Hagan, Tillis spar in first debate

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Submitted: Thu, 09/04/2014 - 2:13am
Updated: Thu, 09/04/2014 - 12:27pm

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.


  • Mr.T says:

    Tom, I more often than not I hate to respond to your mostly sarcastic posts. In this case I am more than happy to support Kay and defend her service to NC. Your comments concerning the VA failed to mention her efforts to correct the massive records backlog that she stayed on top of and made sure that NC Va got records caught up before funds were withheld.
    Issis is not anybody’s blame game. The entire world fell short in responding and yes they were misjudged concerning their rapid development. The truth however is that when the forces of response are developed,Issis will last about a week and will scurry like scared dogs when action is taken. Kay will be on the right side if an when she is called to a vote.
    Your question concerning what has she accomplished during her tenure is simple to me. Kay has supported the Democratic agenda, she has supported ACA, employment benefit- education ( you might have noticed that Brunswick County lost over 25 of there Teachers Assistants this year and 82 Teachers have resigned)-infrastructure improvements and job creation. Kay has been a champion for women rights and equal pay.She supports a raise in the minium wage. I would ask you which party both Senate and House has stood in the way of Kay Hagen and the President on each one of the subjects. All national polling supports these issues, yet Republicans refuse to budge on any issue. One thing Kay Hagen didn’t do while in Washington was to Shut down the Government. If elected where would you guess Tom Tillis would be on solving these very important issues? I think that the election will not be close as you predict. I think Tillis will do great with old fat white guys and farmers. I think Democrats will come out in record numbers,Blacks-Women-Hispanics and moderate Republicans that are sick of fanatic governing tactics will say another naysayer is not what Washington needs. Did you hear Tom Tillis say even once how he looks forward to working with Democrats?
    Kay Hagen has worked across the isle on many occasions and has even teamed with NC Senator Burr on issues that directly impact NC.
    Kay Hagen demonstrates a true love for all North Carolina Citizens.
    Tillis shows a one sided persona that favors no one but the wealthy.
    I will finish by just saying thank you for this opportunity to support Kay. I hope you will consider a vote for her this Nov.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    this was one post of mine which was devoid of sarcasm. Rather, it asked you to outline what she’s accomplished during her time in Washington.

    And you provided some answers which for the most part were devoid of sarcasm.

    You may be premature in your prediction on the outcome.

    If memory serves me correctly, Elizabeth Dole and her supporters were simmilarly confident.

    The real important issue is that everyone eligible to vote; should vote. This could be a tighter race than “Landslide” Lyndon Johnson’s first election to the Senate in 1948 when his margin of victory was 87 votes.

  • Vog46 says:

    At best I thought the debate was a draw.
    In spite of what the Raleigh papers have said Hagan was dealing with better specifics (the advantage of being an incumbent). Both were trying to paint the other as something undesirable. This type of debating proves absolutely nothing.
    As for Tillis? Blaming Hagan for the VA mess when that debacle goes back for decades was/is a stupid argument. ANY VET that has dealt with the VA will tell you its been fubar’d for years.
    As for ISIS? I think Newt Gingrich said it best. He praised Obama’s indecision, indicating that this is a new threat that we might not be able to bomb into submission, and will require loads of planning and intelligence gathering. I don’t LIKE the indecision, but…..

    You may be right about the Indy candidate drawing support away from one of the two main candidates.
    It also may be decided by which party voters decides to “stay home”.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    You really need to check more than the Raleigh papers. This race has been labled the most closely watched for 2014; many in both parties feel she is vulnerable.

    Notice last week; the White House occupant was in Charlotte. No photo op with her or appearance to raise funds on her behalf. Of course, he’s not been out beating the drum for Barfield.

    I’ve seen assessments in the N&O, WSJ, and the Charlotte paper as well as the television outlets.

    She’s going to have to do better in round 2. Of course the deck is stacked in her favor with Stephanopolus as the moderator.

    Her party is grasping at every straw possible to boost her chances. Yesterday, there was concern expressed on her behalf that Tillis had called her by her first name rather than Senator. The apparent hope was to turn the female vote against him.

    I think we’re both in agreement. The voter turnout will determine the winner. Anyone who fails to vote should not whine the day after if they’re not happy with the outcome.

  • Guest2020 says:

    And while America burns, its citizens keep voting the same kind of people into office. Until the people wake up and start voting for the ones who are on our side, then America will continue to burn.

  • The Sheriff says:

    I agree. Elected officials should pander to those who support their campaigns and ideologies instead of voting to extend unemployment benefits to folks who won’t work. Or giving citizenship to 11 million criminals. Or forcing a tax on everyone for health care services.

    While democrat ideologies are nice and non-offensive to most, who is going to pay for it?

    That is the difference between Mr. T and I. I am smart enough to put emotion aside and exercise common sense and ask, how and who is going to pay for all it? The answer is not penalizing folks who are financially well off or can manage their wealth better than others. That should be the goal and government has no right to try force a level playing field. Life should be hard and difficult and you should have to suffer and earn it. Or win the lottery.

    Leadership isn’t saying yes. Leadership is saying no. Especially when it is not in the best interest of everyone, including you or me.

    I have voted straight ticket republican since 1986 and have no plans to change. There is not one ideology or notion from the democrats that I will ever consider rational or of any value. Democrats are too emotional and as a fellow American, all I want is that 47% of Americans who don’t pay any taxes but still use infrastructure to start paying their due.

    See you on the battlefield.

