tv Campaign 2022 Pennsylvania Democratic U.S. Senate Debate CSPAN April 28, 2022 12:46am-2:19am EDT
good evening and welcome to pennsylvania in the spotlight democratic candidate for u.s. senate debate. i am of the host of smart talk the daily program on public radio in harrisburg. tonight's debate is sponsored by spark light in partnership with the philadelphia inquirer in philadelphia of course, pen live in harrisburg, w ietf in harrisburg and pennsylvania cable network. the event is hosted by dickinson college and here at the anita auditorium. a special thank you to the other partners with the news media association and the pennsylvania women's forum.or before we get to the rules and introduce the candidates tonight, i'd like to introduce you to president of the
dickinson college student senate. [applause] good evening and welcome to dickinson college including those watching on pcn. as president of the student senate it isle my privilege to welcome you to the debate among candidates for senate. here we hold fast to the ideals fromrd nearly 240 years ago. informed citizenry is essential to the health of a democracy. thats it's happy to host this important debate. it's our hope this debate will encouragenc the kind of interest among voters that will allow for both engagement and turnout in the upcoming primary election. i wish all the candidates good luck. >> i would now like to introduce the executive director and editor-in-chief of spotlight our
organizing sponsor good evening. i'm christopher baxter the executive director and editor-in-chief of spotlight. welcome to the second spotlight 2022 primary debate. tonight's event is a historic milestonefo for our state. for the first time in pennsylvania's modern history an unprecedented coalition of the state's largest media outlets have joined forces to ensure voters as many as possible can hearr directly from those who seek to represent them. collectively tonight's host reaches many in all corners of the state and each are deeply committed to public service journalism. for those of you who are not familiar with spotlight pa, we are an independent nonpartisan newsroom dedicated to investigative and public service journalism about the pennsylvania state government and urgent statewide issues.ou our mission is to hold powerful
public and private forces to account through urgent and compelling reporting that empowers voters and drives positive change p for the statee all call home. all of our journalism is available to the public at l no cost, and that's made possible thanks too people like you. today more than 3,000 folks all across the state call themselves members and support our work. i want to thank all of the members across the state for their deep commitment to local news in pennsylvania. and if you don't yet support our journalism, you can learn more about the spotlight pa by visiting spotlight pa.org. again, spotlight pa.org. i want to thank our host again for tonight's event, dickinson college and all of our host partners and with that i will turn it back to get things underway. >> we are starting to meet the candidates now. these are the democratic
candidates from pennsylvania that are participating in tonight spotlight pa debate. you may applaud as each candidate is introduced. goingna left to right, lieutenat governor. [applause] state representative malcolm kenyatta. [applause] town councilwoman alexandria khalil. and congressman connor lamb. >> i'm going to take a seat as we go over the rules. okay. i mentioned applauding as we were introducing the candidates but one of the rules we have throughout t the 90 minutes of e debate is that you hold your applause were cheering or
reacting until the end of the debate. candidates are allotted 62nd opening statements and a 32nd closing statement. most of the debate is divided into topics each beginning with a question posed to a specific candidate followed by each of the other candidates answering the same question. both of the moderator and questioners are permitted to ask follow-up questions. candidates must wait to be asked a question by the moderator or a question or to be called on during open discussion before speaking. we will alternate which candidates answer in what order. candidates cannot interrupt or speak over other candidates were the moderator or questioners. candidates who are directly criticized during open discussion are allotted 30 seconds to respond, but only after the moderator calls on them. now let me introduce you to the journalist tonight. the candidates will be questioned by three journalists,
julia of the philadelphia inquirer, paul reed ward of trip live and ev of pen live. notice we have three women journalists asking questions tonight. so, we will start by having the candidates make their opening statements and we will go left, to right before we start asking the questions. lieutenant governor john fetterman, 60on seconds with an opening statement. >> hi, everybody. i'm lieutenant governor john fetterman running for the united states senatete here in our beautiful commonwealth and i would like to point out that running for the u.s. senate here is a statewide affair and i'm the only candidate on the democratic or republican side that has run and one in pennsylvania. i'm running a campaign based on the democratic values and
principles things like making sure minimum wage is something you can actually live on with dignity and security, that holding up universal voting rights protections is critical to maintaining our democracy and making sure we push back. that women's reproductive freedom is nonnegotiable and is a sacredac right and finally tht theof union way of life and promoting union values is absolutely critical not only to the middle class but to the country as a whole as well. if you trust me with your vote in may you will always have my vote in washington, d.c. we are running a true grassroots campaign and every one of the 67 counties. >> representative kenyatta. >> i'm excited to be here. i think most pennsylvanians will agree with me that the senate is broken and it turns out if you want to change the senate, you've got to change the
senators. and in this moment we need more than just another politician asking for your vote. we need somebody that understands your life. i grew up in a working poor family in north philadelphia. my dad was a social worker and my mom was a home healthcare aid. they separated when i was pretty young. so what that meant for me as i went to six different places by the time i graduated high school. i got my first job at the age of 12 washing dishes at the vegan soul food restaurant and watched my mom worked 12, 16 hours a day come home after making sure the folks she served government is in on time only to have to ration insulin. if we are going to win this race we are going to need a candidate that can go anywhere and everywhere to speak with a level of urgency and authenticity about what's broken and i look forward to being that candidate. thank you. >> councilwoman khalil. >> good evening. it is a great honor to be here.
