tv Campaign 2020 Maine U.S. Senate Debate CSPAN October 23, 2020 10:03am-10:57am EDT
unfilteredfor the view of politics. you are watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government created by cable television companies as a public service and brought to you today your television provider. >> there are 35 senate seats up for election this cycle, and one report says 15 our competitive including the maine race. herext, susan collins faces .hallenger the maine state chamber of commerce cohosted the debate. for joining us. tonight in conjunction with the maine state chamber of commerce,
we present the four candidates. nearly 300 people have already cast ballots, but many more will do so in a early absentee voting or at the polls. this is an opportunity to try to get clarity about the candidates and where they stand. we had planned to hold this in person and were set up to do so , however with the senate still in session, senator collins cannot be there in person. when we should that news with the other candidates sara , gideon's campaign said she would not appear in person if collins did not, so we have moved to a virtual gathering. our candidates are susan collins, the democratic speaker of the house sara gideon, max linn and lisa savage. i will be posing questions to the candidates and each will have one minute to answer and follow-up discussion will be at my discretion.
each candidate will have an opportunity to ask a question of another candidate and each candidate will have one minute for a closing statement. senator collins, i will begin with you, mitch mcconnell has blocked consideration of extensive pandemic relief bills and rushed confirmation of the supreme court nominee. those are things you have disagreed with. the washington post reports that mcconnell counseled the white house not to strike a deal on a relief deal with pelosi because it might interfere with the planned confirmation of judge barrett next week. why do you still support mitch mcconnell and does it make it harder to find bipartisan solutions? sen. collins: first of all, thank you for sponsoring the debate. he make it harder to find bipartisan solutions? collins: let me thank you in the chamber for sponsoring this debate tonight i support another covid relief package and indeed we have had two votes this week one of my bills to extend the paycheck
protection program which is already saved 250,000 jobs in the state of maine and another $500 billion package i think it's unfortunate also my bill and get the 60 votes needed despite the fact that is near unanimous support for that program. it was mitch mcconnell's brother )-right-parenthesis before. and then that the election is important and not to agree with any leader.
host: how many times supporting president trump and mitch mcconnell but we heard from is that you do the same thing with joe biden is president and checks schumer as majority leader you whatever differently. >> good evening thank you for attending and at hosting as this is an upon question. but he became a leader in the state house in my second term because there were directions we needed to with the people of maine and taking action. hampshire protecting healthcare so now in the senate exactly what people can expect that is representing us here in maine so asking her why would she support and what
she continues? this is very cracks of what is happening here. because of mitch mcconnell as a student one - - as the majority leader with the issues that we care about whether it is healthcare or the judiciary will be a risk. host: i want to ask the independence, which party were dukakis and why. linn: thank you for tonight and looking forward to having a great conversation had its core and i argue in the last comment but she cannot because she was with her party and irrelevant of why caucus with i can truly be independent in washington speaker gideon or collins cannot. and then the money and the
space command to be sick and tired of politics. with the career politicians with the magnitude of washington and is for something different and i to caucus with the party and then to you up to $100 million. savage: thank you for holding the debate and thinking to the chamber of commerce. i was a green party member because the restrictions are so severe so if i win the
election and i plan to man will in the green party to enter the senate as the screen senator so i don't have to caucus for either party as a means remember focused on getting medical for all american people that will meet with and work with where standards were republicans that is my top priority with universal healthcare and to show that is your intention. host: we have of you a question where you can test the outcome in court if you and a plurality in the final bank choice results? savage: they can the question.
want to start by saying i fully support ring choice voting i did and does so and was forced to continue to protect it as a legislator when there were repeated attempts to repeal. i have faith. gideon: how the voting will go through the weeks and on election day. and the reason that is outstanding i did not plan to contest the results. linn: can repeat the question to 14 will contest the outcome of the election in court and a plurality balloons and final bank choice vote?
