/ Modified aug 27, 2012 8:59 a.m.

The U.S. Senate Republican Primary Forum

The four Arizona Republican Primary candidates debate the issues


In conjunction with public TV station KAET in Phoenix, Arizona Illustrated presents this half-hour debate with moderator Ted Simons and featuring the Republican primary candidates seeking the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl: Wil Cardon, Jeff Flake, Bryan Hackbarth, and Clair Van Steenwyk.

View the forum above, or read the transcript here:

KAET U.S. Senate Republican Forum 8-16-12

Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to this special Vote 2012 edition of Arizona Horizon. I’m Ted Simons. Before we get started I’d like to extend a special welcome to our viewers in Tucson and other parts of southern Arizona who are watching on Arizona Public Media. Tonight’s show is a debate. We’ll hear from Republican candidates competing for Arizona’s open seat in the United States Senate. It’s the seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jon Kyl. As with all of Arizona Horizon’s debates this is not a formal exercise. It’s an open exchange of ideas, an opportunity for give and take between candidates for one of the state’s most important offices. As such, interjections, even interruptions are allowed provided that all sides get a fair shake and we will do our best to see that that happens. The candidates in this Republican primary race are investment company executive Wil Cardon, Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake, former Youngtown Mayor Bryan Hackbarth and radio talk show host Clair Van Steenwyk. Each candidate will have one minute for opening and closing statements. Earlier we drew numbers to see who goes first and that honor goes to Clair Van Steenwyk.

Clair Van Steenwyk: Good evening. I’m glad to have you all here. I want to talk to you a little bit about what needs to be done in Arizona. This seems like a rehash of the 2010 election, at least it does to me, when you had an incumbent running against outsiders or at least people that hadn’t held, one that hadn’t held office before. I want to assure all of you that I haven’t changed from that election. I believe I’m actually the only one in the race that did not support the ultimate winner of that race. I didn’t support him for very obvious reasons then and I don’t now. I am a constitutional Republican, a Christian constitutional Republican and I believe unless and until we restore this country to a constitutional republic, we’re going to continue to slide down to oblivion. They’ve put us on this path, the people we’ve elected and trusted, and they’re continuing to vote that way. It’s up to us, the voters, to take our own country and states back. If we choose not to do that in this election, we’re going to lose our country so I give you that opportunity now as we were given that opportunity two years ago and quite frankly we blew it. Thank you.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. And for our next opening statement we turn to Jeff Flake.

Jeff Flake: Thank you. My name is Jeff Flake. I’m the congressman from the 6th District right now. This is a high stakes election. It’s obviously extremely important. We have a $16 trillion debt and we’re adding to that debt about $1.2 trillion every year. We’ve got to have somebody who’s ready to go back to Washington and to stand up for fiscal discipline regardless of which party is in power. I’ve had that record in the House and that’s the record that I’ll take to the Senate. We also have to recognize that this seat is now held by Jon Kyl. He has really been the go-to guy on so many Arizona issues, whether it’s forest health or mineral rights or anything that comes by virtue of the fact that we’re about 83% publicly owned in this state. Jon Kyl has been the guy and we need to make sure that whoever replaces him has an understanding of these issues and a willingness to work on them. That’s my commitment and that’s why I would love to have your vote in this election.

Ted Simons: All right. Thank you very much. Our next opening statement we turn now to Wil Cardon.

Wil Cardon: Thank you for having us here tonight. It’s great to be with you. My name is Wil Cardon and I’ve spent the last 20 years raising a family and building businesses and that’s what I think we need right now in Washington, D.C. are more people from the real world, people who’ve actually balanced budgets, who’ve made payrolls, who understand what it’s like to live within the means that you’re given. Right now we have insiders running Washington, D.C. and that hasn’t worked out so well. We have nearly $16 trillion in debt, we have broken borders, we have an economy in Arizona that is the worst it’s been since the Great Depression. We have problem after problem after problem and yet we seem to send the same people over and over and over to Washington, D.C. thinking they’re going to fix it. It’s not going to be fixed unless we change the character of Washington, D.C. and that’s why I believe we need consistent, reliable conservatives now, people who will go back to Washington, D.C. and work on results, not rhetoric, people who will go back and will actually get the job done, not just talk about it. That’s who I am, that’s why I’m running and I hope I can earn your vote.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. And our final opening statement comes from Bryan Hackbarth.