my name is alexandria khalil. please call me alex. i'm the daughter of palestinian emigrants from a beautiful village in palestine. i'm a counselor, mom of a dyslexic son, activist, lawyer, worker, it worker and i can tell you the reason i'm running is i'm one of you. every day i get up and go to work. i've held a business. i've gone toe businesses that e no longer here. they are bankrupt, they aree gone. the jobs have been sent abroad. one of the greatest things that happened to mepp since i started this race is i got to know pennsylvania. i got to know that you are an amazing state and every day is a special moment when i am in your company. and i want to tell you that between philadelphia and pittsburgh is a society and country and state that is rich,
generous and kind. i hope you will consider me in the primary. thank you very much. >> congressman lam. thank you for watching. the debates can breathe a little bit ofat life into our democracy and i think we very badly needed. people all over the state can afford less and less on the same paycheck and in the same social security check in the future of our democracy may depend on our answers to the struggles they are going through right now. if i'm your nominee i will run a campaign that is focused on how to make your social security check bigger beyond what medicare can take away. i will talk about how this specific job, my vote in the senate can actually make the price of your drugs go down, make your out-of-pocket costs go down, your student loan debt go down, child care costs go down to 7% of what you earn every month. weat wouldn't be nominating a twitter account. i've got results on every single one of those items mentioned in
the house of representatives and i'm looking too accomplish the same results in the senate. that's why democrats and swing voters voted for me three times and they will do it again if you give me the chance. thank you. >> we will get into the questioning now and again the candidates have 60co seconds to respond.th there could be some follow-ups as we go along. representative, we are going to start with you and julia will ask a the first question. >> hello everyone. even some democratic economists have said the biden administration policies have contributed to rising inflation. do you agree and what specific policies would you support in the senate to combat inflation? >> thank you so much for that question. folks at home have heard this over and over again. whenever we invest in working people and actual people, you hear about how it's unaffordable, how it doesn't make sense. you didn't hear that when it was
time too bail out the big banks or when it's time to give gianother tax break to somebody that is well-off and well-connected but when we do things like the child tax credit that lifted millions of kids out of deep poverty, you hear from people who were flying with the status quo. but here is the reality. i want to hear from these economists what they think we ought not invest in. do they think we shouldn't do otanything about the cost of childcare? should we ignore the fact people are payingin more of the pump ad do nothing about that? i'm not sure what investments they think we made in the american rescue plan that didn't make sense. we want to lower cost and have to build more things here at home. we havewe to make sure we are increasing people's paychecks and that's what i'm going to do at the senate. >> the question though was did that investment contribute to
inflation. >> i don't think that's true. you are seeing inflation all across the world and every country didn't make the same investments we made in the rescue plan. the things we want to do you take a look at the american innovation and competition act that is something that would help us build more things at home and deal with supply chain issues i that have led to rising costs. obviously the pandemic has led to rising costs as well but what i've been talking about is how to lower the costs people have. prescription drugs, childcare, healthcare. these are things that can help people into their pocketbooks. >> excellent client and i want out what you haven't asked is about price gouging. this weekend i met a gentleman who was an independent and he said to me biden loves -- biden
lost me. there is price gouging going on. why isn't he doing something about it. that's why we have inflation. we have price gouging going onin and no one is calling out to the enormous bonuses that ceos are getting. of the enormous profitability. i want to make it clear to everyone no company has gone bankrupt during the so-called inflation. on the contrary we have record profits and record ceo pay so who is paying the american peoplele are paying be decisive, go after the price cultures. >> i said time but i will follow-up anyway. what evidence do you have that there's price gouging? >> when you have more profits, we are more profitable now, the companies are more profitable now ande a ceo pay is higher now
than it was before the pandemic. before even wages breath like seven dollars an hour or ten dollars an hour, inflation the profits were higher. that iss price gouging. >> same question. sixty seconds. you think the biden administration spent too much, did it contribute, how do you get it under control if you were in the senate. >> my goal will be to answer you the first time on this one. i voted for the cares act covid relieve money into the americane rescue plan that infused a lot of money into the american economy at the time that we very seriously needed it.ed there is a debate right now academic types about whether it is driven by supply manning the pandemic and of the war, two things that are no one's fault in this room or our government or driven by all the extra money that came in as a result of the pandemic. it's a valid debate. therear are strong points on boh sides. what i would come back to you the ways in january 2021 when
joe biden got sworn and, nobody knew what turns were left for howde many people would be thron out of work and not get their unemployment benefits on time, how many people would be evicted if they didn't get that last stimulus check to see them through the last several months so i askpu republicans what woud you have done. we know they would have taken the money away from the people he needed the most about what the voters are asking is whathe are you doing next and that is what we have to talk about the costs and the fact we are trying to raise taxes to shrink with a deficit which is anti-inflationary. >> lieutenant governor, remember we have 60 seconds. >> i'm going to say no i don't believe it is. and if so, i believe that i'm always going to come down on the side of investments in the middle class and families and that is what the american rescue plan was predicated on is making these critical investments whether it's childcare, infrastructure or other things to make suree people were being properly supported during the
pandemic. remember this. inflation is a tax on working families and the biden administration understands this and is taking all of the appropriate steps to continue to attack it. one of the most important things we can do is drive down the cost of fuel prices. people noticed that when they fill up their vehicles, suspending the gas tax and making sure that we produce more energyf of our own here in the united states and also we are developing a sense of inflation becausee of the logistical logjm because we are not making enough stuff here in this country. we must create more manufacturing to straighten out the logistical and supply chain issues that have helped contribute to this inflation logjam. >> the next question goes to councilwoman khalil. >> president biden said in his state of the union address that the answer to rising violent crime isn't to defend police but to fund bullies.
what specific policies would you support in s the senate to fight crime and gun violence? >> i do not support defunding the police. i want to be clear about that. i support the renewal of the economic, spiritual and mental health of the community. we need to do that. so first of all, we need to bring back jobs. all my colleagues have talked about, so we have to start there. we have to bring back and invest in mental health care. and we have to invest in our schools and education. we need to have pennsylvanians especially those committingal ts crime to have faith and hope again in our society and crackdown on crime. but we also need to remember we can fight crime and work on criminal justice. so i think we can sit back and properly fund the police and make sure they are paid well into their pensions are paid and make sure the schools are
properly funded and that the job trainings, the community centers are open that we can invest in the communities and by doing that, we can sit back and fight crime. >> do you support a federal assault weapons ban and if so, how would that be enforced? >> i do not support assault weapons.we and i do support a ban. however i do not want to take away those who already own their weapons. i would likeba to do a buyback f possible. but if you own your weapon legally i am not worth taking away people's arms. i don't want us to go out and sell more, but if you bought it legally i would like to see locks on guns. i would like to see safes on guns and proper education in terms of guns. but that is in the issue. you talk about a assault weapon [inaudible]e >> let me follow up on that because we will talk a little bit later about the number of
gun owners in the state. one of the things a gun owner someone who is familiar with guns will say what is an assault weapon. in your mind what is an assault weapon? >> military style weapons. that's what i think about assault weapons. but we do have a second amendment rights to own a gun and to me it is not owning, to me we are not really focusing on the illegal sale of guns, gun trafficking. those are the things we really need to be focused on. how is a 14-year-old getting a gun. that is what we needo to ask ourselves. what is theth situation in which literally in my mind a 14-year-old, 15-year-old, almost committing suicide this way. >> congressman. >> the president was right when he said that as far as and i would just like to i feel almost an obligation to say at this moment the onlyly people i ever voted against funding for the police since i've been in washington was the republican party when they voted against
the american rescue plan that had $350 billion in it for local governments which in my home county of allegheny went to the police. there was overtime money in a police salary. but as far as what we need to do about violent crime right now, there's a shift that has to take place where we focus more on firearmsaf trafficking i use to prosecute these cases for a living. we are pretty good at them and we don't do- much. we still do far more nonviolent drug prosecutions and investigations than we do a serious effort to interdict these illegal sales transfers of firearms. i would want to get on the judiciary committee help increase the budget for the atf into the training and resources available to take this on.
