Jabs and accusations highlight Congressional debate

Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 at 4:41 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Candidates for the New York’s 21st Congressional District squared off on Monday in a debate hosted by 7 News.

It has been a heavily contentious race between Republican incumbent Elise Stefanik and Democratic challenger Tedra Cobb that was on full display in the studio.

It was a debate full of interjections, jabs and accusations. Neither Stefanik nor Cobb held back when it came to their political differences.

“Elise, unfortunately you twist and turn things that I have said and you make up stuff. People are watching and they deserve the truth from you,” said Cobb.

“I’ll tell them the truth. The truth of Tedra Cobb is she stood on the debate stage and said she supports cutting national defense,” said Stefanik.

It was a pattern at the 7 News 21st District Congressional Debate with Stefanik and Cobb sparring on issues including the federal response to COVID-19.

“The president lied to the American people. He knew how dangerous this virus was and he didn’t tell the truth. With public health, we need to trust the American people to do the right thing,” said Cobb.

“I think the president has done very well in terms of providing what we need in the north country. As I said in my opening remarks, we have maintained the lowest positive COVID rates in the entire New York state,” said Stefanik.

They took jabs at one another over health care policies.

“My opponent is once again running from her record. For two years she ran on Medicare for all, including for illegal immigrants. That would be $30 trillion in new taxes, that would also take away from seniors who have paid into Medicare,” said Stefanik.

“Elise Stefanik has been in Congress for 8 years. She has voted 5 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to kick 64,000 people in this district off their healthcare and to strip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” said Cobb.

And they discussed the Presidents' taxes.

“I first want to start by saying that Elise Stefanik supports the president in releasing his taxes but she voted against a bill that would have forced the president, any presidential candidate from releasing those taxes,” said Cobb.

“I believe that candidates for federal law office should release their taxes. I did when I ran for office, my opponent hasn’t. I don’t support raising taxes. I think we need to lower taxes,” said Stefanik.

Other topics discussed include Russian bounties on U.S. troops, Black Lives Matter and an assault weapon ban. You can watch the debate Monday at 7 p.m. right here on WWNY-TV.

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