Bryan Hackbarth: Hi and thanks for having us up here. I’m Bryan Hackbarth. I’m one of the four candidates for United States Senate. The reason I’m running is as former mayor I understand the state and local issues that we need to bring back to the state. Taken away Department of Education, EPA, OSHA, Department of Energy, all these agencies need to come back to the states cause what’s good for Arizona is not always good for Nevada or other states. Let our state legislatures dictate what we need in this state, not the federal government. The other thing that… and I’ve been on the campaign trail preaching, folks, we need to bring our Christian values, our religious values back. Without God in the mix we will not be able to solve these problems. We need Christian conservative values in Washington and we need ones who are not afraid to speak about the real issues. Jobs are an important issue and I have a plan to deal with that, thank you.

Ted Simons: All right. Thank you very much. Let’s get it started. Congressman, I want to start with you regarding immigration reform, want to get your ideas on immigration reform, immigration enforcement. You’ve been criticized now for changing your position on this issue. Is that criticism valid?

Jeff Flake: No, it’s not. It’s a recognition that until we get better border security then we can’t move on to the other items of reform that we’re going to need at some point but we’ve got to get better border security first. What we have now is a situation where we have operational control in one section of the border, the Yuma section, the Yuma sector but we don’t have it in the Tucson sector. So what we need is to do what has worked in the Yuma sector and move it to the Tucson sector and then we can tackle the other issues that we need to.

Ted Simons: Once that is secure, once the border is secure, however and in whatever shape or fashion, then what do you do?

Jeff Flake: Well, first you’ll have to deal with the fact that nearly half of those who are here didn’t sneak across the border, they came legally and overstay a visa so you’ve got to deal with that legal immigration structure as well and then you’ve got to deal with employer issues and enforcement, you’ve got to deal with some mechanism to deal with those who are here illegally now. You need a temporary worker program for the future. There’s much you need to do but you’ve got to secure the border first.

Ted Simons: What do we do regarding immigration?

Will Cardon: Ted, I disagree with the Congressman. He spent the last decade in Congress promoting amnesty, promoting the Dream Act and the Strive Act and other things that now President Obama has taken to the next step. We can’t keep changing our minds and spend ten years working on something and then change our minds and flip flop and have a death bed repentance because all of a sudden we’re running for a different office. We need to figure out the problem and start solving it. The problem today is we don’t have a secure border so we don’t know how many people are here or not here illegally. We have a president who’s picking and choosing which laws he wants to keep, who’s not respecting the rule of law. We have to change that. We have to respect the rule of law. We have to move forward. And Congressman Flake has worked with Luis Gutierrez and some of the most liberal people in Congress and I’m not talking about which side, I’m talking about sponsoring bills together, working on it to the point where Luis Gutierrez said, I don’t recognize Jeff Flake today. He’s not the same person.

Ted Simons: I need for you to respond to that.

Jeff Flake: The gentleman definitely has not read the Strive Act that I introduced with Luis Gutierrez. Had he done so he would recognize that there’s not amnesty there. Amnesty is an unconditional pardon for a breach of law. It’s what we did in 1986. That was a mistake and we shouldn’t repeat it. The Strive Act did not.

Wil Cardon: Only in Washington would that make sense. It’s comprehensive immigration reform. We all understand that in the real world it’s… This is the problem. We have people in Washington who go back and they’re courageous, they really are courageous when we have $16 trillion in debt and they propose to cut $5 trillion off of that debt. That’s a courageous thing. In the real world, if you run a business that has $16 million in debt and you cut off $5 million in debt, you’re bankrupt the next year. It’s called bankruptcy. Only in Washington do things like the Strive Act and everything else say… and we give technical definition of amnesty.

Ted Simons: Let’s get Van in here.

Wil Cardon That’s not the way it works.