>> i fought to increase the wages and to shore up the benefits and increase budgetsnt consistently every year. furthermore, i am incredibly proud of the work that we achieved working together. we have a community that had a significant gun violence problen and the thing i'm most proud of as the mayor was to achieve stopping all homicide for the period five and a half years. it's never been accomplished before or since and we did it by creating an effective model that understands we need to make investments in the community but weve also need to make investmes in the police force and make sure that we are practicing the best kind of community policing to get their buy-in and i am proud to say to be reelected for four terms of a community 75% black and originally had a deep suspicion of the police department to go five and a half years without the loss off life through a very effective strategy of adding resources to the community but effective policing strategies as well.
>> let me ask you for context to sake before that five and a half year period how many homicides were there on average each year? >> pretty regularly. for context it's a smaller community init the valley about 75% black and was essentially written off as like a hopeless place. i came there to cheech classes to students and ended up getting into my running for public office because two of my students d were gunned down so t was common to hear a lot of gunshots and have these kind of murderers and that is what gun violence brought me into my career. >> how many on average homicides? >> a couple every year. >> representative kenyatta. >> i sort of reject this notion particularly as a black man in the country that the only two options i have is to have no police or to have bullies that t are not held accountable when theyey do something they should
not do specifically as we have seen tragicnc instances of polie violence so what i want is to see us making investments in things that actually make communities safe. police officers are a part of that but i talk about all the time america's basic bargain if you have one good job with your kids can go to a good school that you have healthcare and affordable prescription drugs you can retire with a level of dignity. communities that have the things i laid out briefly, those are safer communities. and so, if we want to savor communities we need to invest and make sure people have good jobs, stable housing. those are things that deal with the root cause of crime. we also need to pass many common sense gun safety measures including a number of which i voted for and introduced as a state legislator. >> let me follow up on that. what you just laid out about jobs, education, investing in the community we've known that
for a long time or at least most people have known that for awe long time. we are in an emergency right now. philadelphia is setting records for the number of homicides. in allegheny county there was a horrific instance just a couple of weeks ago. what can you do in the senate -- what should the senate president, anyone, what should we be doing right now? >> you are right we've known what to do for a long time. that's the problem with washington, d.c. we are not at a lack of good ideas but actual political leadership. but i think it's interesting what you heard of the lieutenant governor say. he talked about the community policing model thatif apparently if he's not the mayor that model doesn't work so when he says you've never seen it since he left, i want to understand what you were doing that wasn't a policy proposal that lasted beyond your timed in office and it's also important for people to know the woman that replaced you as mayor endorsed me. >> since he mentioned you in
particular, lieutenant governor. >> you made a good point. what i would do is first of all we need to eliminate the filibuster in the senate. if you want comprehensive gun reform legislation, gun control legislation the senate you have to eliminate the filibusterfi otherwise you're waiting on ten republicans to vote to make sure we don't have weapons of war, that we have red flag laws, so that's first and foremost to do that as a country. then we created the largest summer youth employment program we open to playgrounds and created basketball courts so we had a balanced approach. >> i wonder if i can answer. he said he was the only candidate that had a police department -- >> okay i will say indirect. >> we have our own police department and i sit on the public safety committee so i do understand police departments. cithere are 36,000 people that drive through every day. we have our own train stationou and buses and the train station
is the second busiest terminal outside of philadelphia so what does that mean, we believe in community policing. our officers are out there. we properly fund our police department's pensions and pay but what else we do is make sure our schools are properly funded, our kids have something to do and our kids go to college. >> next question. you will be asking this question of congressman lam. >> the ongoing war in ukraine what is your position on sending american troops and would you support the agreement that requires the united states to defend the nato ally with troops on the ground? >> the agreement to defend a nato ally with troops on the ground has existed since long before i was a congressman orma even born. the only time that treaty has ever been invoked is to our benefit. when we were attacked on 9/11
the countries of nato responded by sending their troops to afghanistan to risk their lives for us. so that's what nato means. if a country gets attacked in this conflict with ukraine, you better believe i'm going to support the sending of u.s. troops. they are already there sitting in poland and romania, all these places ready to go because if america is your friend, that's what you get. there's no better friend or worst enemy. with respect to ukraine in particular the stated policy of the government should be we will help the ukrainians when the war and send putin and his army back where they came from no matter what. right now that means we are gradually escalating the specific types of military aid that we give them. vehicles, artillery, drones, antiaircraft weapons and we can continue to increase that and use better intelligence and resources, butth the key is we don't give up. >> i would like to follow up on that. you mentioned the notion of america continuing to escalate to help ukraine win.
