About 100 veterans from Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties gathered in Bradenton yesterday to hear the two District-13 congressional candidiates debate. Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings are looking to fill the seat being vacated by Katherine Harris. Buchanan said he found comments earlier in the week by Senator John Kerry to be repulsive and issued a challenge to Jennings, but she didn't bite.
“You’ve taken a thousand dollars or you’ve taken money on behalf of John Kerry for your campaign and I’d ask you to give it back tonight.”
“John Kerry does not speak for me. No one. No one speaks for me. I speak for myself.”
The controversy surrounding Senator Kerry happened when he says he blew a joke about President Bush. It sounded like the Massachusetts senator said only stupid people join the military. Senator Kerry has since apologized. Concerning the War, Republican Buchanan says talk of pulling out of Iraq is insulting to the generals. Jennings says she's talked to veterans, and their top concern is the safety and well-being of the troops.
The two congressional candidiates looking to fill the seat being vacated by Katherine Harris debated in front of room full of veterans in Bradenton yesterday. Democrat Christine Jennings and Republican Vern Buchanan agreed on one thing -- that Florida's 1.8 million veterans deserve better health care. The agreement came to an end when the topic of Iraq came up. Jennings took issue Buchanan's television ads.
“My opponent has said that I want to surrender and retreat and I want you to know that I resent this. This is a totally false and inaccurate statement.”
Buchanan criticized Jennings for saying the President has no strategy for winning the war in Iraq. However, the veterans chortled when Buchanan said after three-and-a half years, it might be time for a change in that strategy.
“There is a strategy and I think we need to be flexible. And I think we’re at that point in time where there’s gonna be some flexibility there. (laughter) Ladies and gentlemen please.”
Buchanan has seen top Republican leaders travel to Sarasota to campaign for him. Last week it was the President and the First Lady. Tomorrow night former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to attend a Buchanan rally at Selby Five-Points-Park at 6:30.
Friday, 03 November 2006 00:00
Buchanen versus JenningsWritten by WGCU Newsroom