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tv   Campaign 2020 New Hampshire Governors Debate  CSPAN  October 21, 2020 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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your tv. >> this is a wmu our commitment 2020 special in partnership with the new hampshire institute of politics. the granite state debate. tonight, the candidates for governor. the granite state debate. tonight, the candidates for governor. >> good evening and thank you
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for joining us for tonight's governors debate. i am political director adam sexton. we will hear from the candidates for the corner office about their plans for new hampshire and their records so far. the debate is happening live but as usual, inc.'s will look different. our panelists are in the studio, jennifer vann and john di stasio. the candidates are in a different studio, separated by several feet as part of covid-19 precautions. we look forward to a robust debate. let's look at the candidate backgrounds. an incumbent governor who's planning and management faced a life or death tested this year. a good result was clearly as a result of the tough decisions we had to make. the opponent is >> known for pushing for progressive reforms. >> i've been pushing for families every step of the way.
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>> they have two different approaches for protecting an empowering government stagers. they've had a different response to covid-19, and move forward on another's of this year's issues, police reform. using an executive order to implement a first round of changes. >> we are not at a crisis point in this state, but i don't wait for the crisis. >> new hampshire does democracy better than any other state. >> democratic senator dan felt, is worked on criminal justice reform and coverage, when it comes to dealing with covid-19 he says he will not lose focus on solutions, rather than help working class families. >> our news nine evaluated all legally qualified candidates, and selected those considered mostly newsworthy, according to a subjective criteria to participate in this debate. the candidates will get one minute answer questions tonight, 32nd rebuttals will be allowed, at the moderators discretion.
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and we want to thank both candidates for joining us tonight. the opening question is about the covid-19 pandemic, it goes first to you senator feltes. we are seven months into this pandemic, thanksgiving is a little bit more than five weeks away, it is fair to say if that the sense of connection is more important to people than it ever husband. but the reality is, we are still seeing cases of covid, every day, and rising numbers across the country. how do you lead as the end of this year, as we know they want to be together with loved ones, but fear it could put them and others at risk of death? >> families are sacrificing. and they are struggling. hundreds have lost loved ones, tens of thousands have lost their jobs thousands more their jobs, cases are going up right now, schools are shutting down, and obamacare, the health care system we all rely upon is in jeopardy, right now. working families don't know about the next week what will, bring a little on the next day. especially working class families, and that's where come from. so let's face, it the odds of me being up on the stage tonight are pretty slim, i am honored to be here and i didn't
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come from a family of politicians, unlike the current governor. my dad, he worked in a furniture factory for 45 years, same one, air conditioning, doing the same job day in and day out for 45 years. my mom, part-time jobs including night shift while raising four kids. and i've worked for working class families serving as a legal aid attorney within you hampshire, service working for results for working families, and that is what i will do as governor of the state of new hampshire. >> governor, the same question to you. >> obviously, thanksgiving is coming up, and it's a time for families, it's a time for gathering. i think, first and foremost, this has been a trying time for everyone. you know, the past six seven months have been amazing, frankly, here in the state of new hampshire. and it has its challenges, but it's one of the reasons why i'm always out saying thank you. i think the people of the state have done a phenomenal job, wearing their masks, maintaining social distancing, making those sacrifices. it's one of the reasons why we have some of the lowest covid numbers in the country. we've always said, back since may that we knew the numbers would be rising, this fall, and
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sure enough unfortunately, we see this across the country. not rising here as fast as the rest of the country. but we know, those real spikes could come. so we have to ask folks to stay vigilant, just a smart, about they do. and your with uncle bob, and on mary, and it doesn't mean the virus cares. so when you're in those family settings, be safe, be smart about what you do, maintain those distances, wear your mask with folks that are not in your media family. and if we do that, if we keep up that vigilance we had all summer, there's no reason we can't be successful through the winter. >> our first panel question tonight, comes from john distasio. >> thank. you gentlemen, we went on for having -- 7000 cases a day in the last week. governor sununu, you said we should expect this has children go back to school, and they tend to spend less time outside, so cases would. rise but now, should the state returned to the restrictions it had, fewer people allowed in restaurants and stores, state
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departments likes the dmz standing back, private gatherings limited to ten people are for you. it's time to reverse the opening of the state? >> you know, when we first entered the pandemic in march, there was no playbook, we had very little resources, we didn't have testing, we didn't have ppe. we did not have the capabilities that we were able to build as a team. which puts us in a much more advantageous position today. so we wrote the playbook, and i think we did a great job, as a team. working from everyone from the division of public, held working weather businesses, to reopen in a smart and safe way. and to have a very successful, summer-like we've had. and as was mentioned, yes we've always known the numbers were going to go up. universities are coming, black schools are coming back, it's getting a little colder out there. we're all staying a little bit more inside. but it doesn't mean we have to go back to where we were, in march. now, there are still some restrictions we could put in place down the road. we could still play those hands. but we are far far away from where we were. let's remember, we had maybe just over a dozen folks in hospital beds. and what we are really trying
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to do is manage that overburden on the health care system. we've done a great job, and there's no reason we can't keep up our success. >> and senator, same question, please. >> well the most important thing in a pandemic is our health care system, without a doubt. and, for years as a legal aid lawyer, i have battled health insurance industries, to get access to health care for grant status, working families, that this same thing in state senate. delivered real resorts, drug released, medicaid expansion. working to expand health care access. that's what we have to be focused, on right now. while i was taken to the health insurance industry, quite frankly sununu what's taking over hundred dollars from the industry. like donald trump, he supports the repeal of obamacare, and has worked to restrict access to safe legal abortion. and just like donald trump, chris sununu will have you believe everything is fine. donald trump gives himself an a+, chris sununu gives itself the gold standard.
