Relying on old media a bit this AM. Sounds like, in sharp contrast to Loebsack-Leach, Culver-Nussle got nasty. Or rather, reading between the Register's lines, Nussle got nasty:
The two broke little new ground as issues took a back seat to credentials.
The questions were from Quad-City Times readers and editorial board and focused on hot-button issues such as gay marriage, immigration, abortion and stem cell research.
Nussle's call for eliminating the secretary of state's office was new, although the issue has been part of the Iowa Republican Party's platform for several years.
Guess that's why they're running an invisible candidate for the office.
Nussle accused Culver of a 'leadership experience gap' during Monday's debate, while Culver retorted that Nussle's role in Congress is a warning sign for what he would do as governor.
'This race really boils down to one question: Would you be better off running things in Iowa the way U.S. Rep. Nussle and President Bush run things in Washington D.C.?' Culver said. 'I'm proud of my experience of more than 20 years in Iowa.'
Gazette pulls the same quote and adds:
Culver noted that previous Iowa governors, like Robert Ray and Harold Hughes, entered the post with far less or no similar government experience and did exemplary work. He also said he would gladly put his experience and record up against Nussle's 16-year legacy in Congress that saw a record surplus become a record deficit under GOP leadership.
The host paper the QCTimes picked up on a point that Gordon Fisher thought was critical:
At one point, Culver passed up what he called the chance to level a “personal attack” and asked Nussle to tell voters “something they might not know about you.”
There was a rumble, then laughter, in the audience, and Nussle replied: “I think at this critical juncture in Iowa’s history and certainly meeting the challenges of the future, I think you could probably think of a more profound question than that.”
Not a "you're no Jack Kennedy" moment, but certainly a George Bush Sr. checking his watch moment. Reading between the lines, it looks like Nussle took the harsh, aggressive, running behind stance.
As for the other debate, here's the host Gazette:
Leach said bringing troops home from Iraq would enable the United states to devote more attention to other world trouble spots such as Iran and North Korea. Doing so would also enable the nation to address foreign policy with restraint and deal with domestic issues like health care.
Loebsack said he rejects allowing health care to be ”held hostage'' while the federal government tries to resolve the situation in Iraq.
'A fence is not the answer to our border problem,' because it will be expensive but likely ineffective, Loebsack said. 'We need to beef up the traditional border control,' he said, as well as crack down on employers who use undocumented workers with stiffer penalties.
'I'm not comfortable with fences, but I see no alternative,' Leach said.
Jim Leach: the kinder, gentler Steve King.