Max Burns, John Barrow face off in Augusta

October 19, 2006

You've no doubt heard Congressman John Barrow versus former Congressman Max Burns on TV. It's one of the most heated campaigns on your local airwaves.

Today, the debate came in living color to Augusta, when Barrow and Burns faced off in a debate before you, the voters in Georgia's 12th Congressional District.

It was their first face to face debate in Augusta, and News 12 was front and center.

Congressman John Barrow and his Republican challenger Max Burns faced a media panel before a big crowd this afternoon at the Julian Smith Casino.

We pulled each candidate aside to ask what makes him stand out from his opponent.

"I think you have to look at our records," said Burns. "Who's effective, who's ineffective. In congress we were the most effective of the new members in 2003-04. We'll get more done and represent the 12th district well."

"Folks who look at Congress realize that's a body that ain't done nothin', because each side is more interested in scoring points rather than taking care of people's business," Barrow said.

Congressman Barrow says he has a record of crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans on a number of issues.

During the debate, the candidates sounded off on issues like transportation, social security, prescription drugs, and exactly what you hear about in those ads: taxes.

"I think we've got plenty of taxes in this country," Barrow said. "What we need is some accountability for the taxes we're paying."

"Give some relief to working America," said Burns. "I have supported the Bush tax cuts. I think those tax cuts should be made permanent."

Remember, John Barrow beat Max Burns for the seat just two years ago.

Now Burns is hoping to return the favor.

Oh, and you may have spotted me up there.

I was honored to be the moderator for the debate, which was sponsored by the AARP of Georgia and the CSRA Coalition of Advocates for the Aging.