Clair Van Steenwyk: I understand the Strive Act, the Dream Act and all the other acts but the comprehensive immigration reform is untenable for most Americans. They don’t believe it’s all right for people to come here whether on a worker visa or a visitor visa, overstay it or come across any border, whether it’s the Canadian border or the Mexican border, whether they’re from Asia or Europe when they do this and then be forgiven to some degree by paying a little fine, getting a Green Card and getting a line to citizenship. We have the ability to remove people from this country. We’ve done it before back in the 50s with Dwight Eisenhower. He had no computers. If we don’t have the will to do what’s right, then why do we want to continue to lie to the American people and then say, Mr. Obama’s doing this. Mr. Obama’s doing exactly what most of the progressive Republicans have wanted to do which is a Dream Act. That’s what he’s doing and that’s what we’ve sat back and let them do.

Ted Simons: Bryan, please.

Bryan Hackbarth: It’s hard. I’m the only one sitting here who has a white that became a citizen in the United States in 2008. We did it by the rule of law and we need to continue that. Unfortunately we’re all humans. We all are compassionate. But we need a system that’s going to work and be fair. All of them are good but I have a detailed plan out on my website and that’s been on the campaign trail for the last six months detailing what we need to do to deal with the illegal immigration. Border security must be taken care of first before we do anything else, then we’ll deal with the illegals. But we also have to do comprehensive reform in our legal immigration system, the rules and laws because it’s not fair. It favors one side, not the other.

Ted Simons: Okay. Wil, I mentioned criticism of Congressman Flake regarding his position on immigration reform. You’ve received criticism for having Subway restaurants that employ undocumented immigrants. Is that criticism valid?

Wil Cardon: No. It’s a direct lie and an attempt to mislead. It’s just like Obama trying to distort the record of an honest businessman in Mitt Romney. It’s the same tactics. I own 2% of the company that before e-verify went exactly by the system and the government that unfortunately the Congressman and others were part of were the ones not securing the border and now they want to lay the blame on businesses. The fine the company had was for incomplete paperwork, not for hiring anybody. And the company took that paperwork back to the people who had filled it out incompletely and said, either fill this out or you’re fired. And again, it’s 30 second politics on an ad that don’t add up that are not true and unfortunately are mudslinging and going after my honest business record and my partners who run that operation and manage the day-to-day operations of that business record as well.

Ted Simons: Are you buying that?

Jeff Flake: No, not at all. If the gentleman would look at the Strive Act, he would realize that there was a provision in the Strive Act that had a biometric card that would identify an employee with his or her social security number. Had that system been in place, then the problems at Subway wouldn’t have happened and so the gentleman criticizing the Strive Act and so…

Wil Cardon: We’re talking about existing. Really what he’s asking about the question about Subway is not about the Strive Act. The Strive Act is a theoretical thing.

Jeff Flake: Well, now if you want to talk about Subway…

Wil Cardon: Yeah, that’s what he was asking about.

Jeff Flake: But your problem isn’t with me, it’s with ICE.

Wil Cardon: You’re the one that ran the ads.

Jeff Flake: I know. But ICE is the one that said that more than half of your employees were not… did not have the proper documentation.

Wil Cardon: No, they didn’t.

Jeff Flake: Yes, they did.

Wil Cardon: If you go look at the paperwork, it’s for incomplete paperwork and 21 employees were either left of their own volition or were fired. And see someone who’s… that’s the whole problem, someone who’s never had a job in private sector ought to go get a job at a Subway…

Ted Simons: Wait a minute.

Wil Cardon: …cause then they would figure out what it’s like. People who are in government who are creatures of Washington don’t understand what it’s like in the real world to hire people.

Ted Simons: Just for a second now. I need for you to respond to that Congressman cause you’ve just been told you’re not a real person within the real world.

Jeff Flake: Again, Wil’s problem is…

Wil Cardon: He’s a real person.

Ted Simons: All right.

Wil Cardon: He’s not a bad person.

Jeff Flake: I’ve not worked in a Subway. Wil’s problem is not with me or my campaign, it’s with ICE. The ICE document clearly stated that more than half or nearly half of those employees at that Subway did not have proper documentation.

