Walsh, Duckworth clash in 8th District debate

October 9, 2012 (ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill.)

The 8th District congressional race is one of the most contentious in the state.

Tuesday's showdown was billed as the Debate For The 8th. It took place at the Rolling Meadows Club. This is the third debate between the two candidates, and it covered everything from creating jobs, to Medicare, to war in the Middle East.

It was a packed house Tuesday night in Rolling Meadows and the candidates came out of the gate swinging with personal attacks.

"He's voted against this district time and again; he's not there to serve this district, he's there to serve the tea party and that simply is not good enough," said Duckworth.

"She has established a long track record at the Illinois V.A. as a failed bureaucrat who wasted taxpayer dollars," said Walsh.

With the presidential race tightening, the candidates weighed in on how that race is affecting their campaigns.

"It doesn't matter who's gonna be president, and it doesn't matter who's gonna be speaker, because the problems in the 8th Congressional District are still going to be jobs and the economy," said Duckworth.

"Whether Mitt Romney is your president or Barack Obama is your president some very different things are gonna happen," said Walsh. "If Mitt Romney is the president, we're gonna repeal Obamacare. If Barack Obama is president, we will never repeal Obamacare."

Duckworth is a double amputee combat veteran.

Walsh came into this race facing a bigger than challenge than he did two years ago thanks to redistricting which put more Democrats in the 8th District.

The candidates also addressed the increased debt for college students after graduation.

"I think we need to invest in education," said Duckworth.

"I would get rid of the Department of Education tomorrow," said Walsh.

The incumbent and challenger were also at odds on healthcare.

"Tammy actually supports the president's health care plan that guts Medicare by $716 billion," said Walsh.

"Voting three times for the Ryan budget that cuts and ends Medicare as we know it and doesn't even mention the word 'veterans' once? That is what will end Medicare," said Duckworth.

At one point in the debate, Walsh offered to donate $2,500 to Duckworth's campaign if a Chicago steakhouse owner agreed with her on the president's healthcare reform program.

Duckworth called his challenge grandstanding.

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