Cravaack, Nolan reprise themes in last debate
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack and Democrat Rick Nolan reprised their disagreements on Medicare, jobs and the effectiveness of Congress in their final debate in a nationally watched House race in northeastern Minnesota.
The candidates faced each other for 90 minutes in the Iron Range city of Virginia on Wednesday, five days before Election Day.
The 8th District race has attracted attention after Cravaack unseated an 18-term Democratic incumbent in a major upset two years ago. Outside groups have spent more than $7.7 million on the race so far, fueling a torrent of negative ads.
In the debate sponsored by Debate Minnesota, Nolan accused Cravaack of trying to do away with Medicare, while the first-term incumbent said Democrats have no plan to save it. The clash over Medicare has run through the entire campaign and appeared in multiple attack ads after Cravaack voted for GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to overhaul Medicare.
On jobs, the challenger claimed that Cravaack hasn't effectively pushed forward precious metals mining, saying he is "all show and no go."
Cravaack, who has made a priority of the pending nonferrous metal mining projects, went after Nolan for saying that environmental regulations create jobs and proposing to bring a mining research institute to the Iron Range.
"We don't need more studies. We need jobs," Cravaack said.
The candidates agreed on ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and the importance of preserving the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.