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and everything is not fine. we have to lift people up, working, families and fight to stabilize and strengthen our health care system. >> governor, you have 6:30 seconds. >> sure, everything is not find. we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, and this state has done an incredible job. i know, my opponent likes to invoke my name and this idea that we are against health care, and all of this. at the end of the day, i am one of the few republican governors in the country, that are actually fighting to keep the affordable care act, in the u.s. supreme court. >> that's not. true >> new hampshire is on the lawsuit, today, fighting to keep the affordable care act. and i'm one of the four or five republican's to do. that to throw that system out would not make any sense. so it's not actually happening today, i know he likes to make an easy political statement that sounds, nice but the facts are the facts. >> will governor, these are your own words. in 2016 when you ran for governor for the first time, you ran on a platform of repealing obamacare. in fact, when you asked why you support donald trump you said, i support donald trump because he would finally actually end
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horrible programs like obamacare. on the executive council, you voted in 2012, to turn down the obamacare or health care exchange, and in 2017, each-year-old the essence of repealing the obamacare without a replacement. fortunately other senators turn that down, even though you called it, and they gave you and trump a huge loss. you cannot rewrite history of the debate stage. >> and the lawsuit in the supreme court? why is the state of new hampshire fighting to [inaudible]. >> you can do an election year, fine if you want, but the reality is you supported the process is moving forward on judge barrett, who has a long history of opposing obamacare. you support trump and the justices who are going to overrule obamacare. and you have a long history of opposition to obamacare, it's documented. i don't understand, you can't stand here tonight and say otherwise. so we have to protect obamacare, and strengthen it, for working class folks. and you know what, if obamacare
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is repealed, it will fall to the states. and you ought to trust that you have a governor that fights for health care, and i fought for health care every step of the way is a legal aid attorney, in the state senate, and will do the same as governor. >> we will be able to get through a lot of topics, gentlemen we will move to the next question. >> thank you adam, good evening gentlemen. let's move on to masks. nashua is among the communities that passed a mask mandate. in spite of that, the city has seen a sharp rise in covid cases, in earlier dover. senator, feltes, you have to push for statewide mended. if it hasn't worked in nashua, why push were one throughout the state? >> well look, we need to listen to the medical experts, throughout the course of this. to medical experts have recommended masks. and a common sense public mask requirement makes good sense, we are the only state in new england without it. so donald trump and chris sununu have not listened to the medical experts on mask. and donald trump, let's be very clear, has been a complete failure on covid. and he has work to be the
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divider in chief of our country. and we have folks in the state of new hampshire, including the governor, who is a top enabler of donald trump. he calls himself in his own words, a trump guy through and through. and those aren't my words. those are chris sununu words. and look, i cast my vote a couple of weeks ago for joe biden, and to be president, and it comes from working class family, has empathy, he has a plan. i was brought to do so. governor sununu senior, news supports donald trump, and i guess a question for when sununu you cast your ballot for donald, trump will be proud to do that? >> the next question from jennifer vaughn. >> on the mask issue, governor, basically mask mandates theoretically will take the politics out of it. if the rule is to wear one, people do not have to make a judgment about wearing one. so with this issue being so politicized, do you think it's has been an error not to institute a mask mandate? >> well there's nothing political about wearing a mask. and again, to those communities
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that wanted to institute a mask mandate, specifically in the southern tier, we were very supportive of that. the numbers are very different in the southern tier. remember, 60% of the towns and our cities in our state, don't have any covered whatsoever. absolutely zero. so to understand that the socioeconomic dynamics in the state are very different, and how the virus spreads it's very different. so we are very supportive of those communities, specifically in the south. they have been strongly impacted, and they wanted to implement a mask mandate. but to say we will just blanket a mask mandate and everything will be better, that is not necessarily astonishing. we can always play that card, as the numbers start to rise, if we want to institute a mask mandate across the street. that is possible, but definitely not necessary, at this point. masks aren't the only thing, they are just one piece of the puzzle. it's maintaining social distancing, it's about basic hygiene, washing your hands, keeping distance is when you can, staying remote when you. can all of these pieces we put in place, and the citizens of new hampshire did a great job. with those are the solutions for the long term. >> next question comes from
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john sexton. >> thank you, governor sununu the vast majority of pandemic deaths a new hampshire have happened in long-term care facilities. is it fair to say that you in the public health team should have moved more quickly to deal with that, and why is it that despite significant lock down and rules, the deaths continue to roll as the long term care facilities? >> so let's look at the real data, and in fact, a deaths unfortunately, we have to understand, one it is too many. and through this entire pilot make, whether it's in the long term care facility, one is too many. but in terms of the number of fatalities we've had in long-term care, compared to the beds we have in our population, we are one of the lowest numbers on the east coast. i think we are the lowest in new england. we had a series of outbreaks, i think we talked about 20 plus outbreaks, it census back down to a handful of outbreaks. we have very few fatalities in the general community. so the ratio of fatalities, in a long term care, was much higher, because we had so
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little transmission that resulted in a fatal rate. so, i think commissioner -- has done an amazing job. her blackmon was running long-term care facilities, and i think she and the department of health did a great job identifying the issue. we are one of the most aggressive states with testing, and ppe, all of those tools and resources, and that is exactly why the numbers have dropped so precipitously in long term care. >> thank you. senator feltes you said the governor reacted to slowly to the pandemic. but as cases of covid-19 were beginning to build a new hampshire, as a senate majority leader, you push to convene the legislator for too long days. as to why the senate needed to be in session, while much else was closing, you said, i think the executive branch and the legislator have taken a different perspective so far, we're going to continue to monitor the situation. how do your words and actions then, square with your criticism now? >> well we suspended activity
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roughly when everyone else did. on nursing homes, let's be clear, societies are judged by the way they treat their most vulnerable. which our children, our folks in nursing homes, and long term care facilities. and it took over a month and a half to go out and get a contract to detesting, and in some of the facilities, of some of the workers, from sununu. she went to a corporate campaign down or. and look we have to move forward on, this we have as ranked by the new york times the worst covid situation in long-term care. and we have legislation to support long-term care, with ppe, with testing, and financial support. and to do an independent audit of what happened in long-term care. chris sununu vetoed it. it was bipartisan legislation. to do an independent audit and plan for a second wave. now we have a outbreaks across new hampshire, and learning homes. and lastly, the most important, is making sure we protect and strengthen obamacare. because if we don't i wear nursing homes and assisted