Wil Cardon: That’s not what the fight was over.

Jeff Flake: Well, that’s not what the fight was over but what’s they found. That’s what the document said.

Wil Cardon: But why are you running ads about that? That’s mudslinging. That’s the type of stuff we have to get rid of in politics.

Jeff Flake: The problem is with ICE, not with me.

Ted Simons: I want to get back to mudslinging in a second but Van do you want to get in.

Clair Van Steenwyk: Yeah, I want to get in on this. Let’s look at the real problem here. We have a government that’s out of control because we have senators and congressmen that won’t take care of problems they’ve been promising to take care of for 20 years or better. Bobby Kennedy got rid of the Vosero program as a deal with the gentleman in California with the Farm Workers Union. The problem we have is we have federal employees, and that’s what they are, senators and congressmen, who refuse to pass laws because they pander to both sides of the aisle and that’s why if he did hire anybody knowingly or unknowingly he was able to. If we shut the border down and came up with a truly good immigration reform plan, this wouldn’t happen. And to just say, we’re going to fine somebody, send them back, let them come back and get in line, when other people have been waiting for decades to get here is not only unfair, it’s unconscionable and it’s total politics of D.C.

Ted Simons: Gotcha. Bryan, please.

Bryan Hackbarth: But the thing is, we don’t need any more laws. We’ve got enough laws on the books. Let’s enforce the ones that are there. Allow border agents and customs do their job. How can you do your job when they’re 30, 40 miles north of the border checking cars as you drive through. On the campaign trail, are you a U.S. citizen? Really? You think I’m going to say no? Please, I mean, it’s insulting to my intelligence and to the people that sit at this table and out there. Congress needs to act and this President hasn’t done his job and we need one that’s going to do the job and if we have to let’s put boots on the ground and call for the borders marshal law, plain and simple. Let’s take it seriously now.

Ted Simons: Let’s get back to mudslinging and the idea of ads because that’s just more interest in that because this campaign has been marked by these kinds of ads and I want to know how you feel the way this campaign has been run. Is it good for the Republican party?

Jeff Flake: You always wish you had a campaign that was more on the issues. I certainly do. I think the issues favor me. I think my record favors me. So I would rather have the campaign done on that basis. Obviously there have been some ugly ads out there and I think though that people see through them. When ads come up and say Congressman Flake has never had a job in the private sector I think it’s just so outlandish. I only went to government, to Congress when I was 38 years old. I didn’t have family wealth or anything to fall back on. I had jobs and so when the people see that and I think they dismiss it so I’m not sure those ads are as damaging as people think because voters are smarter than that, they see through it.

Ted Simons: Senators Kyl and McCain actually came out and said that some of your ads were hurting the party and hurting the party’s chance to win this open seat.

Wil Cardon: Yeah, the establishment of course is going to fight me. They don’t know what to do with me. I’m not an establishment candidate, I’m not going back to impress the establishment. I’m going back to replace them. We have to change the character in Washington. And Congressman Flake points out, he hasn’t… he was a lobbyist before he was… he was at a think tank before he was in Congress. Those aren’t jobs that in the real world that we sit here and take. We don’t need think tanks, we need do tanks now. We don’t need lobbyists, we need people who’ve actually gone out and created products and created things that create this economy, the American dream. I’m not running for the endorsement of the establishment. I think the establishment is broken. They’ve left us now… just look in the last 20 years, they’ve left us $16 trillion in debt, a broken border, broken economy. You name one thing that’s better in Arizona right now than it was 20 years ago. I’d ask the viewers to name one thing that’s better than 20 years ago and I doubt you can find that and that’s why Washington is broken and we have to change or send a new type of individual back to Washington, D.C. in order to fix it.

Clair Van Steenwyk: I find it rather disingenuous to sit here and say Mr. McCain says these ads are hurting the party. Look at the ads that gentleman ran two years ago against Mr. J.D. Hayworth and some of the other slanderous things he did on that campaign trail. This is ridiculous. I covered it, I was out there with my radio show watching this. So for somebody in the party to say he’s hurting our opportunities, the thing that’s hurting the opportunities in the Republic party is the fact that the Republican party doesn’t… doesn’t subject itself to its own platform. They say one thing when they’re running and they do another when they get in office and that’s what the people in the party are tired of.

