KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) -- It was the first and may be the last debate between Congressman Fred Upton and challenger Jack Hoogendyk before the August Primary.
Hoogendyk stressed his credentials as a staunchly conservative Republican who is for less government in everything except defense. Hoogendyk poked at Upton’s conservative credentials, saying he only gets a 50% rating from many organizations on the right.
Upton talked about being conservative and electable, endorsed by the Chamber, the Farm Bureau, Right to Life and the NRA, but still able to work with the Democrats. He says while he has won term after term, Hoogendyk has lost his last two and nearly lost the one before that.
They talked about energy, jobs and particularly Healthcare Reform which could become a major issue this summer depending on how the Supreme Court rules on the President’s healthcare reform plan.
Upton says parts of it should be pursued individually if the justices throw out the program as unconstitutional, and if they don’t he hope Congress will finish the job. Hoogendyk basically said healthcare should just be left to the private sector to sort out, often waving a copy of the Constitution to make his points about limited government.
Hoogendyk in his closing comment, urged Upton to hold more debates, five more in fact between now and August, but none are scheduled and Upton says given Congress’s busy schedule, they are tough to fit in.