to three absolutely not support on a national basis because we face is the same challenges here is an america with the career politicians we have this for the last ten or 20 years and americans are sick and tired of politics as usual. and with change first and with susan second people know to be clear that the choice right now for change not a career politician but citizens legislature with $180 million. host: i will support her also. savage: sam for voters to vote
and to vote for the values i simply support this system but at the same time i think that it was fair and then to see that contested in the election even though he lost fair and square in the court basically said you don't have a case. there is real malfeasance in the election and with the majority would you fight that election in court is and final ring choice? collins: i will not ring choice is upheld by the courts in maine and those are the
rules that we have to play by. i do think it would be a true runoff where everyone had to vote twice but that is not what we have in the state of maine. >> you advocate eliminate outstanding student loan debt. should college be free-for-all americans are linked to military or other public service? linn: absolutely. we have an economic crisis on our hands so the bailouts are detrimental to the middle class people but republicans want bailouts and democrats want to bailouts. there is no conservative party of fiscal responsibility. so now i'm asking for student
loan relief which is direct people bailout for 35 million americans. and with $5000 more than any other state in the country with a bill for small businesses. >> you support debt and free college for americans? savage: i do. students are coming out of community college with thousands of dollars in debt and university with hundreds of thousands of dollars. but doctors and engineers. and then to forget of the
outstanding so the legislatures row to the law and they should be ashamed of themselves. so in the institution like harvard and with all the way of medical school many countries to us. >> what you thought of student loan debt? collins: first of all i worked very hard to expand programs which go to the neediest students and i am the chief proponent along with senator from rhode island with the program like upward bound to help first-generation succeed in college also supporting
debt forgiveness for certain positions to go into public service for medical professions in the underserved area. and with those interest rates are so low now but it doesn't make sense to our very wealthy family that sending a son or daughter to university to go for free that just burdens the taxpayers when they can afford to pay. host: what are your thoughts? gideon: first it should not be a burden to education.
so today in america it is. so what i support the need-based grants to help people to education. we see this happen i also support making refining and seeing easier. and miller for public universities to lower the cost of education. wesley done here in maine to crackdown on for crap for colleges and transparency for lending to students and also how to have tax credits to students who decide to live and work in maine. host: whoever wins the
presidency will most likely propose major transportation investment will. doing trillions and that with covid relief can we afford the infrastructure package? savage: i think we cannot do public transportation in a vigorous way. climate is the biggest risk to all of the security and the future to being able to live on the planet. and then with a system that is long overdue and with the best of the rest of the world and the transport and then something like public transportation how we pay for it? there's plenty of money in this country is the priorities these on - .
host: what are your priorities? collins: first of all i would point out that shared transportation and appropriations subcommittee in the senate. with the much needed transportation and those on a per capita basis that is getting some very important transportation programs that is not a coincidence. so we need to broaden our thinking we do need a major infrastructure package and to include broadband as well. we have seen too many parts of the state relying on people working from home more but
that is why i joined wes the senator from west virginia and to fill the gaps. >> it's nice and we agree on something and this is one example where we do. gideon: think about how we stayed to the economic recovery in this country absolutely will taken investment from the federal government. and investment from infrastructure without question that means investing in roads and bridges it also means investment in broadband to ensure we have this infrastructure that should only be here.
to work and study in maine we go further than that. so with infrastructure to help combat climate change also with this look like in the energy project with that inability with no desire to tackle the issue. host: what would you like to see happen can we afford it? linn: this is where we are the strongest as we have heard about the biggest threat to our country and our state. and with the career politicians them in the stimulus for eight years so why haven't they done anything yet? and the reality is susan will have no say in washington.
with the face of the republican and democratic party that's part of my platform. and infrastructure money needs to go to the state of performance you need someone from the outside have influence and the power. they can't do it because they are tied to the rigged a broken system the election of susan or sarah they will go with nancy pelosi or chuck schumer. they will go to the committees and have no say. i will. host: your tell people you next line to be chairman of the senate appropriation committee. how does that benefit maine did we get more many as a state or is about bringing home the bacon? collins: maine is not about the state.