Ted Simons: Right.

Bryan Hackbarth: But here’s the thing, let’s… talk about John McCain. $32 million in the primary race over J.D. Hayworth. It’s all about money. It’s got to stop. The mudslinging between Wil and Jeff really is an insult to the people of Arizona. I don’t like it. I promised when I got in this I wasn’t going to do it but I’m tired of the super PACs, Club for Growth who did most of the advertising for Congressman Flake should be shut down. It’s time for comprehensive campaign finance reform period. We need to start changing it because you’re not going to get decent candidates out if they’re afraid all this stuff’s going to happen. It’s all about money and the GOP in this state needs to really think their position here these days.

Ted Simons: The Club for Growth reference there, how do you respond?

Jeff Flake: All I can do is run my own race. There are groups out there, on both sides I might add, there is a super PAC who ran ads against me so you’ve had it on both sides. All I can do is run my own campaign and that’s what I’ve done and I think in a very upright manner.

Wil Cardon: There’s a big difference between a group that runs $16,000 worth of ads and a group that runs millions and millions and millions of dollars worth of ads. And in the very beginning of this campaign I asked Congressman Flake to not have outside PACs come in because the only thing outside PACs were going to do is create a negative climate. I asked months and months ago and never got a response for that. It was called the Arizona First Pledge and you can go see it.

Jeff Flake: And what the gentleman…

Wil Cardon: I never got his response and the other thing is every ad I ever ran was about issues. I didn’t call Jeff a name. I got called imposter, I got told lie after lie after lie about me… and it’s not… again, it’s an evil Washington D.C. interest that has no interest in this state coming in and spending millions of dollars to make candidates beholding to them.

Ted Simons: Okay. We need to get a response to that.

Jeff Flake: I’m sorry, I have to respond to that. The gentleman says that he asked me to keep other groups out. One, a candidate can’t do that. That’s called coordination. Two…

Wil Cardon: No, seriously, they’ve done it.

Jeff Flake: Two…

Wil Cardon: Look at the Arizona Legislature, Jeff.

Jeff Flake: Two…

Wil Cardon: That’s disingenuous.

Jeff Flake: The Arizona First Pledge was actually offered after that super PAC for the gentleman was formed so the gentleman knew that this was just a gimmick.

Wil Cardon: No, no, no.

Jeff Flake: Yes, it was.

Wil Cardon: Hold on. Ted, let me explain that because that’s disingenuous and that’s what we get out of Washington are these hidden agendas.

Jeff Flake: Oh, come on, that has nothing to do with Washington.

Wil Cardon: It does. It does.

Ted Simons: Let’s let him speak, please.

Wil Cardon: I was… I was willing… I was willing to not have super PACs come in here. I didn’t know one was formed. You just said you can’t coordinate. I didn’t even know that existed yet I was willing to say, and it’s been done in other states, it was done so this is not something…

Ted Simons: In theoretical prospect.

Clair Van Steenwyk: When can we get back to what’s going on in the state and the issues?

Ted Simons: I’ll tell you what, when you start moderating debates, we’ll do that. I want to get your final word on this.

Wil Cardon: It was done in other states and I asked Congressman Flake not to do it here that if a super Pac come in, cause you can’t control them, that the super PAC money that was spent would be donated to the charity of the other candidates choice and I never got a response on that and it’s disingenuous to say, well, I’m going to let them come in and spend $4 million versus $16,000.

Ted Simons: Do you think… Okay, next question. Do you think Arizonans want Medicaid to be returned to the states, Social Security privatized, the Ryan budget plan, the Ryan ideas? Is this what Arizona wants?

Clair Van Steenwyk: I think they want… The people I have talked to, the younger people want it privatized. The Ryan budget plan won’t work. Ten years we’ll be broke anyway, it won’t matter. The issues are what matter but what’s really gone on quite honestly in this election and I’ve watched it being in the media, to some degree, is how localized the media has made it between two people to make sure no one else even gets mentioned by name.