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living facilities will get it much more's worst condition. >> next question. you win over governor, go ahead. >> to be fair senator feltes brought a bill on june 30th, months after the pandemic started. they have been gone, went home, the legislature, threw up their hands, and went home. and my team jumped in and took action very aggressively, here in your hampshire. which is why, we have one of the lowest fatality rates and long term care in the east. >> that's not true. >> that's absolutely true. >> that's not true. >> when we talk about long-term care facility, and our press conferences, when we talk about how we're going to go to looking at exactly what happened, looking at air flow, and how the dynamics of the virus were moving in that facility. so we took very aggressive action which is why 20 outbreaks became too, very very quickly. >> and we have more outbreaks right now, because there was not the kind of analysis and independent review to determine what to do moving forward. and if that bill had been signed, our nursing homes and our assisting living facilities would have been stood up. now we have health care
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facilities, that are in red, and we have in fact, lakes general hospital has filed bankruptcy today. and there is a c.a.r.e.s. act relief fund that the governor took unit -- unilateral control over. he could've stabilized to health care system, didn't. he could've stabilized assisted living facilities in nursing home, didn't. and he gave out a bunch of money to corporations. and i want to ask everybody at home, 1.2 five billion dollars that chris sununu gave out, how much did you and your family get out of that 1.2 five billion? i bet you didn't get any. >> okay let's be. fair the 1.2 five billion, we are the only state in the country that put out over have that money to businesses, employees, the self-employed, the nonprofit. we put more out in relief efforts than any other state in the country, more than florida, new york, california. that was an amazing opportunity, that we put out for those individuals. and when it came to the legislature's attempt, at the 1.2 five billion, they sued me, they tried to slow it down in court, so it up with government
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bureaucracy. i was cutting deals on the phone for ppe, for testing, on a moments notice in those early days. and we did a phenomenal job doing. that in fact, we became one of the best days in the country, bringing in ppe, because we have the flexibility with that c.a.r.e.s. act money. and everything we've done, it's 100% transparent. you can go on the website now, see where every dollar has gone. transparency is day foundation of public trust, which is why i have been constantly out there, where there is press conference, are taking messages right here on wmur anna spurts. notice it's one thing to say we're all in it together, it's another to actually. do it and we knew very earlier and we were going to be incredibly transparent through this whole process. so there is nothing behind closed doors, which is moved very quickly, and we were not going to lie bureaucracy hold up the pandemic -- what was otherwise opportunity in the middle of the pandemic. >> it's not about transparency, is just at this has not been transparent. in fact, violation legislation to do an independent body of what went wrong, is the epitome of not being transparent.
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and, giving it contracts to corporate campaign donors, and giving out c.a.r.e.s. act money. over 200 corporations got 350,000 dollars of the c.a.r.e.s. act money. small businesses got very little. and i bet you, if you're sitting at home, you did not get any of it of his chris sununu billion money. >> businesses with 20 billion a year in annual revenue. that's what you set up. >> or yes, yes that's a smaller business. >> 20 million. >> that's a fraction of what the general government finds small business. and 20,000 -- where you have closures this year that we had last, year because they could pay their property taxes, they could pay their bills, they could pay their employees. stand up their businesses to the toughest times, and were more successful here [inaudible]. >> you know what, one half of new hampshire's children live in a working for households right now. last year, at this time there was 775,000 folks in the labor
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market, in new hampshire. right now, 735,000. >> and 4% on unemployment. >> folks are detached from labor market because of lack of access to child care. >> that's a miracle. and >> we're gonna send hearing putter selves in the? back we have to move forward together. lift off,'s working families, and working people. protective all my care. work for people on the ground. >> we've got 15 seconds coming up to respond. >> democrats have put a bill to have 10 million dollars of c.a.r.e.s. act go to childcare, i put 25 million in the beginning, and we put in another ten last week. we put it more dollars to childcare than they even wanted to do. and we did it faster, with better results. >> okay let's move on to the next question from jennifer vaughn. >> governor, several polls show the public giving you high marks for handling this crisis. but there are parents who wish that you had given clearer guidelines and taken specific action on school reopening plans. you cite local control as a primary reason for your
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approach, but isn't a pandemic time when stronger leadership is needed at a statewide level? >> we provided the strongest leadership that the country saw, which is why we had such success with getting our numbers down. we're having such strengthen our economy. we had the best schools in the country, and we do it because we allowed the locals to have their final say, on what happens in the classroom. provided over 40 pages of guidance, that division of public health and doctor chan, worked with stakeholders and teachers and parents to create that guidance. and the number one request dose take holders has is let's make sure we have some flexibility. because what happens in a third room -- third grade class, is different from a high school class. so by providing that flexibility, what is the result? 85% of our schools are open in some fashion. we have no outbreaks. it's a huge success. under the original plan, hospitalizations just went up 10%, we went from ten to 11 hospitalizations. every school would have to close. under his plan, every school
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today would be closed. and that's not leadership,. the governor should not be sitting in his corner office putting his thumb down making one size fits all dictation for all classes in the district. our plan, worked and we are very proud of it. >> senator feltes, you spearheaded efforts to reject 46 million dollars in federal aid for public charter schools, here in your hampshire. with that money have helped right now, as the education system tries to adapt in this pandemic? >> well the biggest thing facing our schools, without question, is the lack of reopening in public health standards. you know, five or six weeks to go before schools were going to reopen, and people were expecting governor sununu to lay forth some public health standards. he threw his hands, up and put it down to lookalike both. just like trump did that for schools. i love the fundamental belief on this gals, which means you don't leave the school and families and educators on their own. my wife erin and i have two amazing daughters. one of them just turn, to a
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couple of weeks ago. and they are going to go to public schools. we have to be looking out for our kids, they are the, future and they deserve a foundation for success and opportunities and that is as strong as the granted under our story. and we need a real school, reopening plan. and it doesn't exist right now. and you know it, people were told, on the local level, what to do. these are thinking you can make up on the fly. we need real leadership, and when it came time to make a public school reopening plan and make the tough calls, chris sununu docked. we need leadership. >> to the question that was raised on the 46 million dollars, that is federal money, to expand the public to the schools, and then feltes rejected the money. he didn't even let the money come to the state, and allow us to the side how to spend, and he just rejected it outright. do you know how many classrooms we could've built with 46 million dollars? how much opportunity families and kids could've had during this pandemic with that many? it was shameful, and we were shocked.
