Video: Kevin Cramer And Pam Gulleson Debate
Below is the video of the debate between House candidates Kevin Cramer and Pam Gulleson. It was, frankly, not a great showing for Gulleson who recently got hung out to dry by national Democrats expressing a tacit vote of no confidence in her candidacy.
Gulleson really didn’t seem to be engaged in this debate. At one point, after Cramer had given his response to a health care question, Gulleson seems to have lost track of where she was in the debate, instead of giving a rebuttal to Cramer’s answer, asked for the question to be read again and then answered the question a second time.
The Democrat clearly had several gambits planned out in advance to try and knock Cramer (who is very, very good at debates) off his game. She brought up her oft-repeated accusations of ethical impropriety by Cramer in accepting contributions from interests regulated by the Public Service Commission which he currently serves on. Cramer was unapologetic, asking Gulleson why people – be they teachers contributing to the Superintendent candidate or farmers contributing to the Ag Commissioner candidate – who are regulated shouldn’t have a say in who regulates them.
The response from Gulleson was to just keep repeating the accusations. Not very convincing.
Gulleson also tried to hit Cramer on his opposition to continuing wind power subsidies. News broke this week that LM Wind Power in Grand Forks is laying off workers because of the lack of an extension of the production tax credit (subsidy) for wind power. Gulleson tried to paint Cramer into a corner, casting him as uncaring about the plight of these workers, but Cramer was not only unapologetic he challenged Gulleson to back up her claims that wind power is going to make us less dependent on foreign energy.
Needless to say, Gulleson didn’t have a good answer.
One of the most troubling questions/answers in the whole debate was when Gulleson talked of lowering health care costs by changing people’s lifestyles. Given how troubling the government’s micomanagement of food, from school lunch programs to ban on certain soda sizes, has become hearing Gulleson talk about this was chilling.
Should we all be healthier? Of course. Is it the government’s job to make us eat our peas, so to say? Apparently Pam Gulleson thinks so.
Overall the debate really showed the contrasts between Gulleson and Cramer. Gulleson comes off as stodgy, probably because she has to be so careful about being honest about her positions on the issues which are way to the left of the North Dakota electorate. Cramer, on the other hand, comes off as about as authentic a candidate as I’ve ever watched.