EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSWV GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE
from Eyewitness News Online
Tomblin And Maloney Square Off
Reported by: Rick Lord
Web Producer: Rick Lord
Reported: Oct. 9, 2012 11:39 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 10, 2012 7:36 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
In what was the only debate between the two major party candidates before next month's general election, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and his Republican opponent Bill Maloney squared off inside the Walker Theater at the Clay Center in downtown Charleston.
In a typical catch-all debate that at times got contentious, the two candidates for Governor discussed several issues important to West Virginians. Coming out in an aggressive style that mimicked what most pundits believe worked so well for Mitt Romney in the recent presidential debate, Maloney attacked Tomblin while discussing the economy. "We've lost 80,000 jobs under your watch," said the Morgantown businessman. Tomblin was quick to fire back, "he's blamed me for every job loss over the last 40 years. But last I checked, I've only been Governor for 20 months"
On coal, Tomblin cited his upbringing, saying, "coming from Logan County, I know how important those coal mining jobs are, and I've fought the EPA for overstepping their bounds." Maloney retorted, "I owe my livelihood to coal. We need a Governor who will stand up to the EPA."
While debating education, Maloney pointed out that West Virginia is 50th in the number of college graduates, while Tomblin relayed a story of how he met with all the college presidents in the state, telling them to get out in their communities to find out what training is needed. "And they are doing that," said the Governor.
When the topic of healthcare surfaced, Maloney stressed the importance of voting for Romney, who would repeal President Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act. "It's the biggest overreach by the federal government in history. It's the biggest tax increase in history," admonished Maloney. Tomblin responded by projecting concern about what the G.O.P.'s policies would do to certain programs. "We have a lot of senior citizens in West Virginia," said Tomblin. "And I'm concerned about his (Maloney's) positions as far as what he would do to put Social Security at risk and to change Medicare as we know it in West Virginia."
In last year's special election, Tomblin narrowly defeated Maloney, who closed the gap considerably in the last few weeks leading up to the election. West Virginia voters head to the polls on November 6th.
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