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why would you reject 46 million dollars for public charter school expansion? and i tell you what, when the republicans when the house and the senate back, we're going to bring that money and provided for families. >> i don't view this as a partisan, thing i view it as i would have to lift up our families and our children in public schools. and you know i, we secured the biggest public school ideation funding in history, 140 million, in public school education in the last budget. finally doing full they can regard unlike any other great. chris sununu headed tied to kino. we have to protect it and move forward. he wanted to go back to 2019, which means cutting 140 million of public school education money out of the budget, and raising property taxes on everyone. >> again, i'm the only government history to fund kindergarten in the state. [inaudible] >> we're gonna see on the topic. let's question from jennifer vaughn. >> okay gentlemen let's talk about youth sports during covid.
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governor, last week you made a decision to shut down ice rinks across the state, to all skating and hockey, which mainly affects children. why did you step in and take that action, but have not stepped in when it comes to school sports, or other local sports programs, that also maybe experiencing cases? >> well we took a very very difficult decision last, week when we said we have to take a two-week pause on hockey. we had eight outbreaks, almost 150 cases, 23 different teams. and i know it was in a very popular decision. i think every decision we've made, at some point throughout this crisis, has been very difficult. and we know we're gonna have said folks. but at the end of the day, throwing politics aside, and doing what is. right so i think by taking the two weeks we can get folks tested. in terms of the other youth sports, which is pointing the outbreaks, and other youth sports, as we had with hockey. and if we work, we could take steps with them. one of the benefits of new hampshire, is for a very strategic about how we go about it, whether it's guidance to reopen restaurants, retail, we don't have a one size fits all. whether it's with schools, or whatever it might be.
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we are very careful, and it takes a lot of extra work, to be sure, but dirt working with dr. chanted, to vision of public, help the team, there we all thought this was the appropriate step to take. and that, where we can save the hockey, season hopefully we can come back in a couple of weeks, be fresh, identify who is positive and who isn't. and hopefully milan with better guidance. >> senator feltes what measure would you be using to determine a few sports should continue, and do you think more than just hockey should be shut down right now? >> well i think you have to listen to the medical experts, and fundamentally this is a health care decision. and when it came time to make decisions about hockey, decisions were made. youth sports, decisions were made. when it came time to make decisions about schools no public health standards were put in place by chris sununu. put it down to the local level, just like trump pointed it down to the local level. and you know what, this is a health care issue, because safe schools equals safe communities. that is not simply a matter of local control. it's not like the virus changes forums, its public health standards that need to be implemented. and trump has failed by any
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measure on covid. and chris sununu continues to support trump. and like i said, he calls himself, in his own words, a trump guy through and through. so to support him after all there's, charlottesville, after trump called service members who died serving our country losers and suckers. then i'm voting for joe biden, i did vote for joe biden. chris sununu it's voting for trump. but he still has not answer the question, are proud to vote for? him >> so the question is about youth sports. and dan just wants to talk about donald, trump in charlottesville, and avoid the entire question. and i have to say, every time dan is trying to take a shot at a lack of kindness, he's taking a shot at doctor chen, the department of the division of public health, the entire team, because they are the ones creating this. we don't do this in a vacuum. they are the ones voting for the guidelines, and working with us as a team, working with scientists and stakeholders, finding that middle ground to see what will work. and we have been very cautious in the state, which is why our numbers have been very low. i am incredibly proud of that team. it's not just a unilateral decision the governor make,
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it's an incredible team, and which is why we stand together as a team, and why those guidance documents have been so successful in the state of new hampshire. >> 15 seconds. >> thank, you talk about teams, you talk about state government, my dad told me he worked in a factory that the way the judge a manager has by what their employees say. the state employees, the state employees association support my campaign. the state troopers, the troopers association, state employees, support my campaign. troopers on the front lines. and the people who work underneath governor chris sununu do not want to -- see a third tame under this corner. they want to see state employees on the front lines. >> next question from john. >> this morning as mentioned, lakes region general health care announced they are filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. this comes as new hampshire hospitals association says that between march and july the states hospitals have already lost 575 million dollars, and project a total loss of 700
