Idaho politics: 1st Congressional District debate live blog

8:57 p.m. In closing arguments, Labrador calls Ward unproven, and calls himself a Reagan Republican who has a proven record of fighting, such as a fight against Otter's gas tax increase. "You and I won that fight together."
Ward says 22 percent of Congress are veterans; in the 1970s, that number was upwards of 80 percent. "We will fundamentally shift and change what's going on." Says his campaign started as a grassroots campaign that has grown in momentum.

8:53 p.m. After some pointed exchanges, lot of agreement or near-agreement all of a sudden. Labrador rules out tax increase, even to protect entitlements. Ward says the federal government should first look to reduce welfare spending.

8:51 p.m. Both candidates oppose additional wilderness, such as Rep. Mike Simpson's Boulder-White Clouds bill (now supported by entire Idaho delegation). Both suggest the federal government should let states decide how to manage federal lands.

8:48 p.m. Both candidates talk about bipartisanship while maintaining true to conservative principles.

8:46 p.m. Ward says nation must become energy self-sufficient, and cannot abandon outer Continental Shelf drilling. U.S. also must pursue nuclear.
On this front, Labrador agrees. "We could be leading the United States in that." But Labrador also says he supports drilling as a "major piece" of ensuring U.S. energy self-sufficiency.

8:43 p.m. Ward defends term limits, and says the limits on tenure should apply to staff as well -- amending the Constitution if necessary.

8:40 p.m. A sharp exchange over an Idaho immigration bill, co-sponsored by Labrador. Labrador conceded he made a mistake when he missed a hearing on the bill, which died that day in committee. Labrador said he had last-minute business in his law practice. Ward blasted Labrador for missing the vote, while putting out a press release hailing the bill. "He couldn't manage to be there to watch it get killed."

8:37 p.m. Labrador criticizes Ward for using a quote in campaign literature from Sen. Mike Crapo, says it implies endorsement. Ward said he assured Crapo's staff that the ad would not say Crapo endorsed him. "That quote was not out of context."

8:34 p.m. Ward, on the Pentagon's letter criticizing his campaign ad in which he appeared in fatigues. "I can assure you that running for Congress is not as simple as saying, 'I'm going to run for Congress.'"
Labrador: Do Idahoans want a congressman who keeps saying he's fallible, and that mistakes happen. "We want someone who knows how to read rules."

8:29 p.m. Really sharp exchange on immigration. Ward defends Arizona' immigration laws, accuses Labrador of refusing to allow states to enforce immigration law.
Labrador denies it: "There you go again, Vaughn." Accuses Ward of simply wanting to support defense contractors by building fences, and refusing to back his idea of deploying National Guard troops at the border.
Said Ward: "The rhetoric is getting pretty thick in here ... I don't know of any fencing contractors."
Labrador fires back, saying Ward has suggested to an agricultural group that he's not sure federal government needs to go after illegal aliens.

8:23 p.m. The 17th Amendment issue surfaced, with Labrador saying the issue is symptomatic of Ward's inconsistency. "It's not something that I'm campaigning on. ... (but) I will not change, even if my position is unpopular."
Ward doesn't address his change of position, but says, as he did earlier this week, that the 17th Amendment should be amended to insert term limits. Repeal would be a "long discussion."

8:17 p.m. Asked to respond to Ward's authenticity answers, Labrador didn't decline. "You should vote for the person whose actions and rhetoric match." Asks how beholden Ward would be to Fannie Mae,a problem created by Republicans and Democrats alike.

8:14 p.m. Asked about authenticity, Ward says his wife's job with Fannie Mae does not change his opposition to bank bailouts. Of his campaign missteps, he said: "There are going to be mistakes along the way. We address them." People want people who can admit to make mistakes, not blaming others, and moving on.

8:11 p.m. First really heated exchange in the debate. Labrador rips Ward for changing his stance on 17th Amendment, for waffling about McCain, and says Ward is willing to say or do anything to get elected. "There is only one politician in this race." Asked if he cared to respond, Ward said simply, "No."

8:07 p.m. Labrador downplays his battles with Gov. Butch Otter, says he will stand on principle. "I don't want to go back to Congress to make people happy." Ward downplays his reluctance to endorse Sen. John McCain, his old boss in the 2008 presidential race.: "There are many things that I disagree fundamentally with John McCain on." Examples: ANWR drilling, global warming, immigration.

8:04 p.m. From the opening remarks, some familiar anti-Congress themes. Labrador: The federal government is taxing too much, spending too much and bankrupting our future. Ward: Congress is broken. "I want to go back and fight for Idaho values."

7:55 p.m. We're about five minutes away from starting the debate. About 60 people on hand.

5:14 p.m. GOP congressional candidates Vaughn Ward and Raul Labrador will square off in a debate at the Statehouse at 8 p.m. The debate will air on Idaho Public Television. You can check here during the one-hour debate for live blogging.

Virtually sparing VW from 1 person seeing a trainwreck.

There's an auction tonight.

Go Go Gadget Labrador!

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Same old, same old

Yer black sez the pot to the kettle. Yer blacker sez the kettle to the pot. Both of them morons. Arguing about which will be the most moronic. Idaho loses again.

Is Ward a real person?

This guy is like a doll that pulls its own string and utters the same, boring drivel. He should be an actor in a war movie, not Congress.

Condolences

to the Marine Corps and the CIA for dropping their standards.

Tonight's real winner. Ya nailed it.

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"Congress and the Feds are bad, bad, bad...

so vote for me for Congress...blah, blah, blah..."

Why do those that hate government so much want to run it?

"60 People On Hand" sums it up

The real question: Why did 60 show up to watch this fight in the sand box by two intellectual cripples.

Ward responses delivered with a harsh, almost W. Bush like edge

Labrador's: Too glib.

Both: Uninspiring to anyone, with the possible exception of the Minnick campaign.

Were drinks and dinner served?

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