you didn't answer the question whether you believe the trips from the united states should go to ukraine. >> i'm sorry you asked if i believe trips should go to a nato ally. i did answer. >> the first part of the question is whether we should send american troops. >> right now that isn't called for or needed. what they need from us is our military aid that we are sending them. if russia attacks a nato ally in the course of its attacks on ukraine it's a different situation. then the requirement to defend our nato ally could have houses send troops to all sorts of places butbu that isn't the situation we are in right now. >> we shouldn't be sending american troops to ukraine. we should rightly help the ukrainian people during their unjust war of aggression. i want to be clear about that but we cannot and i believe president biden has done an excellentga job on this engaging
in a war with russia we can'tke afford to take that risk. the bottom line is we can add humanitarian aid and some weapoe systems, but if we are mindful we need to remember we are here to help the ukrainians and nothing would harm ukrainians more in my opinion than us sliding into a hot war having troops on the ground in ukraine and escalating into a theoretical world war iii. >> would you support the second part of the question? >> as pointed out, the pre-existing conditions of nato have existed for as long as the organization has. >> representative. >> article five is obviously we've negotiated it and have to stand by it and of course if putin is dumb enough and reckless enough to go into a nato country that will make this crisis even worse but if you look at what is happening right
now, vladimir putin is paying a cost for his barbaric and senseless war. what we need is a rash shutting down of tensions and pressure and a a cease-fire. we do that by continuing the approach that the biden administration has taken.. that's why i'm so proud to have endorsed them on the day he announced earlier than anybody on the stage because i believed to be ready for a moment like this where he is brought together our nato allies. they said even more resources to ukraine talking about the number a numberof areas that ukrainians have recaptured this was a big mistake on the part of vladimir putin and what i called for is the expansion of nato especially with finland -- i complement my colleagues and agree.
i don't believe we should send troops to ukraine. north town and montgomery county philadelphia, everyone supports helping ukraine. but one of the things that has, struck a lot of americans is when it comes to helping americans, there is an area in north town that's flooded and philadelphia that was flooded. they are told if you have a small business you have to go out and takess a loan, small business loan and they see the hundreds of millions of dollars going to ukraine. no wonder says that's bad. what you just asked about the rising cost of inflation because we were helping americans. so i would like everyone to remember when it comes to helping americans, let's be okay with helping our fellow
americans. >> the next question will be asked by julie of the philadelphia inquirer to lieutenant governor fetterman. >> the united states court appears to overturn or weaken roe v wade. texas already effectively banned most abortions in the state and the court signaled it may uphold a mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. what specific policies in the senate would you support to protect abortion and are there any limits on abortion you would find appropriate? >> great question and let me just say i'm profoundly proud to be the first line of defense in the veto chain in pennsylvania will be able to perform his duty to veto and strike down the texas like walls that the state legislature constantly sends up. i believe a women's reproductive freedom is sacred and it's a settled caselaw and we can never go backward on that regard. if i'm in the united states
senate i woulded immediately support the first campaign to support the elimination of the filibuster to make sure that we codify women's reproductive freedom in law to make sure even if thehe court does go down that roadli and eliminate or revoke e v wade that we already codify that into law and make sure we can't go back. abortions are going to continue in america whether it's legal or not. they just won't be safe if they are illegally and we can't go back to that. we just can't. >> are there any limits that you would find appropriate? >> i believe it is between a woman and her physician and it's certainly not between me or any politician. we've settled this decades ago and the fact of these states are trying to read repeal it we have to push back against that because it started in texas and
i will be and also i want to say i'm proud to say if i'm voting on a supreme court justice that is a core litmus test that roe v wade in the sanctity of women's reproductive freedom must always come first. nonnegotiable. >> so that means if someone says they question roe v wade, they don't have your vote? >> if they don't support roe v wade, theyy wouldn't earn my vote. i feel that strongly about women's reproductive freedom. >> representative. >> this is where being a legislator actually matters because i haven't just talked about it, i've actually introduced legislation to deal with the fact there are so many instances right now in pennsylvania where there are barriers to women being able to have access to basic healthcare. this is healthcare. at the federal level we need to pass the women's health protection act. myself and the cochair of the
women's health caucus actually introduced legislation called the pennsylvania women's health protection act toti get rid of e barriers that currently exist for pennsylvania women under current law. the states have been the battleground for this issue for a long time and because the supreme court has refused to step in and uphold decades long president they have practically already overruled roe. that's already happened and so whether it was the first male elected to the board for the organization or as a legislature i've already stood up for this basic right and i will every step of the way. when it comes to any limitations, there's always a limit but it's between a woman and her doctor, not for us. >> i want to follow up on that since it was brought up, litmus tests. >> yes it is a litmus test. >> it helps to be a woman to
discuss this issue and to be the daughter of a woman. you asked about late-term abortions. i would like to start there. when i was a little girl, my mother was pregnant and the child had water in the brain. the doctors told my mom my mother's life was at risk. and it was healthcare. they asked my mom we really believe you should have an abortion. my m mother a devout muslim said absolutely not so now this is where what else would i do. i agree with my colleagues but what else but i do. my mother was offered amazing care. she was put into the hospital and we, the children, we were little, five, four, three, we were given a nurse to take care of us, to take us to school. to me it isn't just -- it's real. it's happened to my family. my mother made a decision which was her choice and from there the state of new york shows what pro-choice is about.
