue, we will work forward together on it, but it will not be 80% of the time, like you Brad. And, again, to vote 80% of the time with Nancy Pelosi makes you a moderate only if you’re from California or New York, not Nebraska,” Bacon replied.
Both clashed on the Affordable Care Act. Bacon complained that the act has increased health insurance costs and thwarted economic growth. He advocated repealing and replacing it. Ashford criticized the stance, saying that the popular provisions of the ACA, such as covering pre-existing conditions and mental health equity, could not be maintained if the ACA is repealed.
The two fielded a number of questions during the one-hour format.
They agreed that the tone of the presidential debate had deteriorated.
Both said they have talked with their daughters about sexual assault and how best to handle it, Bacon stating he had had to handle the issue during his tenure as a former Air Force Commander. Bacon was the commander at Offutt Air Force Base. While Ashford commended how the Air Force has handled the issue, he said more needed to be done for those leaving the military who had been sexually assaulted.
The two expressed concern about growing racial unrest in the country and the need to understand distrust within the African-American community toward police.
Both advocated business tax cuts to stimulate economic growth.
Bacon said he did not agree with the Paris Climate Agreement reached last year, saying President Obama should have gone through Congress. Bacon conceded human conduct was contributing to global warming. Ashford countered there was a way to embrace the Paris agreement and that Congress had failed to address the issue, causing the president to find a different way to address it.
Click here for full video of the debate from KETV.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]