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NBC Augusta - Congressional Candidates Sound Off on the Economy in First Debate

Location: Augusta, GA

By Steve Kuzj

District 12 Congressman John Barrow and congressional hopeful, John Stone faced off in a debate for the first time, Friday night at the NAACP conference in Augusta.

The two candidates for Georgia's 12th district don't agree on many issues, but a passion for fixing the economy is something they both share.

Democrat John Barrow voted against the $700 billion bailout plan. He says he didn't believe it would benefit tax payers. The incumbent says regulation and reform are the keys to fixing the economy.

"We need to fix what's broke with this economy and that's a regulatory system that cares more about Wall Street that it does Main Street," said Barrow. "We need to put reforms in place that took care of our national economy all of the time during the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s. We produced the largest middle class in the history of the country as a result of simply keeping sound financial principles."

Republican John Stone is looking to unseat Congressman Barrow in District 12. He says energy policy reform is what the economy needs.

Stone says the first thing he would do is cut prices at the pump to put more money in taxpayers' pockets.

"I would immediately support a 50 cent a gallon cut in gas and diesel tax to buy us some financial relief right now and then I would drill here, drill now," said District 12 candidate, John Stone. "I would build new refineries, new reactors and explore every form of alternative energy that we possibly know of and do whatever it takes to get the price of gas down."

Congressman Barrow and Stone will have several more debates in the coming weeks leading up to the November election.

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