  • Guest2020 says:

    I have no love for the Democrats as a whole, but you are part of the problem. Voting straight ticket is just plain mindless and as useful as Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Most of the politicians in the Republican Party are there to serve the party and could care less about we the people. They are just as guilty as Democrats of legislating themselves in to prosperity while we the people are left shifting in the wind.

  • the sheriff says:


    Nice part about America is free will.

    If I don’t like what is being said, I don’t have to agree or stand there and listen.

    Since I have no need to entertain what any other electoral party brings to the table, I will continue to cast my vote in support of the Republican party till there is no breathe of life in my lungs.

    That is the measure of my resolve.

    And the way I see it, is if you are not with me, then you are against me and that makes you my enemy.

    See you on the battlefield.

  • Asok Asus says:

    “Kay Hagan: Look, I didn’t realize people would lose their health plans ’til a few months ago”

    So her defense is that she’s too stupid to be a Senator. At least she’s telling the truth for a change.

  • trash says:

    I didn’t know she was even elected. She must be one of the politicians that we are paying and she just collects and does nothing. Guess she has been there too long.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    with significant impact. The winner goes to Washington for 6 years.

    Every vote will count.

    This election may come down to how many votes the Libertarian Party candidate draws.

    No excuses; get out and vote.

    If you don’t vote, don’t whine on November 5 concerning the outcome.

  • richc says:

    I had to laugh at Tillis’ attempt to sound like a “good ole boy” He even was trying to mimic the Bill Clinton pause. Just another carpetbagger.

  • Ruby says:

    This debate won’t move the needle too much either way. Hagan sounded defensive and like she didn’t have anything real on Tillis.

    Tilis sounded like his main gripe was Hagan contuiung to rubber stamp Obama’s agenda, no matter how detrimental to NC. He lost an opportunity to bring up Hagan’s vote against the Federal Reserve transparency acts, which have huge public and bipartisan congressional support. She said in a form letter in response to my concerns that Americans “know enough” about how the Federal Reserve (a private bank) uses our tax dollars, and some secrecy is “a good thing” because otherwise politics enter the issue. Ironic! Since all we know now is that the Fed gives assisstance to foreign governments. Which governments? Why? Hagan doesn’t think you have a right to know.

    Not sure if Tillis would be any better than Hagan. But we do know a real braying donkey would be a better fit for the role of Senator than she is. Why wasn’t Sean Haugh invited to debate?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    they only invited candidates who had scored 10% or better approval rate in polling which they conducted. He scored 8%.

    He has time to get his numbers up if he wants to make the effort.

    As I noted, he may pull just enough votes away from the other candidates to impact the results or potentially cause a run off special election.

  • Yhe Sheriff says:

    I would talk in a condescending manner to my enemy as well.

  • RealityBites says:

    Everybody with an opinion different than your own these days is now an enemy. Why should our elected “leaders” even bother to find real solutions to problems anymore? It’s just so much easier for them to just put out some bull crap about opponents in a sound bite on the nightly news than to do some actual work. Those sound bites convince sheeple to vote for them again. When sheeple vote for them again, they get paid. End of story.

    You and Mr.T are both excellent grass roots examples of that. The only difference is your political viewpoint. Mr. T’s got his head stuck so far up a certain political donkey’s behind it has become impossible for him to even see the real world around him anymore. Before you start laughing, the same thing could be said about you and a certain political elephant.

    The old story use to be that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. In today’s version, our politicians argue while America burns.

    Just phreaking great.

  • Mr.T says:

    I watched the first debate and expected Hagen to be a little on the shy side. I was pleasantly surprised to she her ready for battle and extremely confident in her presentation. She exposed that Tillis is nothing more than a not ready for prime time candidate. His only line of attack was the old and tired blame it on Obama, Republican tactic. People are tired of the what you did style. We want to hear what you will do to solve national and local problems. In short Kay mopped the floor last night and used Tillis butt to do it!!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    most political analysts gave Tillis a slight nod. At least that’s what appeared in several print publications today.

    Sadly blame belongs at the feet of one who caused problems. By his own words, this week, our country was not prepared to deal with Issis and the death of 2 citizens.

    Sadly, for her, Hagen harped on the $500 million cut in education spending by Tillis. I was surprised she even brought that up. The Raleigh News and Observer as well as WRAL took her to task within the past 10 days for making that statement knowing it was false.

    This is going to be a tight race. It may be decided by the votes which go to the Libertarian Candidate. We may well see results so close that a run off election will be required.

    You stated you wanted to hear what Tillis would do to solve national and local problems. That’s a good request.

    But, how about asking Hagen what she’s done or failed to do during her 5+ years in Washington?

    Specifically, with our military presence in this state, what has she done to cause the VA to provide better services for our veterans?

    Specifically, why did she vote against a bill calling for transparency in the Federal Reserve Bank?

    And as Tillis noted, why aren’t she and other Obama supporters in his face to take decisive action against terrorists such as Issis?

    She said she was prepared to support; she just didn’t know what she would be supporting.

    Sounds pretty weak.

  • Guest 2012 says:

    When Jesse Helms was our Senator, he answered every piece of mail sent to his office. Kay Hagan ignores it. That bothers me. She has adequate staff to at least send a form letter. No matter what your problem or idea is to help her, no response from her. Helms got action for veterans who were having problems with the system and answered his mail with what he planned to do. And, he did it. Forget getting any reply from Hagan.

    I know nothing for or against Tillis. I have never attempted to send him any mail as he is not currently in a position to help veterans. When I mail a letter to my Senator, I expect some kind of answer. Senators don’t even have to pay postage and they have adequate staff to answer mail, if they wanted to.

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