i would make sure that we have prenatal care. >> let me follow-up and ask all of you this question now. litmus test. think about what would happen to my mom. she had a choice and could have said yes. either way either she didn't have it and didn't get the care she would have died so yes, abortion rights are healthcare but it must be included with pre- and postnatal care and nutrition and included what happens when a family has an emergency and need someone to care for their small children while mother is insp the hospit. we have a ridiculously high, it is disgraceful the women mortality rate in pennsylvania. >> the first time i ran for office it was in a congressional district the trump one by 19 percentage points and of the week before, a writer from a conservative newsmagazine jumped out at me on the street and stuck a microphone in my face
and said you haven't said where you stand on late-term abortion. my instinctive answer was it is a right to the whole way through pregnancy and that's always been my position. this is a constitutional right that women have and deserve to have and to continue to have and the question in this campaign is not -- it's who can get through this in 2022, win the race and cast the vote. without winning the seats there seat therewill be no protectione repeal of the amendment. we won't even get to put another justice in the court while biden's president if we don't win the seat. the stakes are high and i hope that the viewers will continue to think about that. >> question for everyone the litmus test for the supreme court nominee. >> roe v wade is that, so is brown v board of education and the right to get a miranda
warning when you're arrested. they are at the same level meaning that they have been upheld tens of thousands maybe even hundreds of thousands of times from the last 50 years. it should remain theed same andi will only vote for justice that supports it. >> to do something a little different changing up from our questions. we call this a lightning round. i don't know how much of a lightning round it is. thirty seconds as opposed to 60. i think representative kenyatta, it's your turn first. if you could ask one of your opponents a question, what would it be? >> it would be the question i asked john a couple of days ago and he's had the chance to think about it i'm sure whether or not the lieutenant governor is going to apologize here, we are in carlisle so maybe you have a change of heart chasing down an unarmed black man with a 20 gauge shotgun holding it to his chest. i'm not going to hold myy breath
for his answer. i'm sure he won't apologize as he has not multiple times, but here's the problem. powerful men a like john are usd to having to playav by a differt set of rules. he wasn't held accountable as mayor and is trying not to be held accountable now. >> lieutenant governor? >> that is just not what happened and i want everybody at home to understand how personal the issue of gun violence was to me. for context, a 75% black community that had a significant gun violence program. i came 20 years to go -- ago. the two of my students were gunned down in a very violent way. during my time as mayor i'm proud to say that we addressed that because i've always believed that community policing -- >> but did you point the gun at the man? >> i did not. >> he says you did and the police report at the time said
it. you don't have to take my word for it. with powerful folks like john any type of accountability feels like persecution. he isn't the victim of the time he said he thought he committed a crime and then he uses his reelection and the number of justification for why he doesn't have to apologize. hehe got 186 votes. let me be clear, i was reelected in an overwhelming passion in a community 75% black -- i'm not sure why you would want to diminish a small margin. the point of the matter is the people that reelected me know that this isn't what it's about. i never pointed a weapon at anyone and everyone in town understood that protection of the community was always in my heart and that's what it was always consistently about. >> councilwoman you can ask anyone a question, what about?
>> you want to end fracking. i believe you said what do you propose for -- what kind of energy source would you use for manufacturing and keeping manufacturing in pennsylvania? >> thank you for asking that question. for folks at home if you want in environmental champion as your next to senator there's only one person on the stage for you. my position has been very clear that we shouldn't approve new were drilling. we know right now that even across the country we have 9,000 plus permits right now that are approved where there is no drilling and so companies who already have those permits could do more if they want to right now. as ife to stop acting they care about the workers and this is about the worker. they don't give a damn about the
workers. >> i asked how are you going to bring manufacturers -- what will you do for manufacturing. we need energy to manufacture. we don't currently have -- if you get rid of the oil, how are we going to manufacture and keep jobs in pennsylvania? >> my question is also for the lieutenant governor. one of my concerns about the candidacy i don't believe he can appeal to the type of swing voters that we need to win in november. these are the type of people i've been campaigning around for the last four years and they've elected me in districtse that favor republicans and if anything play an outside role like this one they don't like chaos, they don't like instability and they are very concerned about both inflation and the overall size of the national debt. my question for john is very
simple yes or no. do you still support medicare for all and would you vote for the bill, yes or no? >> thank you. i support universal healthcare, healthcare as a basic fundamental human right. i support whatever means gets us there whether that's the affordable care act, the public option, whether that'se medicare for all. i'm for allowing congress and federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices. i am for lowering the medicare eligibility age. i am for adding vision, dental and hearing as well. i am for making sure that americans have greater access to healthcare. >> to his question medicare for all. >> i said whatever mechanism gets us closer to healthcare as a fundamental right. if he wants to be for the insuranceri companies that's his
right but i am for making sure that it's a fundamental human right for every american and making sure that we can negotiate for better drug prices is at the heart of the immediately. >> you said getting closer does that mean medicare for all? >> it means whatever is in front of us as a congress to get greater access to health care for america and my vote is decisive i would absolutely support it. i support medicare for all -- i can answer because this weekend i was in the county and met a woman who didn't have health insurance. that's real, that's not a joke. lieutenant governor fetterman, it's your opportunity to ask a question of one of the panel
members. how do you feel about your endorsement through this race and wouldyo you vote similarly o him in the senate? my fear is i think we have one joe mansion is enough in the senate and his endorsement if ofyou in this race i found troubling because i absolutely disagree with his voting record. >> let me -- it and answer the question. >> i'm not sure what he's referring to. when i was a member of congress i held fundraisers with many senators and members of congress including senator manchin when i was a member not a senate candidate. and the question of how we vote is actually already answered by our actual vote. we both have a voting record. i voted for the john lewis voting rights act and said we should get rid of the filibuster.
i voted for the women's health protection act and for raising the minimum wage and for the build back that are act to my knowledge he's been against all of them. >> joe mansion is his mentor and he did lose the fundraiser and just said recently that he would make a heck of a senator so that's an endorsement. i'm just saying do you and buries his endorsement of you and 2020. you wanted a yes no answer and i'm asking do you embrace the endorsement? >> you have a sort of a time asking as you do answering. as a member of congress he appeared at a fundraiser and expressed support as a member of congress i accepted it then. of course i did. my voting record is what it is. i will work with any democrat to get things done. i have no problem at all. >> same rules, yes or no. >> the question is factually
incorrect. >> i'm saying do you embrace his endorsement yes or no? >> people at home want to know what we are going to do as the next senator and here's the good news for folks watching at home you don't have to vote for either. [laughter]lw i think thishi is important. why bring up joe mansion? he's been the state senator, the governor and u.s. senator for west virginia and he's driven it into the ground. we must not allow that to happen forif pennsylvania. we must lift pennsylvania and makeni sure we clean up our stae and bring back jobs, improve education that pennsylvanians go up in the quality of life, not down. you can never -- we can't allow any politician to do with joe
mansion did west virginia. >> on this question it's a little different. i'm going to ask for you to raiseds your hands in a way he kind of yes no question. but for demography-related questions -- sorry, the moderator screws up. raise your hand if you support and then we will discuss afterwards. raise your hand if you support abolishing the electoral college. and we will go back. eliminating any senate filibuster. expanding the number of justices on the u.s. supreme court.