and that shows why it's so important and then to be the next chair and with the senate appropriations committee with the most powerful position in the united states senate. and what they have been able to do through the transportation field but that is on the senate appropriations subcommittee. and to secure funding for two new destroyers that the nav desperately needed on in the infrastructure improvements.
host: speaker gideon it seems like a case of seniority matters. gideon: senator collins does like to talk about 24 years in washington and of course and virtually tonight because she is in washington. but if senator collins does become the appropriations chair it means that mitch mcconnell is still majority leader. let's look back when we last had the democratic president. let's make it our mission it is at one time president not make it our mission to progress on issues that matter to people. think of the lack of progress on mowing the path to prescription drugs and with more covid relief.
susan collins is not able even though she talks about the 24 years of experience it doesn't seem to have an impact within her caucus. so how does that help people? collins: i think i deserve a rebuttal on that one. im in washington. that's because we are in session. we are working. that is a stark contrast to what sarah did at the state level when she left in mid-march and had instead absolutely nothing since then to respond to the covid crisis that we have. in the meantime we have passed $3 trillion with two.$5 billion has come to the state of maine.
gideon: i have said this before i will say it again senator collins continues to want to deflect. it has been six months since the senate passed any covid relief. with individuals were thinking about towns and cities or the state and those that are on the verge of being taxed that is a dangerous proposition. i'm part of the work we've done here in maine and the second lowest in the nation and the economy is recovering but make no mistake we need help from the federal government. host: back to the original question the senate runs on seniority is that important? linn: it is but the reality is there are dozen races throughout america were republicans or democrats have been in trouble to bring in
the new person in charge of the appropriations. susan collins will not be in charge of the appropriations committee. as means next us senator can bring more money than she could ever bring sarah and susan working together versus me i can bring much more because with my candidate their spending $180 million because the balance of influence rest with me if the public is the democrats take all then maine will lose all influence whether republican or democrat agreement on - - administration of both them is a wasted vote that powerful the institutional vote is with me as your next us senator.
savage: i would like to challenge that makes a great deal of difference if we are republican or democratic leadership in the key committees. both parties take big money for corporate interest you can go to open secrets.org the very same corporations both parties money. yes we have a lot of bills for the corporations people got $1200 but we are still waiting for relief for communities and with their mortgages and with the two corporate party candidates with big money in washington and if you go to my website lisa for maine.org you can see where i stand on the issue and i don't take money and i'm writing one - - rather fighting legislation to
benefit them they should thank me first. host: tens of millions of dollars have been spent by your campaign and senator collins and your backers to tear each other down. the weather will be tainted when they go to work is this dangerous to our democracy? how would you change the system? gideon: thank you for that question perk i want to start with something that i think we all agree with those too much money and politics. one of the first things i did on the campaign to introduce ideas for reform to make sure the corporations don't have a voice people do. and what their goals are and to understand whether that money is coming from and that the members of congress and
have the impact on the system i also want to point out in this campaign i made the choice to accept no corporate tax money. that is important because people need to know who we're standing for. host: have talked about this kind of money coming into maine but how do you fix it? linn: you have to vote. maine has an opportunity to send a strong message to washington that they are tired of this that the speaker just said raising upwards of $200 million for workforce adds to attack each other and with hundreds of thousands of flyers thinks of what that could have done for mainers.