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million losses by the end of the year. it's already resolved in furloughs at some hospitals. governor, you have recently authorized 100 million emergency funding from the cares act, to support health care providers through the end of this year. so how much more are you prepared to put forth in public dollars, stake dollars if necessary? and how it did state for that? >> so we made a commitment early on in this pandemic that no one would be shutting their doors. and they are not. i know lakes region was having financial trouble, pretend i make, and we were working with them in a restructuring process. so today's news is no surprising, it's actually good, because it is a tremendous health care center, and they will work with the lakes region. they will have a reemergence brought just. and they were one of the first to put money at the beginning, and then provided dollars to physicians, and dentists, and hospitals. 100 million dollars plus more. and we've always said, no one will be shutting their doors through this pandemic. the federal government came in with eight 300 million dollars
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in aid. and they will come in with his. well i think overall the hospitals in the state are down about 5% to their cost action. they are in the right about 5%. but again that is manageable. we will be there for them, where there is a hospital, your dentist, whether it's lakes region, or conquered. they have been working on that merger for quite some time, and i think it's a great opportunity to strengthen the system, and allow federal dollars in the state dollars to back it up when it needs to. >> we have to look out for our health care workers, they are on the front lines of this crisis. they're doing whatever it takes no matter the risk, for all of us to keep us safe, and healthy. and you know, they deserve more than modest frontline pay. they deserve real ppe, and real testing support. and real support to make sure that hospitals like lake reached don't go under, and filed chapter 11 bankruptcy. that is kind of -- it's going to devastate the region. they already had layoffs, in four allows, a lot of hospitals have had furloughs. and chris sununu had an
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opportunity to stabilize their health care system. he should not, to with the 1.2 five billion dollars that he had unilateral control over. and you know what, our health care workers on the ground ought to be treated with respect. our health care system needs to be stabilized as we move forward. and obamacare is going to have a supreme court argument on november 10th, it's at risk with judge barrett being confirmed. chris sununu opposes obamacare, and he has opposed to repeal time and time again. we need to strengthen obamacare, strengthen our health care system, and move forward, lifting up the stories of working men and women on the front lines. >> so we can, we put over 100 million dollars to make sure no one shuts their door, they didn't it worked. we put 75 million dollars to frontline health care workers, to provide the stipends to give them that extra resource, as they were on their front lines, putting everything they had at risk. time away from families, we paid them those extra dollars, 75 million, plus 200 million that the state, putin plus the 300 million the federal put in. we've done a tremendous job, and the result is we have one of them was stable health care systems in the, country through
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the pandemic. >> we've reached a half hour march cars, we will move on to the next round. now we will start with you senator feltes, what would be the backdrop for your official governors portrait? >> that's a great question, partly my backyard, where i spend a lot of time, especially with my children. >> governor sununu, what will be in your portrait, background? >> something outside, i haven't really thought about any of that. the mountains, i spent a lot of time, they're probably mountains. >> all right governor sununu, it is a defensive for new hampshire high schools to use indigenous people are imagery as your mascot? >> is it offensive for them to use your mascots? well it can be, yeah. i think a lot of schools are actually to to change that right now, and again that's their choice. but i think they have to look at how the, images being used what's being used. i think i've seen a national movement, there weren't a lot of changes are being made, and that is progress. >> senator, what about your? do you agree with the governor? >>. >> all right, senator was question, would you support bill gardner as secretary of state, if he decides to seek another term?
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>> i have respect for signature gardner. he has many years in the state, he helped protect the first nation in the primary. unfortunately, he has gone behind some pretty partisan legislation, that restricts to right to vote. voters to praise relations station that governor sununu signed, and landed the voters to pressure hall of fame. and i think behind that partisan legislation, i think it's time to move forward. and that's my view. >> governor, i think bill gardner is a democrat, i don't think he has a partisan vote in his body, he does a phenomenal job for the state of new hampshire. he's one of the best in the country, and we're honored to have him. >> governor, it's halloween, to have a favorite scary movie? >> i don't like scary movies, but yeah charlie brown. i mean that's what we watch every halloween. as a kind of a movie. i think it's technically 22 questions. >> we'll take that. one >> senator, what about you? favored scaramucci and halloween? >> i guess halloween. >> all right, senator should new hampshire change its status as a liquor control state? >> no, i think keeping that
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makes sense. and i think you could build off of it, including potentially exploring and i support the legalization of recreational marijuana. i know government sununu opposes that. but that is a way to potentially implement it. >> governor, how about you? >> no, we do a great job. we have the lowest prices around, and great accessibility. it's a great product. >> all right, let's go back to the panel. and jen vaughn? i was sorry john distasio. >> no problem. gentlemen, the black lives matter movement in new hampshire has called on the next governor to address disproportionate racial incarceration at the state prison. senator, you have signed on to this proposal. so please, -- please tell, is how many inmates we plan to release, and how you're going to do it? >> first of all those marching for change, and bright nights traders of color, deserve to know that they have a governor that acknowledges that systemic racism exist.
