This was a debate between the Republican Jeff Perry, Democrat Bill Keating, and three independent candidates, MaryAnne Lewis, Jim Sheets and Joe Van Nes, hosted by WATD and the Plymouth League of Women Voters, and held at Plymouth Town Hall.
Perry and Keating Call Each Other Liars
The debate was heated at times. An hour and 15 minutes into the debate an exchange between Perry and Keating devolved almost into a shouting match. Perry pulled from one of this jacket pockets a political mailing from the Democratic party saying that he favors cutting Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age, calling those statements “lies” targeted at scaring seniors into voting for Keating.
In the section of the debate when each candidate asks another a question and in turn is asked something by someone else, Keating asked Perry how voters can trust that the Republican will fight for their needs.
Keating and Perry were the only two candidates in the debate who were designated to ask each other a question.
Perry responded saying he would consider raising the retirement age and that he does not support the privatization of social security.
“Your position is to do nothing,” he told Keating.
James allowed the two to go “back and forth,” calling each other liars over the yelling audience.
When Keating retorted that it was Perry who is the liar, the audience booed so loud he had to wait for them to quiet before he could finish speaking.
“It has nothing to do with marijuana … you can’t smoke it.” -Bill Keating
While James tried to quiet the audience, telling them to use their “library voices,” Independent Maryanne Lewis snapped.
Lewis Asked If She is Â Democratic Plant To Syphon Votes from Perry
In her opening remarks Lewis described herself as an independent who has never been a Democratic party insider, saying the party never supported her candidacy. But this is counter to her long record as a former Democratic State Representative, a long time Democratic lobbyist and a key ally of Speaker Finneran.
About 24 minutes into the debate, she is asked about what cause her recent switch from Democratic insider to conservative independent.
She doesn’t really answer it effectively. On the one hand the talks about her work on tax cuts. But mentions also that she was the first woman given a committee chairmanship as a freshman Representative. You don’t get committee chairmanships- especially as a freshman – without being an insider.
Perry and Keating Talk about the Tea Party
At about the 27 minute mark, Â Perry is asked if his presence at Tea Party rallies means that he is “an ideologue”. He doesn’t back down from his support of the Tea Party, saying that they are good hard working people who are concerned about government over spending, frustrated the nothing is being done about illegal immigration, disappointed in the Wall Street bailouts and out $13.5 trillion dollar federal debt.
Perry then asked Keating if he has ever been to a Tea Party meeting. Keating says that he knows how to stand up against your own party, saying that he stood up to former Senate President William Bulget.
Keating then said that Tea Party members badmouth America and assert that â€œthis country has to be blown up in order to make change meaningful.â€ Fighting for change from within the two-party system takes guts, while just throwing â€œsnowballs and rocks through windowsâ€ does not, he said.