He’s one of the nation’s most powerful congressman, hangs out with the Koch brothers, won’t say whether he believes in global warming, and wants to expand coal mining and oil drilling.
She’s a retired school teacher, supports more solar and wind power, and said one of the main reasons she’s running is to prevent global warming.
He grilled then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the Benghazi embassy killings and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards over disproven allegations that Planned Parenthood was profiting from sales of fetal tissue.
She wants Clinton to be president and supports Planned Parenthood.
He has about about $1.2 million in campaign money on hand. She has $30,000.
The 4th U.S. Congressional District, which represents our readers in Amherst and Oberlin, offers sharp contrasts between incumbent Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) and challenger Janet Garrett (D-Oberlin). They were on display Oct. 13 during the candidates’ only debate, held at Monroeville High School.
While saying Donald Trump was “disgusting” for bragging about groping women, Jordan said Trump won the Republican primary “fair and square” and said people should vote for him. Jordan said Trump was superior to Clinton, whom he said initially lied about the motives for the Benghazi attack. “Anyone who did that should not be commander-in-chief,” he said.
Garrett said Trump had an “abominable” attitude about woman and Jordan’s record wasn’t much better. Jordan opposes any federal taxpayer money for abortions, including for incest and rape victims.
He sponsored a “personhood” bill in 2013. It would’ve given fertilized eggs and embryos human rights, making all abortions illegal. “Life is sacred and should be protected,” Jordan said, adding that he hopes the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
Trump, who reversed his abortion position and now opposes it, has praised Planned Parenthood, but wants to defund it because about three percent of its services are for abortion (this number is disputed, however).
“He is supporting Donald Trump because they are cut from the same cloth,” Garrett said. “This is an issue of controlling women’s bodies. And if you have control over your own body, you have control over your own fate.”
The two also clashed about Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act. About 20 million Americans have health insurance because of Obamacare, including nearly 244,000 Ohioans, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
However Jordan wants to repeal it. He noted health care premiums have increased and some plans to don’t allow patients to keep the doctor they want.
“Everything we were told about it turned out to be a lie,” he said. “It has to be scrapped. We’ve got to go to a model that empowers people and doctors.”
Jordan also said Obamacare has hurt businesses, but Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers tell a different story. About 107,000 private sector jobs were being created per month when Obamacare became a law in January 2010. In September, about 122,000 jobs were created.
While premiums are up, overall health care costs grew just 1.3 percent in 2015, according to Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed health journal. Average annual growth was 3.6 percent from 2000 to 2010.
Garrett praised Obamacare for reducing the number of uninsured Americans from about 16 percent when the law took effect to about 8.6 percent now. However, Garrett conceded Obamacare needs improvements. She supports the “public option,” a Medicare-for-all plan.
Regarding foreign policy and terrorism, Jordan said he voted for “the surge” in Iraq in 2007. The increase in American soldiers reduced violence, but failed to bring reconciliation between the U.S.-backed Shia government and the minority Sunni population. Al Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are Sunni and gained thousands of supporters due to the war, which Garrett opposed.
ISIS also gained support after the Obama administration’s disastrous decision in 2011 to bomb Libya and overthrow dictator Moammar Gadhafi, which Clinton strongly backed. While Jordan supported escalating the Iraq War and said ousting dictator Saddam Hussein was good idea, he criticized the Libyan policy.
“It’s now the second-largest safe haven for ISIS,” he said. “This was supposed to be their shining example of how foreign policy works.”
Garrett said war should only be a last resort and she favors diplomacy and working with allies whenever possible. “We, as a human race, have gotten to the point where we cannot afford to have wars any more,” she said.
Garrett praised the Iran nuclear deal in which Iranian sanctions were dropped in exchange for the country reducing its uranium stockpile by 98 percent for 15 years. Jordan condemned the deal as naive.
“How in the world does that make our world safer?” he said. “You have to show strength if you want a more peaceful planet.”
The two also clashed on guns, gay rights, marijuana, taxes, and high college costs. Garrett supports national background checks to keep criminals from getting guns and an assault rifle ban. Jordan opposes both.
Garrett supports gay marriage, marijuana legalization, and free tuition for public colleges and universities. Jordan opposes them.
Garrett wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest one percent of Americans. Jordan supports a “flat tax” in which all taxpayers would pay the same percentage of tax regardless of income.
In closing remarks, Garrett ripped Jordan for chairing the House “Freedom Caucus,” a group of about 40 ultraconservative congressmen instrumental in the 2013 government shutdown and former Ohio Rep. John Boehner’s ouster as House speaker last year . She said the group creates gridlock to benefit their anti-government agenda.
“When we have gridlock, nothing is happening,” said Garrett, who Jordan trounced by a 67-to-33-percent margin in the 2014 election. “We need new leadership.”
But Jordan said he’s fighting for freedom. “I’ll stand up and fight the folks in Washington to help you and your family go after the goals and dreams that have meaning and significance to you,” he said.
Evan Goodenow can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @GoodenowNews on Twitter.
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