Editor’s note: On Oct. 2, U.S. Senate candidates Paul Sadler (D) and Ted Cruz (R) had their first televised debate. After arguing about how many more debates the pair would have before the Nov. election, Cruz and Sadler discussed economic philosophy, the national budget and health care. No mention was made of Texas college students. The best quotes follow, and more are available at dailytexanonline.com
On economic philosophy:
C: I do think part of the philosophy of President Obama and this administration is trying to get as many Americans as possible dependent on government so that the Democrats can stay in power in perpetuity.
C: Most Americans don’t want to stay dependent on the government. They want to work for the American dream they want to work to provide for themselves and their families and I think that’s why the Obama administration’s objective of essentially using bread and circuses to make as many people as possible dependent on government to keep voting Democrat is not succeeding, because Americans want to stand on their own two feet.
S: That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. You’re seriously accusing the president of using a government program to manipulate people to not get a job to be dependent on the government for services. Are you really accusing the president of the United States of that? That’s just crazy, Ted.
C: What Texans are looking for — what is inherent, I think, in the ethos of Texans is we’re not looking for a handout. We’re looking for the opportunity to stand on our own two feet, to be entrepreneurs.
On balancing the national budget:
S: We actually doubled our national debt under George W. Bush — when you were working for him, I believe. Whenever we had a war in Iraq and Afghanistan under the Bush tax cuts we doubled our national debt under George W. Bush. We continued adding to it under the Obama years, but we had to continue and deal with the Iraq War and the Bush tax cuts that were never paid for.
S: Where we’re going to have to look at all of those tax cuts and a lot of our national debt, we have, to one, balance our budget, we have to cut spending where we can, we’re going to hope our economy continues to grow but we’re going to have to look at additional revenue sources to retire our national debt which is at $16 trillion. … At the appropriate time we have to look and analyze at every one of those Bush tax cuts and figure out one, how does it impact the economy? Number two, will it generate revenue we can dedicate to pay down our national debt.
C: I actually will commend Mr. Sadler — he’s running a campaign with a great deal of courage because he’s running an unapologetically liberal campaign. He’s running in support of raising taxes and he’s running in support of a host of liberal views, and I commend him for his candor in that. I don’t think those are the values of most Texans, so I’m curious, Mr. Sadler, which Texans would you raise taxes on and which would you not raise taxes on?
C: I do not believe we should raise taxes. I do not believe the problem is that Americans aren’t being taxed enough.
On foreign policy:
S: You don’t cut off foreign aid, particularly in a country where they’ve got a fledgling government being formed … it’s time for us to stop a hold on that aid because it’s in our best interest to stay involved. If we don’t stay involved in those governments then Russia and china and other countries in the world will be and so I don’t think you cut off the aid.
C: This is another area of clear disagreement. I don’t think we should be funding those who are behaving contrary to our interests. I think the only justification for continuing that aid or any portion of that aid is if it protects the vital national security interests of the United States so I think we should be using the aid as extensive leverage to protect our national security interests. I don’t think we should just be writing a blank check.
On Obama’s refusal to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
S: I think the president … you just slandered our president and you don’t even know what his schedule is.
On health care reform:
C: “I think Obamacare was rammed through in a brazen display of arrogance. It was clear that it was contrary to the strong views of the majority of the American people, and it is the only major piece of social legislation in modern times to have been passed on a strictly partisan vote only by Democrats.”
C: “I think health care reform should follow a couple principles. Number one: it should expand competition, expand the use of the marketplace. Number two: it should empower patients and consumers and disempower government bureaucrats.”
S: “You’re going to give all [Obamacare’s] benefits away so that you can make political points against the president, and that’s not good for Texas and it’s not good for the United States. Worse, it shows a real fundamental lack of understanding of the process.”
On illegal immigration:
S: “Our border is a great economic engine for our state. It is a great, diverse cultural region, and we simply cannot stick our head in the sand any longer. We need to secure our border — that’s our sovereign right, and we should do that, and we have the ability to do that.”
S: “We should have already passed the DREAM Act for these children in this state who through no fault of their own are here, but have no country. All they want is the American dream. Ted likes to talk about liberty, but he only wants liberty for people he agrees with.”
C: “Mr. Sadler supports amnesty for those here illegally; I do not.”
C: My approach to immigration is that it should be a staged approach. I think the first priority is we’ve got to get serious about securing our border and stopping illegal immigration. And sadly, I don’t think either party has been serious about immigration. I think we need to remain a nation that doesn’t just welcome, that celebrates, legal immigrants.”
On gun control:
S: “Do you even own a gun, Ted? Do you hunt?”
C: “I want to know, is it true or false that as a state legislator, you voted against our concealed carry law in the state of Texas?”
S: “I voted against the concealed weapons law because I didn’t want my 95-year-old step-grandmother, who carries a pistol, to be a felon.”
On their friendship:
C: “I’m sorry, Mr. Sadler, that you think I’m a troll.”