RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC (WWAY) — On the debate stage there were no shortage of fireworks as Sen. Kay Hagan and NC House Speaker Thom Tillis went head to head.
The first of three debates in the race for Hagan’s US Senate seat saw the incumbent Democrat and her Republican challenger come out prepared. Both candidates wanted to talk about numbers.
Hagan wanted to talk about $500 million in cuts to education. She says Tillis’s claims about benefiting teachers are just not true.
Tillis fired back by saying Hagan didn’t do enough during her tenure in the NC Senate before she went to Washington six years ago. He also touted the 7-percent average pay raise for teachers added to the 2014 budget.
The candidates sparred over women, too. Hagan hit Tillis on women’s rights, saying he would restrict access to contraception. Tillis says there’s a way to provide contraception without limiting religious freedoms of private companies.
Tillis, in what proved to be the oddest exchange of the night, said Hagan’s math is not right and hit her on her voting record in the Senate. He said Hagan lied about Obamacare and said her votes with Senate Democrats added $7 trillion to the national debt.
Hagan’s camp said after the debate they thought Tillis seemed condescending.
Tillis’s team said they look forward to the fact checkers pouncing on Hagan’s missteps during the debate.
The next debate will take place on Oct. 7th, and will be moderated by ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.