NC Senate candidates parry over abortion, inflation in debate | Choose

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The major party candidates to succeed Republican Sen. Richard Burr from North Carolina parried Friday night in their only expected debate on inflation, abortion and electoral integrity.

Democratic candidate Cheri Beasley and Republican US Rep. Ted Budd met at a cable TV studio in Raleigh to ask questions for nearly an hour.

This election result in North Carolina, where statewide elections are normally evenly distributed but where Democrats have not won a Senate race since 2008, could decide which party wins a majority in the current 50-50 Senate. Postal voting began last month, and early in-person voting begins October 20.

Democratic hopes this time are pinned on Beasley, a former chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court who, if elected, would become the state’s first black senator.

Budd, a gun shop and assortment owner who was first elected to Congress in 2016, relied heavily on President Donald Trump’s support and external spending to win the Republican primary in May. Trump met with Budd in North Carolina two weeks ago.

Beasley, who went on the offensive early in the debate, said Trump “represents the most extremist politics and ideology … the reality is that Congressman Budd has allied himself with someone who is genuinely extremist in this race and that reflects him .”

Budd defended Trump’s aid, citing low unemployment and low inflation during the former president’s tenure and Trump’s victories in North Carolina in 2016 and 2020 – compared to higher inflation today.

Trump “has had a lot of victories here in this state, including for our economy,” Budd said. In turn, Budd said Beasley was running before President Joe Biden and would be a stamp on his policies.

“Joe Biden is on the ballot on November 8 and goes by the name of Cheri Beasley this year,” Budd said.

Beasley didn’t directly answer the presenter’s question about whether she would perform with Biden if he agreed to promote him: “President Biden is definitely welcome… We want him to know and meet people here in the state and from people.” hears. ”

Beasley also criticized Budd for voting in the House of Representatives in early 2021 to try to delay 2020 election certification. He stuck with it, saying, “The essence of this vote … was to encourage more debate because I think debate is healthy for democracy.”

Budd also said he would accept the results of next month’s election.

Beasley said it was “outrageous” that Budd tried to compare the challenge of the 2020 presidential election to her 2020 chief justice campaign, which questioned the counting or rejection of many specific absentee ballots. Beasley ultimately lost by 401 votes out of 5.4 million ballots cast.

Beasley said she asked for “a free and fair recount and a legal recount to ensure every single vote is counted”.

Beasley also criticized Budd’s opposition to abortion, an issue brought to the fore by the U.S. Supreme Court decision knocking down Roe v. Wade.

Budd co-sponsored a recent move to ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions. He previously backed a bill that would ban abortions after heart activity has been detected, usually around six weeks after conception.

“The bottom line is that Congressman Budd wants to stand between a woman and her doctor, and there’s no room in the exam room for Congressman Budd,” she said.

When asked what his ideal abortion law would be, he replied: “My concern has always been to protect the mother’s life. I want to save as many unborn lives as possible.” Budd accused Beasley of going to extremes against abortion because he supported a federal law that would codify the previous Supreme Court standard.

While Beasley’s campaign eclipsed Budd earlier this summer, national Senate Republican groups have neutralized that advantage, having already spent over $26 million against her, according to campaign reports. The National Democrats, in turn, spent a small fraction of that sum on Beasley or against Budd. Beasley’s supporters hoped her Friday debate appearance would attract more outside help.

Beasley said Budd has repeatedly voted against the needs of North Carolina residents, including bills that would have capped insulin costs for seniors and allowed the federal government to negotiate lower Medicare drug prices.

Regarding inflation, Beasley was willing to criticize Biden, but not only. “I certainly think the President and Congress can work a lot harder to make sure prices get cut,” she said, but with Budd in Congress for six years, “part of his blame is on him.”

Budd and Beasley have tried to portray themselves as law enforcement allies. Budd has received important endorsements from groups representing soldiers, police officers and border patrol agents.

Budd declined to participate in any of the four GOP primary debates. In the Democratic primary, the field had been cleared of Beasley’s leading rivals in the final months of the campaign.

The Liberal and Green Senate candidates did not take part in Friday’s debate.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

About Katie Curtis

Check Also

Brescia’s men’s basketball looks for consistency early on | Sports

Brescia University has been looking for consistency at the start of its men’s basketball season. …