Ted Simons: Okay and stop right there. How much money have you raised for this campaign?

Clair Van Steenwyk: About $30,000 or $40,000.

Ted Simons: $30,000 or $40,000.

Clair Van Steenwyk: Yeah. And traveled 55,000 miles.

Ted Simons: How much money have you raised for this campaign?

Bryan Hackbarth: Between $30,000 and $40,000.

Ted Simons: Okay. How much have you raised for this campaign?

Jeff Flake: Somewhere close to $5 million.

Wil Cardon: North of that.

Ted Simons: Okay. $30,000 or $40,000 and we have people that are being able to raise millions upon millions of dollars.

Clair Van Steenwyk: That’s right. That’s right.

Ted Simons: Why are you not able to raise more money?

Clair Van Steenwyk: I’ll give you one of the reasons. I called some people that I helped raise money in 2010 to help me raise money, they flat told me, we can’t help you, Van, because we’ve been told by certain people in the party if we do they won’t give us any other candidates to fundraise for and they get a commission on fundraising.

Ted Simons: But that brings up the question, why, why are you running for this office? This is a United States senate seat. Why are you running for this and not some other seat?

Clair Van Steenwyk: Because I’m qualified to run for a seat and I’m allowed under the Constitution.

Ted Simons: Sure.

Clair Van Steenwyk: Plain and simple. I sit here out of this group here with the exception of Congressman Flake and I’m the only one that served on a local level as a mayor. I understand the rights. I know what we need to do and I know how to fix these things. The problem that we have right now is, and it has nothing to do with party, it’s being greedy. It’s all out for themselves. They go to Washington and they totally forget about the American people. We need people who are going to start looking back here, what’s good for Arizona. They spend too much time in D.C.

Ted Simons: Too much time in D.C.

Jeff Flake: No, I’d just say I’m glad that all four of us are in this race. I’m glad that Bryan and Van, it’s tough to go out there and get 6,000, 7,000, 8,000 signatures to get on the ballot. These two gentlemen got those signatures, they deserve to be on the ballot and deserve to be at debates like this and so I’m glad they’re in the race.

Ted Simons: I want to ask you as well. As far as running for public office, what is your history in terms of running for public office and why have you decided to run for the United States Senate?

Wil Cardon: My history is I haven’t served in public office which I think is about my biggest asset I have. It’s broken and my history is having been raising a family and building businesses, having been in the private sector, being subjected to government regulation, government over taxation. I think running for office right now, having been in Washington the whole time, is the equivalent of saying, hey, I’m the world’s greatest parent but I’ve never had a child. I think if you’re going to understand the economy and understand what’s going on, you actually have to have experienced it. There’s value in experience in private sector and not just preaching about the private sector.

Ted Simons: You could have run for a lot of offices. Why United States Senate?

Clair Van Steenwyk: Why United St… because I believe that’s the one office you can make a difference in and I had a number of people ask me to run and I’ve been asked to run before. I am active in politics and have been since 9. I have the radio show, I’ve raised money for people, I’ve campaigned for people, I’ve done MCing for people but I do understand the Constitution and that seems to be the one thing that’s missing from this campaign for a lot of people. They pass laws, they promote laws that are violating the Constitution, they fund departments that violate the Constitution and they expect all the people down here to just say, oh, well, it’s something we want to do. If you don’t get people that understand how this country started and want to protect it from the whether you call them politicians, professional people, whatever they are and I have a business history, yes.

Ted Simons: Right.

Clair Van Steenwyk: But that’s why.

Ted Simons: Last question. Will you support any of these opponents should they win the nomination?

Jeff Flake: In a heartbeat. We’ve got to beat Barak Obama and we’ve got to take control in the Senate.

Ted Simons: Would you support any of these?

Wil Cardon: We need a Republican Senate majority.

Ted Simons: So you would support the candidate if it’s not you.

Wil Cardon: We need a Republican Senate majority.

Ted Simons: So you would support the candidate if it’s not you.

