The race for Congressional District 9 between Democratic incumbent Anthony Weiner and Republican challenger Bob Turner is heating up as Election Day draws near.
In an effort to shore up constituents, both candidates have ramped up their campaign efforts – and also the accusations of wrongdoing by the other candidate. While both candidates are practicing the same campaign tactics, the differences between the opponents are stark, according to both Turner and Weiner.
“I think that in a lot of ways, the biggest issues of our country are being waged in this campaign,” said Weiner. “We have fundamental differences in our philosophies, such as how to protect Social Security and how to stimulate the economy.”
Weiner wants tax cuts for the middle class, as well as protection for Social Security and Medicare. He also said that he and Tuner disagree about the role of government in women’s health.
“He has said he’s against abortion in all circumstances – I take that to mean in both rape and incest as well,” said Weiner. “I have appeared with him in many debates and I know what he’s against, but it’s hard to get a fix on what he believes in.”
Turner disagrees most vehemently with Weiner on the size of government and on President Obama’s recent healthcare bill.
“It’s a monstrosity that has to be redone from the beginning,” Turner said about the healthcare bill. “Mr. Weiner claims to have partially drawn up the bill and he thinks that effort is laudable.”
Turner, an entrepreneur and businessman, calls himself the alternative to politics as usual. As a businessman, he believes that he knows how to keep small businesses viable and how to bring them back after the economic downturn.
“Unlike the congressman, I’m a businessman who has created companies and jobs,” said Turner. “I will bring a business sensibility to Washington to help create more jobs in the private sector and grow the economy.”
Weiner questions Turner’s role in business, as well as his policies on job outsourcing. Weiner accuses the republican of offering tax breaks to companies who outsource jobs – something that Weiner believes is unthinkable in today’s economic climate.
Turner said that Weiner is a career politician who has never had a real job outside of the government and doesn’t adequately represent the people of the district. He believes that Weiner should be held accountable for his role in “big government failing miserably.”
“No union or any special interest group will have my attention before my constituents,” he said. “Throughout life, when you screw up, you have to walk the plank. This was the budget target and you either made it or you didn’t. We need to see a greater level of accountability.”
However, Weiner said that Turner is the one who works without accountability. The congressman said that Turner is secretive when it comes to reporting money and that he is a no-show in his own community.
“For me, there is little difference from the way I behave in relation to my constituents at campaign time and the rest of the year,” said Weiner. “I’ve answered more than 100,000 letters over the last five years.”
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