and the senator is pretty broken system. i care about mainers. they are losing their homes. they are losing the medical care deciding between electric and food bill. this is a critical time to send a message to washington to say we are tired of the same all interested independent candidate and shake up the industry. host: so how do you deal with this money that is deeply frustrating to voters. savage: i practice what i preach and i don't accept
corporate lobbyist money or super pac money. i just retired teaching as a schoolteacher 25 years as central business owner before that my husband is self-employed. i'm the only non- millionaire in this race. i don't think millionaires can understand the people we're struggling with and what their needs are. they can't. they are in a bubble of affluence and wealth so to take tens of millions of dollars from outside of maine running negative advertising is bad for children to see now to think it is political debate. to talk about the ideas and to take tens of millions of dollars that advertising of all types is not been in the best interest of democracy in my opinion. host: we've all seen fears
partisanship but never a campaign quite like this. how do you fix it? >> i would point out with the 16 independent fact check with the those that have been deemed false were mostly false. this is the first campaign i've ever been involved in where my opponent has attacked my integrity and it is totally unacceptable and with the dark many groups and with the fund spreading into the state of maine. that they have firm portland maine. so that the answer that sarah has proposed for the first
amendment. that has not been amended for change in any way been 1791. but we have disclosure of all donors. host: this is a question from a viewer asking for a yes or no response. we begin so do you believe healthcare is a human right? linn: yes. it is important with there is a combination under no condition should people lose their home or savings or healthcare. because the bankrupt nation. and talk about political reform. so to sit here and watch sarah and susan talk about financial
reform at the heart of the problem. and we can do it with a vote for the independent candidate. >> i think the words for profit and healthcare belong in the same sentence together. and for profit healthcare should not have been turned into a commodity. that is vastly more expensive because the profit motive and then to move in the direction of medicare for all and is to be cause by medical bills that they had for-profit health insurance. >> is healthcare a human right? collins: yes it is where so
much we can do to expand health care coverage and what is to take to have much more transparency in the system is so important to compare prices and then to where the cost of prescription drugs. but there is much more that can be done such as putting the out-of-pocket cost for seniors under medicare part d. we also have to work on accessibility. after all if you live in an area of the state and then need access to more telemedicine because i believe
i have a study 15 out of 36 hospitals would go under. >> is healthcare a human right? gideon: it is a human right last week i was speaking to a woman who is 59 years old and just lost her job and her healthcare. she is scared because right now republicans are trying to take her healthcare way is something that mitch mcconnell is determined to do during the next four years with the vote on the tax bill. and to be protected and then be search on this issue to create a public option for
anybody wants to buy into medicare. and then what they can do to negotiate directly to lower the cost but the last thought there is no plan to be determined to overturn the affordable care act from senator collins own admission no plan to replace it. we cannot afford to reelect susan collins as the majority leader. collins. >> to vote against the affordable care act with the deciding vote and to say it's just not accurate. you know anyone in the senate
and i worked on long ago to move to the state of maine. >> talking about the things i transparency with the unaffordable and as if it were cactus the issue that people cannot afford healthcare i would also like to know that if we have universal healthcare that word be for small businesses and corporation and to get the health care for the rest of the world. >> now each of you would have a chance to ask of your opponents the same time limits apply. >> i have a question for senator gideon polls show the
top issue is healthcare we know republicans don't have a serious plan to improve healthcare. i support medicare for all as the majority of mainers and showing that is the best way to provide world-class universal healthcare. your plan of expanding the affordable care act would not cover everyone and would not cost less then we pay now. associated mainers who want medicare for all rank me first and you second? gideon: thank you for your question perk i want to start by saying thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront every time we debate on the campaign trail healthcare without question is the most important issue to people no matter where been in the state as a people need to work on.
you and i have the same goals everyone has access but we do have different approaches to get there with that public option and to buy into a system and that is important to keep in place in addition for the public auction and then i mention that regarding the cost of prescription drugs. host: your time is up senator collins? collins: i have a question for sarah. you say you don't come corporate tax money you have a fundraiser at your home and
also taking money directly from corporations not just the packs and appropriately on - - and appropriately reimbursing yourself from your own pack and took $1 million from corporate executives. the hypocrisy is what bothers me. so how can you say one thing and do another? gideon: let's talk about exactly what corporate tax money is. first of all i want to go back in the state house i took on healthcare companies and the drug and insurance companies attack on oil and gas companies to make sure we will the purse leaves and crackdown on the companies and with that health care industry for
those votes. i was the deciding vote to keep the affordable care act in 2017 as you all know and in fact the democrats right now are using my argument in the law for the supreme court. so, i'm proud of my record. i have been named the most bipartisan member of the senate. you will always follow the party line. i think we need more bipartisanship and that is what
i'm known for in washington. that is what i've always done is to try to bring people together. i was thinking about the things i ran that i supported 181 far right judges and they were confirmed with bipartisan support and more than 100 of them had the support of angus king. it's amazing to see this fight between the senator. maine means someone that cares. facts and statistics show that the wall is stopping human trafficking and the drug trade.
