Here’s what you missed during Walker and Evers’ first gubernatorial debate

Here’s what you missed during Walker and Evers’ first gubernatorial debate

With less than three weeks until the November election, Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democrat Tony Evers battled it out Friday evening in their first gubernatorial debate.

The debate, which lasted an hour and was hosted by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, covered a wide range of top issues that have emerged during the race.

Questions of credibility

But the panelists kicked off the debate with individual questions of credibility aimed at each candidate. On Thursday, a fourth former Cabinet secretary in Walker’s administration publicly criticized the current governor and said he would support Evers.

Walker responded to this during the debate, saying, “I’m not afraid to have people with diverse opinions in my cabinet.”Here’s what you missed during Walker and Evers’ first gubernatorial debate

The panelists’ question about Evers’ credibility centered over allegations Walker made that were made public Friday morning that Evers plagiarized material that was part of the state budget request submitted by the Department of Public Instruction, which Evers runs.

“If this is the best Walker has, he doesn’t have much,” Evers responded during the debate. “It was a mistake, and they fixed it.”

Health care

One of the key issues that has emerged during the governor’s race is over health care and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Currently, people with pre-existing conditions are covered under the federal Affordable Care Act. But Walker is a long-time opponent of the ACA, while Evers has said he supports it.

The panelists asked the two candidates about their views on a lawsuit that would repeal the ACA. Evers asked Walker why Wisconsin is still part of the lawsuit.

“Scott Walker is talking on both sides of his mouth. He wants to save pre-existing conditions, but he’s in federal court to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which will get rid of those protections,” Evers said.

“When we talk about covering pre-existing conditions, for our families, it’s very personal. In Wisconsin, everyone living with pre-existing conditions is covered right now, and as long as I’m governor, it will always be covered in the state of Wisconsin. The difference between Tony and I is about Obamacare — Obamacare, which is failing,” Walker said.

Both Evers and Rebecca Kleefisch, the current lieutenant governor and Walker’s running mate, are cancer survivors.


National reports have ranked Wisconsin as having some of the worst roads in the country.

Evers and fellow Democrats have nicknamed potholes “Scott-holes,” including during a livestreamed drive Evers and running mate Mandela Barnes took earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Walker has criticized Evers’ plans to fix the roads. The state superintendent has said he would be open to raising the gas tax but has not said by how much.

“Tony said the day after the primary right here in Madison, ‘everything’s on the table.’ He was asked, ‘does that include a dollar per gallon gas tax increase?’ He said, ‘Everything’s on the table,” Walker said.
Evers responded to this, saying, “A dollar a gallon is ridiculous. It’s never going to happen, but let’s go back to what doesn’t work — Scott Walker’s policies. Scott Walker has drawn a line in the sand around transportation, and as a result, our roads are crumbling.”

Education and taxes

Both Evers and Walker have promised to fund schools in Wisconsin two-thirds of their total costs. The panelists asked them Friday how they plan to do that without raising property taxes.

Walker pointed to his record as governor, adding that it’s not what he’s doing but what he’s already done.

“In the last budget, we gave the largest actual dollar investment in the K-12 education in the history of the state. As I mentioned, Tony himself called it a ‘pro-kid’ budget. We did it while still lowering the property tax burden on the hard-working people of this state,” Walker said.

Evers, taking the opportunity to jab the governor for the allegations Walker made Friday, accused Walker of taking credit for and “plagiarizing” the budget Evers wrote under the state education department he heads. Evers also explained his plans to fund schools.

“What I’m proposing is this — a $1.4 billion increase that includes money for students with disabilities of $600 million increase,” Evers said.

Watch the full debate below:

Watch #LIVE: Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers have their first debate


Posted by WISC-TV / Channel 3000 on Friday, October 19, 2018

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