CONWAY, ARK — Clarke Tucker and Congressman French Hill took the stage today at the University of Central Arkansas in the only planned debate in Arkansas’s 2nd Congressional District. Congressman Hill has declined multiple offers from local news stations to appear in other debates. Libertarian Joe Swafford was also present for the debate.
Among other issues, the candidates discussed Russian interference in the U.S. elections, the minimum wage, and the #MeToo movement in the context of Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Tucker emphasized the need to treat survivors of sexual assault with dignity and respect while Congressman Hill referred to Dr. Ford’s testimony as a “sneak attack.”
Tucker also pointed to the difference in styles of the two campaigns — styles he says are emblematic of Congressman Hill’s divisive approach to politics, which we need to move on from. “The divisive and false attacks relentlessly against my family and me in this campaign are straight out of a Washington playbook written by special interests,” Tucker said. “We are running a campaign not based on fear but based on inspiration.”
On the deficit and debt, Tucker said, “It’s morally wrong to be leaving that debt for our kids. It’s also not fiscally responsible or right to give handouts to billionaires on the backs of our seniors who have paid into Social Security and Medicare their entire lives.” Republicans have set their sights on retirement programs to pay for the $1.9 trillion deficit created by the GOP Tax Bill of 2017.
Noticeably absent from the line of questioning was the topic of health care. A young cancer survivor, Tucker has harshly criticized Hill’s vote for the American Health Care Act, which would have removed protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
“We know the American Health Care Act passed last year in the House would have removed critical protections for people with preexisting conditions,” Tucker said. “That issue affects every family in America, and that’s the issue that compelled me to run for Congress more than any other.”