making the district of columbia and puerto rico u.s. states. let's go back to where there was some disagreement. abolishing the electoral college. representative, why do you want to abolish the electoral college? >> for folks who care about abolishing yet again you have one option on the stage. the electoral college serves no purpose other than to continue to muddy up the idea that there shouldnd be one person and one vote. on the stage if anyone of us gets one more vote than the other person that person will bi the democratic nominee yet with the electoral college we've seen multiple elections now where the person who got the most votes did not become president. that is a problem and i think it erodes people's faith in the election. governornant fetterman, why don't you want to
abolish -- i don't. we can't be in a position where we are contradicting o ourselves if we go after the republicans understandably that they are frustrated by an outcome and go to delegitimize it or change to structure of it as they attempted to do with our own hearing in pennsylvania and changeg the underlining rules. i believe that we as a party need to remain logically consistent on these things and we need to make sure we are not changingre the structure of our government at a fundamental level based on whether we like the k outcome or not. >> i do not believe in abolishing the precollege -- electoral college. a man of mixed race one twice, the electoral college and the popular vote. bill clinton one as well. you win and lose. we cannot act like the last president and get upset and say
we are going to change the electoral college. we need to have our candidates and joe biden won the electoral college and the popular vote. what's more important? >> i think ifnd we were starting our society over again from scratch it would make sense not to have an electoral college but we have one and you would have to amend the constitution. anybody who doesn't know how difficult that is, look it up. it's not happening. it makes the discussion academic in my view. >> i think to suggest that abolishing the electoral college, which is a relic of the past but hasn't served us is the same as trump trying to overturn the last election i find pretty offensive and makes no sense. also this idea that we are democrats we don't try to chang anything or it's in the constitutione therefore it's hd so we shouldn't try to change anything, that doesn't make a lot of sense.
at the constitution has mechanisms by which it could be changed because the founders understood it was a living breathing document. that's what we should do as democrats. >> expanding the number on the supreme court, could i see your hands again? [inaudible] the reason is everyone will argue we are democrats. what has happened is this particular supreme court has decided it wants to overturn everything from the new deal. their desire is our way of life, they want to overturn. they've been planning this for a long time, the federalist society, in particular sam alito, they've been planning to go ahead and erode the entire new deal philosophies and
policies, socialur security, medicare. >> representative. >> this isn't a new idea i wish i could take credit but we can't. we've expanded the number of justices on the bench multiple times throughout the history of the country. i think that it was mitch mcconnell, not to democrats who pass to the court. when mitch mcconnell didn't allow president obama to appoint somebody when it was his turn, to rushed through in opposition of the same rule that he made up to deny president obama the seat on the bench but the supreme court has the lowest public trust thans it's ever had and we need to fix that. >> it's the same logic. the republicans were outraged and unhappy with of the judgments of the duly elected and now they want to change our constitution to change how it was elected that would almost guarantee that we would have a permanent republican supreme
court hearing. the democratic party doesn't change the rules simply because we do not like the outcome. i wish we had a 6-3 democratic majority in the supreme court but the fact is that we don't and i don't believe fundamentally altering the structure of the court is the answer. >> i think this whole question is a trap. one of the things i'm trying to convey i spent four years knocking on the doors answering questions. the exact people that will determine whether we are successful or fail people are looking for a little but of stability and practicality. they want to know where do we stand at the end of the day. adding justice is completely over their heads and i think every moment we are not talking about what people are going through -- >> i have to agree. if roe v wade is overturned, if
they start attacking what we see going on with voting rights to my esteemed colleagues, he wanted to do it and he was a great democrat who did great things for his country. yes, you're right. i think there's a couple of things being said that are fundamentally false. we are not going to win by only going to doors in western westen pennsylvania the congressmant keeps referencing.
it's not as some other. we are going to win by turning to folks in philadelphia -- >> we are going to go back to energy for a minute. president biden walked back a campaign pledge for the permits on public land i'm going to have to disagree with what he did. what i do support is releasing more petroleum out of the reserve.
what i have said repeatedly is that a part of the increase people are feeling, 409 before i came here, part of that we have to acknowledge big oil and gas ceos are making more money than they've made and are not passing on the savings to the consumers. there's a number of different bills people are talking about in washington. the strategic petroleum reserve there are permits that have been
you could get money back from your taxes, for gas mileage. i would increase to truck drivers so they have an even larger deduction in the tax code. another thing is what is the current technology that helps us save gas. there is vital technology that is currently used in texas and ohio. we should provide grants to truck drivers and americans to install this technology to save us on gas. >> i support the administration's policy. you've got to realize we drill for both oil and natural gas and both of those things have been taken off the world market and enormous quantities because of the war in ukraine. all of our allies were just not buying the putin's oil and gas. not only do we have a challenge here at home all of the allies
try to replace that oil and natural gas which we can only do by increasing production, so talking about repealing the tax and of the technologies in the future and all this other stuff it soundss great. that will happen if we increase production. you can't increase production if we don't do exactly what the administration is doing. >> lieutenant governor. >> we need to make sure we maintain and enhance our energy security. we have seen how fragile that can be on the world stage with a russian invasion of ukraine. we can never be at the whim of a country like russia or iran or
venezuela for energy. i spoke to members from the german embassy two weeks ago and they said they've got us over a barrel, no pun intended. on an ongoing basis right now the energy security particularly in the world that's been destabilized by the war in ukraine and the strategic petroleum reserve and the gas tax. >> if i couldco add one quick thing to the question she asked. >> you will get a closing fostatement it will immediately
make an impact at the pump. >> 18 cents really matters as far as i am concerned and also we need to be concerned with exxon mobil making $10 billion a quarter and record profits. crimea river that there's nothing we can do when they are bringing in billions of dollars every quarter [inaudible] >> i will break the rules a little bit. >> let's just gori left to righ. representative kenyatta. >> john talks about the savings for single mom. what the money actually goes to
it sounds nice to say we are going to suspend the federal gas tax but there's not going to be that muchav savings. and when you talk about increasing production, that doesn't happen overnight so we don't talk about the pie-in-the-sky ideas it's not like we will stick a stroll in the ground and oil n is going to come out. it takes a long time to extract oil and natural gas. >> i was given an ear full by the wife of a truck driver who told us they are paying too much for fuel so it does matter. another thing though as we are going ahead and increasing production, there is no reason americans shouldn't get royalty the same way that they do in alaska. americans have the right to those royalties. we should be getting a check so that is another way to which americans can sit back as we are pumping and giving fuel to europe. another it doesn't mean we haven to get rid of environmental stewardship.