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chris sununu has denied suit that systemic racism exists, just like trump. and continues to support donald trump, despite his violent and racist rhetoric, targeting black americans. he calls himself a trump guy through and through. we need to move beyond that, we need to move beyond that politics. we need to address systemic racism, it doesn't mean everyone within a system is races, is means that policies and practices have a disproportionate negative impact, on communities of color. and that is including in our criminal sisters who. so john, absolutely, we need to look at the -- look at low level nonviolent offenders, and make sure that it's appropriate, and make sure that we do it in a common sense way, including stating the office of racial equity within the governor's office, which is something that i propose doing, to look at these systemic practices. >> to have a number nine, senator? >> no. i think we need to look at what the census are, and we need to
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stand of the office of racial equity. vermont has done this, new hampshire hasn't, under the current governor. and we need to make sure, that this is not just a moment, but a movement for change. we need to work together. i'm proud to have support of line for cement, and proud to have the support of those marching for change. they are not mutually exclusive. we have to bring people together to lift each other, up not tear people down. to fight to deal with these issues that are facing our. state >> governor sununu, you've declined to sign on to this reform effort, but the racial makeup of the admins at the state prison is not reflective of society at large. you've said that systemic racism does not exist in new hampshire, so why is that more black and brown people are behind bars? >> you know, when it comes to the issues of race, and how the state has handled it frankly i couldn't be more proud. because we've been opened, we've been transparent, we have listened to the message. when the protest black lives matter protests what's gonna happen in the streets of manchester, i picked up the phone, and i talked to the
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black lives matter. we said we support you, in the message. and we work with police. and the result is isn't just talk, the result has been allowing the law enforcement accountability commission, to come together. and who is on that commission? the aclu, black lives matter state police, local law enforcement, police standards and training, the prosecutors. everyone coming together and it wasn't just this contentious back and forth, you know your way or my way, bringing all of them together and the result was dozens. over 40 different recommendations that they all could agree on. to take real substantial change forward. and it wasn't just a moment in time, this is the first step of many. i'm the only governor to create the commission on diversity and inclusion. when i became governor, we didn't even have a civil rights mean it. and the attorney generals office, i created that. so by taking real action to move the ball forward, again, these recommendations are coming, we're gonna get them done, and there were gonna take the next step, and the next step. so it has to be achievable, and smart with everyone.
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>> another question from john. >> thank. you michael addison, was convicted in 2006 of the murder of manchester police officer michael briggs, and sentenced to death. he is the only new death row inmate in new hampshire. senator, during the primary debate, you said you would support commuting addison steph, but later correct at that, saying as governor you would block any move to do that. tonight, will you please definitively answer that question? would you commute his sentence, or would you allow him to be executed? >> well i have been consistent in supporting the commutation process is moving forward. but i do not support a commutation tradition right now. and also, in addition to that, i don't think this is something that should be politicized. you know chris sununu has politicized this. i don't think we should be politicizing the murder of a cop, and we need to move forward together. that kind of divisive language, that kind of divisiveness period, it is not what we need right now. we need to work together.
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whether it's subtle, or over, it caught on tape or not, each and every day. black americans face policies practices actions that robbed him of the american dream, if not their very lives. and we have to move forward together, working with law enforcement. working with those marching for change. and you can't stand up here, honestly, and say you are a leader of racial justice, and still support donald trump. and i've asked it over and over again. governor, are you proud to vote for donald trump? >> governor you've sununu said very clearly that you would not commute at a since sentence. >> of course not. >> but new hampshire doesn't have the death chamber. so to put it bluntly, how would he be put to death, and how would you justify to tax barriers imbalanced of dollars it would cost to build a chamber that would be used once, since the death penalty has been abolished in the state? >> sure. so i'm just understand senator feltes position. he says he's been consistent, but it would not commit a sentence, but eventually he needs to commit a sentence.
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that is almost an consistent thing i've ever heard. i've stood with the family, and i have to tell you, when you can look at their eyes and say we are not going to commute the sentence of a cop killer, absolutely unequivocally. and i understand and had one position, when he was running in a democratic primary, now he has another, that's politics. that is a definition of politics. i've been consistent, 100% all the way through. we would never do that. the people of manchester, the citizens of the state, wouldn't do that. and when it came to getting rid of capital punishment, dan he was the one that felt a bill to my desk, i vetoed it. because i think in those instances, i think capital punishment is appropriate. and they overturned the veto. but that withstands built, that he sent there. so again, tiktok out of one side or the other, side depending on what part of the election year on, that's not me. i've been consistent for years, on this. it is dan feltes that needs to explain the answers. >> well, i have been consistent. during the primary i signed a commutation process should go forward. and i have been very clear, if
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there was a hypothetical petition right now, i would not supported right now. because there will be court processes down the road. what we should focus, on is not necessarily hypothetical petitions right now. and we should focus on what is going on in people's lives right now. we got people out of work. we got people struggling, working people, and working families. we have hospitals a filing chapter 11 for bankruptcy. and we have a governor and the president, who are working to repeal obamacare, which is critical for our health care system. more and more of those hospitals, and health care providers, are going to go belly up. and that's going to affect all of, us we have to lift each other out, we have to work for working families, and health care stability. >> senator, it's. time to follow up, governor, the logistics, the cost of building a death chamber? >> i don't know how that would. go to be honest, whatever the cost, is we can manage it, we can always find a process. you shouldn't follow through on the law, and justice, because there is a cost. so there is a way -- i don't know the exact logistics, were not near that
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point yet. but of course, you're not gonna let costco in the way of justice. >> all right, next. question from the panel now. oh, my bad. next question comes from video. it's about gun control. >> hello, my name is trevor mccain, i'm a college student from rollins forward new hampshire. candidates, as you both know you have to have some of the lowest crime rates in the. country a believe that additional gun control legislation is needed, and if so, what do you propose? >> governor, this goes to you first. >> so i've been very consistent, we do have one of the lowest crime rates, we are one of the safest states in the country, we have better responsible firearm citizen tree, as well as legislation. i've always said that our firearm legislation is pretty darn good. it really is. we have a nice balance, here in the state. we respect the ability of individuals to own firearms, under the second minute. and again, the state has a great record of being responsible, with the right legislation. >> senator? >> oh thank. you i think a common sense gun
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safety measures should go forward. we passed four common sense measures, including universal background checks, emergency risk protection orders, and making sure there's a common sense waiting period. and look, i'm gonna owner myself. i believe in universal background checks. i believe in talking about consistency. there ought to be a consistent way, in what you see an election time in what you do. there was a couple elections, ago chris sununu said he supports universal background checks. and then he vetoed it. he had an opportunity, to sign it and keep. today he said he supports paid family leave, and he vetoed it. he said his supports a number of clean energy legislation, and he petered. it and fight he had 79 vetoes, 65 which had bipartisan support. the major barrier to bipartisan progress in the state is chris sununu. and we have to work together. i have a much different approach. the best ideas come from the ground, up not the top. down we have got to work together, in a bipartisan way, in common sense initiatives, and universal background checks will be something i will sign
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should it reach my desk. >> governor. >> well again, on the firearms legislation, all of those started out as potentially come sense bills, that turned very abusive very quickly. and basically became gun confiscation. bills i know what it said on the top of the paper, but each one of those sentences, you are strictly going overboard with a gun confiscation. >> while they were not gone confiscation, with respect to the governor. and then fact, our families, that trump their kids off at school every day, ought to have the peace of mind that their kids will be going to school in a safe environment. and baseline universal background check in school stones just makes common sense. and you know, when you talk about gun free school zones, when chris sununu veto, it he said people have a constitutional right to carry arms in the school. that's not the constitution. we get a look out for families, we have to look out for public safety in our communities. and these bills, who are supported by many members of law enforcement.
