U.S. Senate candidates Jack Conway and Rand Paul shared a stage Thursday for the first time since the May primary, and each candidate accused the other of being too extreme.
The candidates met at a conference of the County Judge-Executives, Magistrates and Commissioners, a group of a lawmakers who Conway says often rely on federal spending for county projects. The Democrat criticized Paul for being too aggressive in his calls for reduced federal spending. Conway also brought up the controversial statements Paul made on cable news after the primary.
“Accountability is not going on national TV and saying it’s un-American to go after British Petroleum,” said Conway. “Accountability is not having a worldview where you think government should basically never touch business whatsoever.”
Paul, who says he is a social conservative as well as a fiscal conservative, criticized Conway for being too close to the national Democratic Party on social and economic issues. , including the so-called Cap and Trade energy legislation.
“President Obama favors it. Congressman Yarmuth favors it. Ben Chandler favors it. And Jack favors it,” said Paul. “Cap and Trade will be a disaster for our state.”
Conway responded that Paul is mischaracterizing his position.
“I oppose Cap and Trade,” he said. “I will oppose Cap and Trade as Kentucky’s next United States Senator.”
One of Paul’s chief claims was that he would work to reduce federal spending by requiring the government to operate on a balanced budget.
“If I’m elected, I will force that issue,” he said. “I will force a vote on the balanced budget amendment and I will, if necessary, filibuster to be heard on the issue.”
Afterwards, Paul said money may have to be cut from all areas of the government, including the military, for a balanced budget.
To hear the full debate, click below: