At a debate that aired yesterday morning on WTVY, Martha Roby, Republican nominee for Alabama's Second Congressional District, drove home her clear message that reducing government spending, debt, and regulation is the best way to promote private sector job creation, while at the same time questioning incumbent Bobby Bright's willingness to forcefully defend Alabama values against his own Democratic party's big government agenda.
"I know who I am. I know my values. I am a person with conviction who will not raise my hand to feel the political wind every time I make a decision," Roby said to Second District voters. "You will not be confused. You will not have to hold your breath every time I go to the floor [of the House of Representatives]. And not only will I vote right, I will fight for you in Congress--I will fight for your conservative values and beliefs."
The debate, hosted by WTVY at Troy University's Dothan campus on Friday, gave area voters an opportunity to examine Republican challenger Roby and incumbent Democrat Bright side-by-side. In addition to the economy and jobs, questions posed by WTVY anchor Skylar Zwick touched on a number of national issues, such as Nancy Pelosi, immigration, and health care.
Regarding Nancy Pelosi, Bright--who cast his first vote in Congress to keep Pelosi in the Speaker's chair--stated his recently taken position that he would vote for someone other than Pelosi or Republican Leader John Boehner, a position seemingly at odds with his recent comments that the speaker vote was "largely ceremonial" and that he had "no regrets" on voting for Pelosi.
At the debate, Bright asked voters not to focus on his vote for Pelosi, who he described as "a person that we don't even know down here."
"The Congressman made the point: we don't know her and she sure doesn't know us," Roby said. "The Congressman says that he thinks of you every time he casts a vote. Well, his very first vote in Congress was to cast it for a lady that we don't know and that doesn't know us, and who doesn't represent our conservative core values right here in Alabama."
On the issue of immigration, Roby argued that ending illegal immigration starts with securing the border and supporting state and local efforts to enforce the law, such as the common sense Arizona statute that is under attack by the Obama Administration.
After Bright noted his support for the Arizona statute, Roby pointed out "it was just two short months ago that Congressman Bright was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that Arizona's law was unconstitutional. . . After pressure was placed on him by his constituents, he now supports Arizona's law. Once again, there is some waffling as to where our Congressman stands. Let me be clear: I have always supported Arizona's governor. I have always supported Arizona's legislature. And, they have done what the federal government has failed to do."
Contrary to Bright, who seemed to defend aspects of President Obama's controversial health care legislation, Roby made it clear that she supports repealing the 2,000 page law and replacing it with market based reforms that will drive down costs, protect Medicare, and improve access to quality and affordable medical care.
"Not only do we need to repeal this legislation but we need to work toward real health care reform," Roby noted. "This health care law in Washington has nothing to do with real health care reform. It is about government takeover of our lives."
Following the debate, Roby campaign manager Mike Hamilton noted that Bright's presence as a Democrat in Congress helps keep Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat party in power.
"As Martha indicated, the first step to turning our country around is to remove Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat majority and elect common sense conservative leadership," Hamilton said. "Voters who watch this debate will know that Martha Roby is ready to go to Congress and not just vote the right way, but fight for conservative values every day."