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>> that's. time >> so again, i know it sounds nice that we are gonna put up a sign in school that says growing -- guns aren't allowed. here but that sign is not going to turn him admin around, that would do harm to children. that's not going to make a difference. what makes the difference is getting to the core of these issues. which is issues of mental health, issues that's around what drives a lot of these tragic events across the country. whether it is implemented in a social mission learning program, or suicide prevention programs, that we've instituted, making sure that teachers have mental health training and suicide prevention trading on their side. we have an amazing record of success, they're building loans a disaster, mental health situation here in new hampshire, to something that we can be proud of and build off. let's move on, gentlemen. next question. senator feites, you've heard you criticize governor as a trump guy through and through, your words. the most pro trump police force in the region. he said you are projects at that endorsement. according to a report from business in decider, they
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called congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez a bar fight stripper, referring to kamala harris as a racist pig, and said former first lady michelle obama perpetuate racism because, quote, her people kill each other of the streets of chicago. i'm assuming you reject these comments. how can you accept that endorsement? >> i've been very clear and i was clear when i was notified of the endorsement that those comments are unacceptable and i encourage the police association to encourage that person to resign. but let's be clear, those do not reflect the comments of all of our men and women in blue. they don't. and in order to unite our nation in this divisive time, you need to have an open door and work with everybody. and you must condemn comments like i just did. and you must be strong on it. we must be strong by standing
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up to people who exact divisiveness on our country. and literally, he continues to council the trump guy through and through. he won't answer whether he's proud to support and vote for donald trump. we have to get beyond trump. we have to move forward together if we're going to unify together. that means being blunt. being blunt about president trump's comments, which chris sununu has not. >> but you accept the endorsement? >> the organization that endorsed me, yes. >> if i can be clear, the police association endorsed me. this radical outside group is behind dan. the new hampshire police association has endorsed me. that is who represents the rank and file in all of our communities. i'm very proud to have. that >> governor, you have lost some other key law enforcement endorsements in this election. what do you think these groups are rejecting your candidacy? is it in indicator ... >> its contract. >> potentially beyond the balance that you would like to strike between letting law
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enforcement officers do their job and holding them accountable? >> i understand the unions we have to deal with at the state level are upset that when we offered them a certain raise, that they wanted more. we were in the discussions with the pandemic hit. obviously, once the pandemic hit, we were not going to give raises to state employees and troopers while people were losing their jobs. we are in massive economic crisis across the state. so i understand the union leadership is more focused, we can come back and talk about those contracts next year. but at the end of the day, it's about keeping our communities safe. a leadership that says we will stand behind our lot enforcement 100% of the time because they're working with our communities and folks. whether it's ethical issues, racial issues, community policing issues. we did a phenomenal job rebuilding our training programs. all the state had a say in that. that is why we stand behind law enforcement in new hampshire because they do it right. they are putting themselves on
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the line day in and day out to help our can few many -- communities. >> moving on. >> thank you. gentlemen, just last week the new hampshire chapter of the national alliance on mental illness said 27 children and 41 adults were housed in emergency rooms for indefinite stays as they waited for inpatient psychiatric beds. all this problem went away for a short time this year, it has played the state for nearly a decade. you can sponsored a bill that the governor signed to allocate millions of dollars to rectify this issue. why did that solve the problem? >> because governor sununu failed to implemented. just went out for an rfp last week, request for proposal, it took almost a year to do it. had he acted quickly, those 27 kids would be waiting in emergency rooms for necessary, timely and needed mental health
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treatment. look, when you go to the emergency room with a sprained ankle or a heart problem, you get treatment right away. here, mental health treatment, it doesn't happen right away. that is not right. we have people sitting in emergency rooms and non therapeutic settings waiting for mental health treatment, including kids. and this was easily preventable if governor sununu stood up the bill that you just talked about, jennifer. he did not do it. he went off for an rfp last week. the situation is only getting worse in a pandemic. our behavioural health crisis is getting worse. we need to look out for those in need. our families and children in need. that is what i will do is governor on day one. governor, the state is back to where it was last year in terms of people in emergency rooms. why is that happening? >> again, i'm incredibly proud and when the commissioner came in and she was working at new
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hampshire hospital. we had this crisis a few years ago and we got the number two zero. we had nobody waiting for -- an emergency rooms earlier this year just prior to the pandemic. obviously, the pandemic is thrown a wrench into everything whether it's the isolation issues with adults and children, whether it's the lack of workforce that we've had for certain folks leaving the workforce and coming back in. new programs being stood up. all of those pieces of legislation are moving forward and nothing has been held back. obviously, putting a contract out in may and june of this year wasn't going to be a viable solution because there was no one there. right? there was no want to pick up the contracts. at the end of the day, we have built more designated facility beds in the community than before. we are moving kids out of new hampshire hospital in building more beds and filled brook with 18 more beds there. we've solve this problem once. earlier this year, the number was zero. the pandemic is thrown a wrench, but that does not mean we give up. we have the tools in place and we have the expertise, the operational expertise at the
