By Bob Culp
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Coats made a campaign stop in Auburn Monday afternoon to shake hands with the public and local Republican leaders.
Coats visited the Mad Anthony Brewing Co. restaurant on North Main Street as a part of a jaunt through northeast Indiana.
Coats is running against Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth for the Senate seat now held by Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, who is not seeking re-election.
Coats said many issues are important to Hoosiers in this race, including health care, government stimulus bills and the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.
But, the No.1 issue is jobs, he said.
Coats said to stimulate the economy and create jobs he would vote to reinstate the Bush tax cuts and cut high government spending. He said Ellsworth supported ending the tax cuts and voted for the health care reform and stimulus legislation.
"It's obvious that the policies (the Democrats have) enacted for dealing with this recession have not worked," Coats said.
"It's time to look at other policies that have been tried and proven in the past, both by a Democrat, John F. Kennedy -- who lowered taxes in a recession -- and by a Republican President Ronald Reagan, who did the same thing and tried to cut back on government spending."
With about two months until Election Day, Coats said his campaign would not criticize Ellsworth with personal attacks.
"I want this to be a factual examination of his record versus my record and let people have that choice," Coats said. "We're not going to run the kind of campaign that doesn't want to talk about the issues."
Both candidates say their victory on Election Day can help change Washington from the status quo.
Also, both campaigns have painted their opponent as a "Washington insider."
The Ellsworth campaign has used Coats background -- as a former senator, lobbyist and ambassador to Germany -- against him so far this election season.
However, Coats doesn't shy away from his past
"It's given me the experience and the know-how to go to Washington and hopefully turn that around," he said. "My record is there for people to see. Brad Ellsworth's record is there for people to see as a comparison. Two very, very different options that people will have when they go to the polls in November."
Coats said this midterm election could be decisive.
"I think (this election) has the potential to make major changes in the House and in the Senate," Coats said. "(This election) says: "We don't want your policies, and they haven't worked.'"