>> 18 cents sounds good. your price will not go down at the pump because we collect the gas tax from the companies so unless there is a magical way to impose a price ceiling on the companies that they can't just charge 18 cents more which we don't have the authority to do, that's not going to happen. meanwhile the roads and bridges and other infrastructure will be rebuilt more slowly for the trust fund that we are using day after day to rebuild america. where do you stand on a path to citizenship for immigrants that are already in the country illegally? >> i hope the president does it through executive order.
i would introduce legislation and support to make sure undocumented immigrants become legal residents. i'm the daughter of immigrants. people i come to this country in many different ways and we are a blessing. they enrich the society and country. george washington was an illegal immigrant. a true story. so yes, i support legalization making sure that we provide citizenship to documented methods. >> i do as well. the people who are here already obeying the law and paying the taxesg into social security and medicare trust funds that they may never collect, we need them and it's the american story. my story my family had a path to citizenship. what we have passed in the house of representatives is a five-year work permit for anyone in this situation so it's not the same of the citizenship but
it's pretty good and can be renewed after that. that made it into the build back better bill. >> i'm married to a former dreamer and i support the path to citizenship for those that are already here. it's been vexing our country for decades that we have refused to enact compassionate comprehensive common sense immigration reform in this nation. to the point we need to make sure we are honoring the contributions that they've made and deserve a path to legal citizenshipvo and vote for thats
the next senator. >> there are so many folks across the country who are american in every sense of the word except missing one piece of paper. of these are folks that are members of your communities already who are paying taxes who deserve every opportunity to have access to the full american dream and what i call america's basic bargain. one good job backed up by the union. the ability to go to a doctor if you feel sick and fill the prescription. and the dignity of retiring. folks are paying into social security but right now they are not even going to collect. this is where we deserve a senator that reflects the experience of working people
across the commonwealth and why i talk about this so much and how it impacts policy and policy makers. stanek in recent months culture wars have intensified and lost statehouses around the country. the equality act that would afford protections against housing and employment discrimination stalled in congress. do you support the act but also what is the message to lgbtq with a politically charged atmosphere. i always feel the need to defend the record because we passed the act with my vote twice since i've been there.
there are a lot that are understandably not just frustrated but scared by the debate going on it would put these protections into the federal law to govern kids may have questions that seem unusual to a lot of families could they have them. you want to make sure you get those answered. you don't want your child made into aad spectacle because of something they are experiencing. so i and against all these efforts to scapegoat and i think that we can make the policy without doing it. >> do you believe that they should be able to play on
women's sports teams at thele college level? >> there are different answers on that spectrum. let's let kids be kids, i'm not aware of any cases where it's posed any sort of a problem at least where i represent. once you get to something like the ncaa division i they already do testing and have very specific criteria which by the way the university of pennsylvania has met every singley time so people have a t of questions about whether they are moderate but that is a question for the ncaa. >> if any party or official attempts to score points at the expense of a child or any members of the communities they need to find a new line of work. it's absolutely reprehensible. it's tough enough already to be a teenager and if you are part of a community like that to be singledin out by whether it is e governor or legislators is fundamentally unacceptable. i've long been a strong
kenyatta? equality act? rep. kenyatta: for those who are at home and can't see the full auditorium. my left is my husband. when i'm your next united states senator, for the first time in american history, we are going to have an openly gay man in the u.s. senate. who's going to bring my entire life and family and perspective to a body that is in desperate need of that perspective. it makes no sense that right now , with 50 votes in the senate, we haven't already passed the equality act. it is wrong. right now, in pennsylvania, under state law, depending on which county or municipality you
are in, you either have protections or you don't. that patchwork approach is wrong. it was heartbreaking to watch the hearings for soon to be justice -- ketanji brown jackson. >> transgender women in sports? rep. lamb: rep. kenyatta: i got the chance to vote against legislation like that at that sport -- at the state level. really, what we know is all this nonsense you are hearing is not about protecting girls or women in sports. they don't care about equal paper female athletes. they don't care about making sure the facilities which kids are practicing are equal, whether it is girl or young boy, all they care about is attacking little kids. we know this legislation has led to increased amount of suicide
attempts and ideation trans and lgbtq kids. it must come to an end. moderator: let's go back -- i'm sorry, go ahead. councilwoman khalil: i am proud to be a councilwoman from -- which passed an antidiscrimination clause. you cannot discriminate against race, gender, sexual identity, i'm proud to say we recently restarted the human rights commission. i want everyone to step back, girls are already playing a boy sports. i'm not sure where this craziness is coming from, other than the person, i'm so glad you're voting against the spirit has gone against immigrants. her name is martin not white. -- martina white. she was extremely anti-immigrant. she was trumped before trump. she spent her entire time when
she was running going after immigrants. now that her community is very much immigrants, she has found another scapegoat, gay kids. without us protest too much. if you need to pick on somebody else. moderator: we are going to do one more lightning round question. we are going to start with the lieutenant governor. julie, explain where this came from? >> this question comes to us from a reader of the inquirer, and election newsletter, which you can sign up for at inquirer.com/pa 2022. art reader asks, negative campaign ads seem to post -- poisonous against all politicians. you think something needs to be done to temper this negativity and if so what? lt. gov. fetterman: i do.
i am running a clean issue oriented race here. i do not have a super pac that is running negative ads, telling lies, quite frankly. someone on the stage does. i would ask that he disavow that and run a positive campaign, especially when you're using a republican attack line, calling one of us a socialist. i will do something that connor will not, moderator: time. since he brightman, congressman lamb, would you like to comment. rep. lamb: the reason he doesn't want people talk about republican talking points is because he has no answer. he can't stand up to them. i will put it in my own words, those are mine in the commercial, john's record and histories of the choices he has made plays him too far to the extreme to win at the statewide level in pennsylvania.