why do you oppose this? >> let's talk about immigration. whether we think about the fact he's tried to diverse. it was reported just yesterday that more than 500 children who are separated from their parents, those parents can no longer be found to reunite with their children. we need to do better. we need a fair policy in the country that recognizes the path to citizenship, and we need to do it in a way that keeps americans safe and secure at the same time but right now that isn't what we see happening and that is something i do want to work on in the senate.
>> what is something you admire about your opponent? >> i admire that all three of my opponents are willing to serve the public. that is something i think we need more of in this country and the fact each of them is willing to do the hard work of earning the votes of the people of maine is commendable. >> first the fact she dedicated her life to teaching, thank you for being a public school teacher. i also want to thank her for staying focused on the issues that matter most to her around climate and around healthcare, which i think are exactly the voice people here and across the country have as well.
>> i admire lisa because we hold the same thing maine deserves better and independent place and someone who cares about the establishment. it's hard to understand and not bringing in hundreds of dollars but hundreds of millions so i respect them as individuals but i can't respect the party and ongoing doublespeak that they give. maine needs someone who cares in washington. >> lisa, something you admire about your opponents. >> everyone is willing to come and participate because it is a great role model for the children watching to be able to see adults caring enough about our world to take the risk. we don't know what questions we
are going to be asked, some might criticize or trip us up. it's brave of everyone to do this and i love the students of all ages are watching and saying that could be me. >> we've come to the closing statements and we are going to begin with lisa savage. i'm inviting them to come right in here and share about the fight that gives institutional and systemic racism so please join me in welcoming. >> this land belongs to indigenous people.
we live in a country where black people are being hunted down by the police on a daily basis. we live in a country where the president refuses [inaudible] black people are being murdered by the police on a daily basis. the same people condemning rioting should be condemning the pain that is being inflicted on black people on a daily basis. >> thank you very much. i'm sorry to interrupt but we have to get to all of the closing statements. senator susan collins. >> i fight hard for maine every day even in the midst of a pandemic. when i use my seniority to get an extra destroyer or a bridge that is essential, i do so because it is what maine needs. a columnist once criticized me for working too hard as what he deemed the small issues but if you are a 77-year-old pastor who
fell prey to a scam that ended up in a spanish prison or your mother who can't hear her child without cochlear implants, those problems don't seem small to you at all. i've been a leader on some of the biggest issues facing the nation but it's helping those like this that keep me going and help me fight hard each and every day. >> thank you very much. and closing statement. >> we have a choice before us. a choice that will dictate how we move forward as a state and a nation. a choice between candidates with
their continued bailout of wall street, someone who understands the economy. by ranking me first in this election, the voting families can invest who cannot be paid off and put the families, the nation and way of life. may god continue to bless the state and great nation. >> thank you and finally a closing statement. >> thank you for welcoming me to a community and to your homes and businesses to talk and to listen. what i remember from the
conversations, i remember being on your roster with your young sons ready to become the next generation. i remember the story you told me about the importance of having planned parenthood available. you asked me what are we going to do about social security. this race is about making sure you are represented and if there's one thing you can know it's i will fight for you, stand by you for all of these years. thank you. >> that wraps up the voice of the debate. thanks to the candidates for being willing to stand in the arena and try to serve the public and we thank the chamber of commerce and thanks to you for watching tonight. from all that was at
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