Sen. Tammy Baldwin and challenger Leah Vukmir face off in second debate this week
WAUSAU, Wis. — U.S. Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin faced Republican Leah Vukmir in a televised debate Saturday night.
The two were asked about a variety of issues, including abortion, immigration, the Trump administration and the legalization of marijuana.
Baldwin said she would support changing marijuana from a schedule one to a schedule two drug on a federal level. This would allow the drug to be researched for medical purposes.
“When something is deemed to have no medical value then there’s no publicly funded research, so we don’t know the facts,” said Baldwin.
Vukmir said it was concerning that Baldwin would support the legalization, calling marijuana highly addictive and suggesting it would worsen the opioid crisis. She said there are “no medical indications for its use.”
Health care was also a big topic of debate. Baldwin supports strengthening the Affordable Care Act while Vukmir stating she backs a free-market health care.
“Imagine if you don’t have private insurance and you’re that person who has a rare lung disease you’re not able to see your special doctor. That’s what Senator Baldwin wants us to do,” said Vukmir.
Baldwin said she was sick as a child and labeled with having a pre-existing condition. She wants to make sure everyone has access to affordable, quality health care regardless of pre-existing conditions.
Another issue on which they disagreed was the need for an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“You didn’t even have the decency, Sen. Baldwin, to even meet with Judge Kavanaugh. You had your mind made up. Where is the due process in that?” asked Vukmir.
Baldwin said she decided she would not cast a vote for Kavanaugh after looking into his early record. After hearing the accusations directly from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, she felt an FBI investigation was necessary.
“I found her credible and compelling and I believe her and I want all young men and women to be able to speak their truth,” said Baldwin.
She also said she attempted to schedule a meeting with Kavanaugh before the Senate vote.
One of the final topics was about the overprescription of opioids at the Tomah VA that resulted in the death of Jason Simcakoski in 2014.
Baldwin’s office took no action after learning about what was happening at the VA. At the debate, she said she worked along Simcakoski’s family to create legislation to prevent this from happening again.
“Mom and dad, widow and child said ‘We want to turn our tragedy into hope for other veterans,'” said Baldwin.
Simcakoski’s family supports Baldwin’s campaign. A moderator said the family has called Vukmir’s ad about Jason shameful.
When asked why she is still running the television ad, Vukmir said “It was more than Jason Simcakoski who was affected, countless veterans have been affected and are still affected today.”
You can watch the full debate below:
#WATCH: U.S. Senate debate between Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and republican senate candidate Leah Vukmir.
Posted by WISC-TV / Channel 3000 on Saturday, October 13, 2018
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