when he was running around the state in his gym shorts making marijuana at the number one issue and campaigning with bernie sanders, he lost a lot of swing voters in our state. moderator: representative kenyatta, same question? rep. kenyatta: i think there's a difference between erroneous, false attacks and talking about someone's record. if we can't, and the primaries, draw distinctions of when it is the right time to do it? i think everybody on the cake -- on the stage is committed to support whoever the democratic nominee is. we don't get to not talk about john's record, particularly of chasing down an unarmed black guy with a shotgun because it makes them uncomfortable. we have to talk about now or in november, but we are going to have to discuss it. councilwoman khalil: i just wanted to thank you for that commercials. so i said thank you for knocking on my door and doing the
legwork, i'm tired of commercials. thank you gentlemen. the negativity, this is a free country. i don't believe we should be censoring ads like that. if americans don't like it, turn off your tv and campus with me. -- canvass with me. about the socialist think, moderator: time. councilwoman khalil: i'm going to answer that. moderator: go ahead. rep. lamb: it wasn't my add to disavow. >> your thoughts on the reader's question about how negative campaign ads can poison the perception of person -- elected leaders. rep. lamb: to be honest, i think i've had a lot of people tell me over the years they don't like negative ads. i don't typically run them. i think you have to leave space
to have what can be uncomfortable family discussion, especially in a primary like this. we make our best efforts day-to-day to do that. and clear manner as possible. certain of your supporters may go a different direction with it. just because something is uncomfortable or makes us -- you don't love the appeal of it, we stopped to talk about it. [voices overlapping] councilwoman khalil: what he said about bernie sanders, i was a bernie sanders -- [voices overlapping] moderator: you only have a few minutes left. discuss representative kenyatta, name a living republican you admire and why? rep. kenyatta: a living republican i admire? moderator: yes. rep. kenyatta: representative wendy thomas, one of my colleagues. she and i have a bill called philips law, an 11-year-old kid who died by suicide in my
district. getting that call from his very mother is still the toughest day i've had as a legislator. i introduced a bill of her traumatic -- reimagine the way we provide health care for kids. i talked to then vice president biden about this in new hampshire when i was campaigning for him and asked him to consider putting this in his policy, is on the agenda. moderator: i hate to talk -- cut you off talking about suicide. let's go to the councilwoman next. all living republican you admire and why? councilwoman khalil: i hope i get his name right, from texas. he is no longer in congress. i briefly read an article about him in which he critiqued democrats. he works well with a gentleman who is running for governor, and texas. instead of democrats pointing to what they do, our new supreme
court justice, he said she has such incredible credentials, why are we talking about her great credentials? moderator: time. congressman lamb? rep. lamb: the 10 house republicans of mine -- republican colleagues of mine voted to impeach trump the second time. after january 6, people were more on edge the name quicktime i've ever known. for those to members, they were potentially throwing away their political career, a lot have been right now the house and sense of they took on it personal safety risk for them and their families to do the right thing. history will reward them. lt. gov. fetterman: one is former professor of mine, senator alan simpson, a republican from wyoming. a pro-choice, kind, thoughtful republican senator from wyoming. if you can imagine that was true at one point in our history. the second is my father. he is a republican.
he instilled good-quality values of compassion, integrity and public service. he is a shining example of poverty does not define a person's character. those are two republicans i've admired greatly. moderator: time. we're short on time. i'll try to get another lightning round question and in time for your closing statements. but stick to the 30 seconds. how do you handle stress? councilwoman? councilwoman khalil: how do i handle stress? i just go ahead and take care of my house and my family, talk to my parents and pray. i pray a lot. i garden and have dinner with my friends. just live life in general. that's how i handle stress. rep. lamb: i go out looking for people that i represent. invariably you will find one
that puts it in perspective for you. what people are going through is a lot worse than anything i've to do in this job. lt. gov. fetterman: i'm so incredibly blessed to have 3 billion -- beautiful children age 13, 10 and eight. for stress relief, nothing beats hanging out with them at home. i look for it. that is one of the downsides of all this campaigning, i don't get to see them and tuck them in and help them with their homework. it is a poor proxy to being there. rep. kenyatta: life for me ain't been no crystal fair. i lost both my parents by the time is 27. it's been tough. two things never fail me. eight, going on a walk. nothing like an aimless walk to help you thinking through things . the second, i highly recommend
everybody do, is going to netflix.com and watching the great british bake-off. [laughter] moderator: we've come to the end of debate. i think the four of you for being with us today. you each have 30 seconds for a statement. i believe it is councilwoman khalil stern to lead off. councilwoman khalil: thank you for having me here tonight. pennsylvania, you are amazing. you surprise me everyday. i want to tell you an amazing story that happened to me this weekend. i had went to a house of worship, in the middle of school polk county is a mosque -- school cool county >> c-span.org [voices overlapping] we started talking politics. she said i will trump, i said what are you doing here? she said i take care of this place. moderator: congressman lamb, 30
seconds. rep. lamb: in the next few weeks, as you make up your mind, think about what it's going to take to succeed in a year like this. i'm the only one standing in front of you who has ever beaten republican had to had, i've done it three times. some of the things john would criticize me for, or some other things that make me appeal to people in the middle. that is not a luxury for us, it is something we have to have. you do it by having common sense, eliminate distractions, getting support by the left, right and -- moderator: time. lt. gov. fetterman: i'm the only person here who has won statewide in pennsylvania. i campaigned on poor democratic values and principles. if you send me to washington, you will always have my vote in washington, to be that 51st vote, to be decisive in tilting the balance of the senate, to
make sure we can get stuff done in washington. we need to meet the moment is a party, and i promise you you won't read about me changing my mind. moderator: time. representative kenyatta? plus word. rep. kenyatta: if we want the government that works for working people, we have to elect working people. i don't know a democrat in pennsylvania that wants to lose this race. the only way we are going to win is by making sure we have massive turnout among our regional and democratic base. we are able to excite voters across the commonwealth with the message about why it matters to have the bigger, bolder, democratic majority. i've talked about what i will fight for his or senator, now i'm asking for your vote. moderator: we are coming to close for the 2022 spotlight democratic primary senate
debate. i want to thank all four candidates. thank you for your time tonight. [applause] also like to thank our sponsor of tonight's event, spotlight pa, in partnership with the philadelphia inquirer, wi tcm, dickinson college. they will be hosting another u.s. senate debate tomorrow night at 7:00 at the same location, dickinson college, the republican candidates will be with us tomorrow. the pennsylvania primary is subtle -- scheduled for may 17. thank you for joining us tonight. have a good night.
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