Wil Cardon: Yes. We need a Republican Senate majority. I’ll work my tail off in any way to make that happen.

Ted Simons: Okay. I think I got a yes there. That’s what I was… Okay, thank you very much. And now, each candidate will give us a one minute closing statement and going in reverse order of the opening statements we start with Bryan Hackbarth.

Bryan Hackbarth: Thanks. This was wonderful. It’s about time that we all four of us had a chance to sit down. Folks, we have serious issues in Arizona and across this country. We need a serious candidate. As a former mayor, I understand the concerns of every citizen that is in this state. I’ve been on the trail, I’ve covered over 70,000 miles in this state and the number one thing that we need to do here is to get back to our religious values. George Washington said in his farewell address, there are four things that will fail the United States. We’ve already met three of them. Our religious values, the two party political system which is not listening to the American people and greed. We’ve met all three of these. I’m very concerned. I’m running not because I believe I’m just qualified, I’m running for your children and your grandchildren. I have three children. I want them to be able to have the opportunities that I’ve been given. I ask for your support and your vote. Thank you.

Ted Simons: All right. Thank you very much. And our next closing statement we go to Wil Cardon.

Wil Cardon: Thank you for having us here tonight. It’s nice to finally discuss the issues. It’s been a long time coming. I wish we could have done this many times before. I’m a father of five, I’ve been married 20 years, my family’s been in Arizona since 150 years ago. I grew up building service stations. I worked my way through college. I have never been given anything in my life. I’m trying now to make a difference. I believe in leaving things better than we find them and I hope right now we can be the first generation not to leave things worse than how we found them but to leave them better. Right now there’s a clear choice. In the Democratic side and on the Republican side there are creatures of Washington that want to return to Washington for office. I don’t believe that’s the right path. I think right now more than ever we need to send real world people, business people, teachers, doctors, people who have been out in the real world practicing what government and seen how poor government is. I believe right now I have the best skill set in order to make the economy better for the Arizona people and that’s why I’d like to go to Washington, D.C.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. For our next closing statement we turn to Jeff Flake.

Jeff Flake: We have tremendous challenges ahead. As I mentioned, $16 trillion of debt, $1.2 trillion deficit. We’ve got to have people who are willing to stand up regardless of who’s in power and say enough is enough, we’ve got to stop this spending. We cannot leave this debt to our kids and our grandkids. Despite those challenges we have so many advantages here in this country. Still people want to come here, they want to become Americans, they enrich us. That’s a wonderful thing. If we can have the right leadership in Washington that can establish a conducive tax and regulatory environment and let the private sector and local organizations and communities do the rest, that’s what we need. That’s what my commitment is, to go back and do what I’ve done in the House of Representatives in the Senate. Thanks and I’d appreciate your vote.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. And our final closing statement now we turn to Clair Van Steenwyk.

Clair Van Steenwyk: I’m running for the U.S. Senate because I believe we have not been represented there in quite some time. I have no disagreements with a lot of people, I don’t disrespect people. I disrespect the jobs they’ve done when they vote for things that are unconstitutional. I do not like the idea of somebody having to go to a senator or a congressman to get water rights or mineral rights in a state that’s supposed to have sovereign rights. The federal government controls us, we do not control them. That’s the problem. I know it, I know most of the people in Washington know it. The other reality is this. I have never supported or given money to John McCain, I never will. I have never held office nor have I ever been removed from office. I have never supported SISPA or the NDA Act or the Strive Act or the Dream Act. So if you want someone that is a true constitutional conservative Republican, then I’m the one you vote for. I look forward to your vote and if you’ve already cast your vote on an early ballot, I hope you still hang onto it and change it. God bless you and thank you.

Ted Simons: All right. Thank you candidates and thank you for watching this Vote 2012 debate on Arizona Horizon. For more election resources and to replay this and other Horizon debates, be sure to visit Horizon’s Vote 2012 website at azpbs.org/vote2012. That is it for now. Thanks again to our viewers in southern Arizona who have been watching on Arizona Public Media. I’m Ted Simons. You have a great evening.

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