7th Congressional District debate gets heated - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

7th Congressional District debate gets heated

Congressman Sean Duffy and former State Senator Pat Kreitlow debated for the first time Monday night. The two covered some controversial issues including abortion and negative attack ads running against both candidates.

Dozens supporters for both candidates lined the street outside the UW Marathon County Center for Civic Engagement before the debate.

The two answered questions about farming, healthcare and jobs.

"If you raise taxes, especially in a down economy, it doesn't create jobs. but my commitment has been...to the folks of the 7th district," Congressman Duffy said.

"What we need to do going forward is make sure that tax relief and tax incentives don't go to the very top," Kreitlow said as he addressed the packed auditorium.

The back and forth continued throughout the hour-long debate.

One of the most heated exchanges centered around abortion. Newsline 9 anchor Melissa Langbehn asked a question directed at Congressman Duffy about his stance on abortion and funding for Planned Parenthood.

He responded by defending his pro-life stance and said that he doesn't support Planned Parenthood because the organization provides abortions.

But Kreitlow fired back saying, "And we don't deserve to have a congressman who one of the first bills he signed on to would redefine rape. We don't need that."

Duffy used time from the next question to respond. 

"As a prosecutor, I prosecuted rape cases. I heard the stories of women and children who had been raped. And as I was working to put those rapists behind bars, you might have read a teleprompter to tell the people in your community about that. So don't talk to me about rape," he said.

Both candidates used the forum to defend their records and they'll get another chance in two weeks at a debate in Superior.

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