U.S. House candidates debate on ‘Switchboard’

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(Host) Incumbent Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders and his Republican opponent Bill Meub held their first face to face debate Tuesday night on Vermont Public Radio. The candidates clashed over tax policies, ways to reduce prescription drug prices, social security taxes and the recent resolution giving the President the authority to take military action against Iraq.

Sanders says it’s clear that he and Meub have very different priorities on most major issues:

(Sanders) “But here’s where our priorities are different: I do not support giving $477 billion in tax breaks to the richest 1%. I much prefer to use that money for a strong prescription drug benefit for our senior citizens. I much prefer to use that money to fund special education so that property taxes in the state of Vermont are not skyrocketing because the Federal government has reneged on the promise that it made.”

(Host) Meub accused Sanders of “trying to sell snake oil” to the voters of Vermont and Meub described Sanders as a politician who usually tries to pit one group of people against another:

(Meub) “I think you misrepresent things in an effort to drive people apart and get into your class warfare, which is not productive for getting the kind of results that we ought to have.”

(Host) Progressive candidate Jane Newton urged Sanders to take additional steps to discourage the United States from launching a war against Iraq.

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