KSU hosts U.S. Republican Senate debate

By JESSICA BUSICK

Reduced government regulation and a friendly working environment are key to creating job opportunities for college graduates, Eugene Yu, a Korean businessman from Augusta, Ga., said at a Georgia Republican Party U.S. Senate debate at Kennesaw State University.

“Jobs should be waiting for them,” said Yu.

Yu was one of several candidates for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., who participated in the debate. They were asked by Dr. Kerwin Swint about high unemployment for college graduates.

Derrik Grayson expressed the urgency of creating more jobs for students.

“Opportunities for our young people are going to hell in a handcart because of the people we continue to send to Washington,” said Grayson.

The newer candidates, who have not held a position in the U.S. government like Reps. Paul Gingrey, Paul Broun and Jack Kingston, appeared to agree that they would be best suited for the Senate vacancy. They believed those who have held those positions have had ample time to create a difference.

Karen Handel, former secretary of state and runner up for governor in 2010, pointed out her record in public office and repeated the phrase “results matter.” She also stated the three congressional representatives for being part of the problem in Washington D.C.

Broun described himself as a consistent, conservative, constitutionalist Christian and advocated for his plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with the Patient Option Act, H.R. 2900. He claimed his bill would allow people to have more control over their health care by removing government from health care.

The candidates agreed “Obamacare” should be removed in order for there to be improvement in health care, though some of the candidates disagreed on what the solution would be; the decision to repeal and replace or simply repeal.

“I don’t want you to replace it; I want you out of my way,” said Grayson about replacing “Obamacare.”

On the topic of immigration,  the candidates agreed the borders should be secured, while amnesty for those already in the country is not the answer.

“Amnesty over my dead body,” Gingrey exclaimed.

When asked about foreign policy, Kingston proposed “peace through strength” while simultaneously siding with allies and not fighting wars we can’t win.

Broun and Yu agreed America should focus on America first. David Perdue, cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, believed borrowing money from other countries is not helping our economy and is hurting our status in the global market.

When the topic of tax reform was introduced,  Broun, Yu, Handel and  Kingston supported the notion of replacing the federal income tax with the fair tax.

“This will keep money in your pocket,” claimed Broun.

Gingrey argued that there should be a lower tax rate for everyone, while Gardner argued the lack of transparency should be fixed within the tax code.

The debate ended with closing statement each candidate.

Yu took to the crowd to address them more personally. Kingston and Gingrey spoke about their Georgia values while Broun pointed out his conservative record in congress.

Handle and Grayson reiterated none of the current representatives deserved a promotion. Perdue claimed his business experience made him the best man for the job.

Gardner took this opportunity to break from the party platform to speak in support of gay marriage, saying “gays are American first.”

The Feb. 1 debate at KSU was the first of  five  senatorial debates sponsored by the Georgia GOP before the primary election on May 20, 2014.

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