Thursday: Bachmann, Tinklenberg air it out
Sharp differences between the candidates emerged, sometimes in sharp exchanges, on issues from the economy to energy to immigration.
Star Tribune ,
By Pat Doyle
Confronting signs of a narrowing contest in the Sixth Congressional District, Rep. Michele Bachmann and DFL challenger Elwyn Tinklenberg linked each other Thursday to an unpopular President Bush in a debate with sharp exchanges on immigration, oil drilling and the financial rescue plan.
"Representative Bachmann continues to embrace this president and his policies and the failed strategies of the past," Tinklenberg said....
Earlier in the debate, Tinklenberg said he supported securing the nation's borders but agreed with Bush's proposal to create a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants, something Bachmann opposes. Tinklenberg's stance prompted the sharpest exchange.
"Without having some sort of a barrier at the border, we're going to continue to have the kind of problems that we've had with Olga Franco that we saw most recently in the tragic death of four children in the accident," Bachmann said, referring to an illegal immigrant whose minivan struck a school bus in Cottonwood, Minn. "These are preventable and we need to do that with sealing America's borders."
Tinklenberg replied, "I think it's just a little untoward to exploit a tragic situation to advance a narrow ideological agenda in regard to immigration. Going after Olga Franco and every other immigrant because of that accident just doesn't seem right to me."
The debate occurred as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to begin spending money in the district, citing an internal poll that it says shows the race narrowing, with Bachmann holding a slim lead.