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department of health and human services is phenomenal. there's no reason as we work through this pandemic, but we can't get back to a very successful model. >> we want to get a couple of more topics here. jennifer vaughn has another question. >> this question is for both of you. when we talk about climate change in ways to combat it on a state level, we know both candidates have touted some programs that they have pushed for. we also know that each of you have been critical of the other party for derailing some of your parties ideas. so is there anything that you can agree on tonight right now that would send a message to senators that you are serious about doing what you can to reduce the effects of climate change? governor let's begin with you on that. sure >> >> governor let's begin with you on that. >> sure let's talk about where we agree, i've been one of the most proponents for offshore wind, i think that's a huge benefit to getting our energy mix to all the right place. we're making sure we're not drilling, offshore drilling for oil and gas. it's a big part of what we need to do here, in new hampshire. i flew out to washington, we have the legislation, it's a smart way to do it. solar has great environmental
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benefits, for us all, but my plan was to make that we're not building these massive solar -- where billions of dollars go to the development. let's put this solar panel to those who have to pay subsidies, low income housing, mobile home parks, long time care facilities. let them be the first to get the economic benefits, because there is a cost to all of it. so there is a balance and a solution to all of. this but it isn't just saying this to everything, and letting the companies take all the money. >> i have to come back, take responsibility and do that in the state of new hampshire, and in doing so you can promote good jobs and clean energy. the jobs right here in new hampshire, it's in part how we get out of this mess. in a way that works for working people and families. and clean energy reduces rights. we talked about, jennifer, what we can agree on and we did agree on a couple of things. including governor sununu signed my bill to enable communities to do community aggregation, sala savings for communities. but he also vetoed 14 paces of clean energy legislation, efficiency, energy, solar, net
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immunity. three net immunity bills in fact. they all had bipartisan support. so this, fundamentally, is not a democrat problem, or a republican problem, quite frankly the failure to move forward is a chris sununu problem. and he denies climate change exist, even. >> that's not true at all. >> you said the jury's out on climate change. >> that's not true. >> and you know, you said that. and you vetoed all these piece of legislation. look, we have to move forward with the jobs up tomorrow, right here in new hampshire. >> 15 seconds. >> let me be very clear humans have contributed to climate, change will be saying that for your. what's most important is the action. these net bills, that senator feltes put, over the next ten years, over a billion dollars, that is a billion dollars in what it would cost. >> that's ridiculous. and >> everyone has to. pay everyone, everyone on fixed income, low income families, every time you turn on that light switch, you would've had to pay under those bills. so we redesigned it. we do it in a smart way, and we make sure that those that again,
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are gonna be the hardest hit by those subsidies, are the first ones to get the economic benefit. it's a slight change, but it means not putting big dollars into the pockets of these giant solar companies. >> thank you, and thank you governor. here's the reality. our bills are going up new hampshire, the reason they're going up is because of regional transmission costs are going. up and regional transmission cost and you have to go up based on the hour peak demand, relative to other states. and we were not chasing our peak demands ran iffy -- -- and efficiency. our rates go up. the rates have gone up because of chris sununu vetoes. >> to be fair, massachusetts went up 16%. hours have gone up 9%. [inaudible] closing statements, one minute. >> thank you very much. for those watching at home, i respectfully ask your vote. more than that, i respectfully ask you to vote. there is no more important role in our democracy than that of citizen. we need you. we need everybody working together, to build a more
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inclusive democracy and economy. to lift one another up, not to tear people down. based on that fundamental belief that we are all in this together. and make no mistake, we can't move forward unless we protect health care, in this race. and unless we protect choice, i support obamacare and strengthen. it chris sununu supports repealing. it i am pro-choice. chris sununu is not. we have to move forward and choice -- jobs tomorrow, right here in new hampshire. and look, i can't promise that i'll be a perfect governor, i'm not a perfect person. but what i can promise, is that each and every day i walk into that office, i'm gonna look out for working people and working families, every step of the way. >> governor, one minute for closing statement. >> even in his closing statement, senator feltes is about the negatives and the lies, of course i'm a pro-choice governor, i have been for quite awhile. but when it comes to what is important in this election, it's about what happens in 2021. it's about building a great
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team, and having real management experience, to get through these fairly -- very challenging. times you can't sue your way through a crisis. you can't lawyer your way. up you need management experience in building routines. and we have got so much done in the state for success, we had extra money 100 -- dollars we turned it back to citizens. we said no to income tax, twice. we said no to the toll increase, no to the gas tax. and when it comes to balancing the budget, it will be a challenge, to be sure. we can do it without raising a single tax. because the last thing you should be doing, in a crisis, is picking another dollar out of folks pockets. we want to earn peoples votes, but i believe every elected official needs to be held to their results. our results are phenomenal in the state. we have become a gold standard, for the rest of the country. we have the people of the state to thank for that. i cannot thank you enough. we have a long way to go, and we hope to earn your vote in november. >> thank you governor sununu, senator feltes, and thanks to our panelists as well, for asking those questions. and thanks to you, the beer for watching tonight's debate. if you missed any part of, it you can catch it on all of our
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digital platforms, tune in tomorrow evening for the u.s. senate debate. we will see you then. >> weeknights this month in american history tv, we are featuring the contenders. our series that looks at 14 presidential candidates who lost the election. but had a lasting effect on u.s. politics. tonight, we feature former u.s. senator from south dakota, george mcgovern, who was a democratic presidential nominee in 1972. watch tonight beginning at eight eastern. enjoy american history tv, this weekend every weekend. on c-span 3.
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