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Mon Feb 19, 2018, 11:09 AM

Conor Lamb and Rick Saccone to debate on KDKA Monday night (2-19)

The hotly-contested race for Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District will pour out into the public Monday as Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone participate in their first debate.

It hadn't been clear if the two would debate ahead of the March 13 special election, but KDKA-TV announced Friday will host the two candidates in studio next week for a debate that will air Monday night from 7 to 8 p.m.

According to KDKA, the debate will be moderated by anchor Ken Rice, with politics editor Jon Delano and reporter Lynne Hayes-Freeland serving as panelists.

The debate will come amid a statistical tie in the race for the seat. Monmouth University released a poll this week showing Mr. Saccone with a lead over Mr. Lamb, but within the poll's margin of error.


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Reply Conor Lamb and Rick Saccone to debate on KDKA Monday night (2-19) (Original post)
PA Democrat Feb 2018 OP
DeminPennswoods Feb 2018 #1
femmocrat Feb 2018 #2
DeminPennswoods Feb 2018 #3
PA Democrat Feb 2018 #4
DeminPennswoods Feb 2018 #5

Response to PA Democrat (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 11:21 AM

1. I'm sure there'll be a question about gun control

It will be interesting how both candidates answer since they're both in the "pro-gun" camp although Lamb a little less so than Saccone.

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Response to PA Democrat (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 12:17 PM

2. Thanks for the heads-up! nt

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Response to PA Democrat (Original post)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 03:47 AM

3. Debate write up from Post-Gazette

Here's the PG story: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-nation/2018/02/19/District-18-debate-conor-Lamb-rick-Saccone-congress-pittsburgh-special-election-tim-murphy-seat/stories/201802190124

I saw a little of the last 15 minutes. I was amazed Lamb thinks $10/hr is a livable minimum wage. He cited some conversations with small businesses, but the fact is employers like Aldi's, McDonald's, Costco and others offer starting salaries at or above $10.

Saccone was doing some Gish Galloping when I first tuned in. I thought Lamb scored a good point saying that the reason the GOP wanted Saccone was he would do their bidding and vote for their agenda when Saccone tried to claim he'd buck the party.

Lamb certainly was more telegenic and earnest if that counts for anything, and sometimes it does with voters.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 07:50 AM

4. I was very disappointed that Lamb said he would not support additional gun legislation.

Polling of this area before the latest school shooting might have supported that, but I think even here the tide is turning. Saccone proved to be more odious on the topic when he offered "thoughts and prayers" for the victims.

I think Lamb scored points with his commitment to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He said the first legislation he would propose would be for 90 day in-patient treatment programs for heroin addiction, and then make sure they had health insurance for ongoing treatment.

Saccone blew off a question about the Mueller indictment and stated that it VINDICATED Trump! When a follow-up was asked about the Russian interference in our elections, Saccone completely blew it off. He said it was nothing new the Russians have been doing this for years and no one he talked to cares. I think Lamb's response was one of his best, stating it was a duty to protect free and fair elections, a cornerstone of our democracy. He went on to promote the area's pool of talent (Carnegie Mellon grads and the Pittsburgh FBI office's 'cybersquad'). Saccone had a little of a fake meltdown over this, playing the victim, saying Lamb insulted him and then touted his military record.

Saccone time and time again supported Trump and Paul Ryan 100%. He would not even criticize Trump's tweet about his nuclear button being larger than Kim Jong Un's. The quip about the only thing he disagreed with Trump was on football teams was insipid. His answer on the deficit caused by the tax cuts was a non-answer. Magic pixie dust will make the deficit disappear would have been a more cogent response.

Saccone stated he was against medical marijuana citing some bogus "research". Lamb was asked would he as a former federal prosecutor have upheld federal law and prosecuted medical marijuana users. Lamb stated he stated he was in favor of medical marijuana and that as a former prosecutor he would not have pursued prosecution under federal law against users because we have much bigger priorities.

Overall, Lamb was more poised, more serious and came across as more independent. Saccone's attempt at jokes fell flat and he offered no daylight between himself and the "agenda" of Trump and Paul Ryan. He stated numerous times that he wanted to "repeal and replace Obamacare." He said the claim about his excessive expense account usage was from a "left wing source" even though the question was posed by John Delano based upon statistics that are available to the public.

The contrast in their physical appearances was marked. Lamb is young, tall and appears physically fit. Saccone is short and looks much older than his age (he just turned 60). He looks like he has eaten a few too many big lobbyist-paid meals.

There is apparently another debate scheduled for March 3.

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Response to PA Democrat (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 09:06 AM

5. Lamb could have easily parried the gun control

question using his USMC experience. It would've been easy to say he's familiar with assault rifles, they are for killing large quantities of people in combat and that's the only purpose they have when owned by civilians, too. No one's interest, except the gun manufacturer's, is hurt if they are banned.

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