News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, July 18, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Republicans running for Georgia's 12th congressional seat met Wednesday night to discuss the issues.
Forum moderator, News 12's own Richard Rogers, started things off by getting the elephant out of the room, bringing up how Rick Allen accused fellow candidate Wright McLeod of campaign improprieties.
"It's just not true. It's wrong," McLeod said of the allegations.
Allen said despite the allegations, if McLeod wins the primary, Allen will support him.
"John Barrow must go," Allen said. "The Democratic party is driving this country off the cliff."
Republicans say the biggest way Democrats are doing that is through "Obamacare."
"I'm fed up with Obama, Barrow, for wanting to shove the largest tax increase down our throat and call it health care reform," said Republican candidate Lee Anderson.
"Repeal 'Obamacare,' get the government off the backs of small business owners," said Maria Sheffield, a candidate from middle Georgia.
"'Obamacare' is the worst piece of legislation ever filed," Allen said.
"I'm for taking as much control away from the federal government as possible and putting it in the hands of the state and local level," McLeod said.
The candidates all agree on "Obamacare," along with Republicans currently in the House of Representatives. Last week, representatives voted to repeal the health care law.
Democratic incumbent for Georgia's 12th congressional seat John Barrow voted against the repeal.
"[An] all-or-nothing approach is not an acceptable approach to this problem," he said, defending his vote. "If [my challengers'] attitude is that we have to get rid of the whole thing, the good with the bad, then their approach is just as wrong as the approach that got us this bill in the first place."
Barrow said he voted against passing the bill in the first place three separate times, citing the individual and employer mandates as reasons the bill is bad.
The other big issue Wednesday night for the candidates, other than repealing "Obamacare," was what would they do to cut down the size of the federal government.
All of the Republicans except for Allen said cutting the education and energy departments is important. Allen offered no specific response.
Anderson also added the Environmental Protection Agency to the list, saying with a $16 trillion debt, everything but defense should be on the table.