The next series of questions will focus on immigration, and Senator Reid, you're up first.
In the minds of many Nevadans, Senator Reid your policies have allowed thousands of illegal immigrants to stream across the border because you have not made border security a priority. Why is it only this year that you talked about securing the border when this problem has been going on for years if not decades?
Immigration is a problem. We have a system in America that's broken and needs to be fixed. That's why in August, of this year, I introduced legislation that was finally passed to do something about our borders. We now have on our border Predators flying over 24 hours a day. We have 4500 new border patrol agents. We have National Guard there. And we have fences being built.
I'm frustrated like everyone else is frustrated. But I believe we have to look at the issue and do comprehensive immigration reform. We cannot ignore it. That's the reason that we have to do something about the people that are here that are undocumented. Have them pay taxes, pay penalties, fines, and of course, by doing that, we will be able to not demagogue the issue but do something about it. We have to work together on the issue.
This was the first of many non-answers given by Reid over the course of the debate. The question asked why Reid waited until this year to talk about the issues, and Reid responded by talking about legislation he introduced this year. Anyone looking for reassurances that Senator Reid takes the issue of border security seriously will not be reassured here, and moderates like myself are not seeing evidence of a man engaged in the discussion. This answer has all the feel of a cue card answer to the wrong question.
What we have here is an illegal alien problem and the solution is simple: secure the borders, enforce the laws. I think every state should have a Sheriff like Joe Arpaio, and we should be supporting Arizona instead of suing Arizona like Senator Reid and President Obama have.
When they sued Arizona they also allowed 11 foreign countries to join in that suit. Senator Reid you've allowed 11 foreign countries to dictate our immigration law. That's just nuts. We need to get back to simple solutions to these problems. Once we've secure the borders, enforced the laws, then we can deal with those internal problems that we have left. But we have to stop incentivizing those folks that are coming here for jobs, for medical, and for education free - and for also social security benefits; those are for citizens, not for illegal aliens.
As much as she would like to believe in simple solutions, immigration is and will remain a complicated problem. More than anything else, this idea that complex problems have simple solutions is what scares moderates away from candidates like Angle.
The rest of her comments are baseless attacks. As a Senator, Reid has no control over the Justice Department's suit against Arizona. Angle also knows that illegal immigrants do not receive social security benefits but often do pay into the social security system.
Thank you Mitch. The number one issue here is comprehensive immigration reform, we have to do something to solve the issue. We can't keep talking about it. That's why I worked very hard the last Congress, to work with John McCain - that was his legislation and it's basically the same legislation we're working on now: to move forward on this issue, to stop talking about it, and do something about it.
This is the first of many places that Reid attempts to link himself to popular Republicans. He has always run his campaigns as a centrist, and at a time when public sentiment has turned against Democrats he frequently cites his support of programs pushed by McCain and President Reagan. In 1986 he won his Senate campaign with the slogan ''I'm independent, just like Nevada'' and he repeated that phrase in March of this year when he filed the paperwork making his reelection campaign official.
Okay. Our next question, Mrs. Angle, is again on immigration.
In a television ad, you claim Senator Reid ''voted to get special tax breaks to illegal aliens and to give illegals Social Security benefits.''
Most reputable fact checkers have said that's patently false, especially the line about social security benefits. The ad was even criticized by the chair of the Republican Hispanic Caucus. Would you like to denounce the ad as deceptive or give voters documented evidence about its accuracy.
Not at all, I'm glad to give voters, um, the opportunity to see that Harry Reid has voted to give Social Security to illegal aliens. Not only did he vote to give it to them after they have become citizens but even before they were citizens, he voted to give them the benefits of our Social Security. Our Social Security system is one that needs to be addressed and we're not addressing it. In fact what we need to do is make sure that we keep our promise to our senior citizens and make sure that our younger folks have the opportunity to have a personalized Social Security retirement account similar to the thrift plan that Senator Reid has. If it's good enough for Harry Reid it should be good enough for the rest of us.
Say what? Angle has never been able to give credible evidence to back up her claim that Senator Reid is in favor of giving social security benefits to illegal aliens and this claim has been shot down time and again, but she presses on with it. Her concern for the Social Security system, a government program she has advocated abolishing, is touching but groundless. More troubling to me is her opposition, implied in this answer, to giving social security benefits to immigrants that become citizens. For those who are uncomfortable with the Arizona immigration law
because they believe it creates a second class of citizenship, this answer will only confirm their fears about Angle.
Mitch, my opponent didn't answer the question. Everything she has said in that ad is false. It's not true. I've never voted for tax breaks for people who are here that are illegal, I've never voted for security, Social Security benefits for people here. That is not the law in this country, she knows it and she should stop saying it. That's why she moved over to Social Security and other issues that have nothing to do with the question that you asked.
This was a missed opportunity by Reid to point out again Angle's opposition to Social Security.
Well I think that the question has everything to do with Social Security and what's gone wrong in our system because we haven't secured the borders, and enforced the laws. Senator Reid talks about comprehensive immigration law but really what he's talking about is something that didn't work in 1986. I'm a great fan of Ronald Reagan's, but he had it wrong when he gave amnesty in 1986. We need to first secure the borders.
A mish mash of badly conflated issues that continues to fail to address the question. This answer is reminiscent of Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric in the 2008 election.
Check back with us tomorrow for more of the Reid - Angle debate.
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