MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Schrier, Larkin debate who is too extreme for WA voters

Oct 31, 2022, 5:31 PM

Incumbent Rep. Kim Schrier and challenger Matt Larkin painted each other as out of touch with the people of Washington state.

The two candidates for Washington’s 8th congressional district squared off in a debate Friday before the upcoming midterm elections in an effort to sway undecided voters.

Larkin: Attack ads from Schrier a ‘sad attempt’ to distract voters

As the challenger in the debate, Larkin said democrats have not been doing enough to help Washington and that he would be a change in DC.

“For too long, we’ve had rising crime, homelessness, drug abuse, we’ve had rising inflation that seems out of control and gas prices that are hard to even comprehend right now,” Larkin said in his opening statement. “We don’t need another two years of the same direction, we need to switch course… and get things back under control.”

Schrier focused on her bipartisan work, claiming the 8th district is a purple district. Before Schrier was elected in 2018, the district had a Republican as its representative since 1983.

“I’ve brought that same spirit of service to Congress. Going to bat for my constituents like I always did for my patients. And that means working with both parties to deliver real results that matter,” Schrier said. “I’ve had 14 bills signed into law, eight signed by President Trump and six signed by President Biden. This bipartisan spirit is what brought us things like lower-cost insulin, better care for our veterans, and making sure there’s enough water for fish and farmers and the rest of us. You can expect more of this bipartisanship from me.”

At the same time, she highlighted Larkin’s ties to former President Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

Larkin countered with Schrier’s voting record, saying that she was in lockstep with President Biden and House leader Nancy Pelosi, voting party line 100% of the time.

Larkin was asked about how he viewed the political polarization of current politics.

“We have a rhetoric that’s out of control, and both sides are to blame. It’s not just the other party. My party can take blame for that too. But it takes coming together that takes actually admitting that to get to move forward,” Larkin said.

The economy was a key issue in the debate, with the Labor Department reporting rising prices for Americans every week.

“I think what’s even more frustrating is when you dig a little deeper, and you find out the gas and oil companies are right now making record profits like the highest in more than a decade, and quarter over quarter, those profits are going up,” Schrier said. “Grocery stores … their profits are also going up at a time when Americans are having trouble paying. That’s why I have really taken this on passing legislation through the house to crack down on price gouging by gas and oil companies.”

Larkin fired back, saying that the real cause of the economic issues was the Biden administration and, by association, Schrier for her role in facilitating the policies of the democratic party,

“In a time when we’re sliding into a recession, that’s reckless,” he said. Larkin also lashed Schrier for blaming corporations and Russia for rising prices. “I don’t know who she is going to blame next, but at some point, the buck stops with those in leadership,” he said.

The other top topic for the debate was the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, opening the door to complete abortion bans in 13 states.

U.S. Senate candidates Murray, Smiley answer voters’ questions in KIRO 7 Town Hall

“Let me be clear, nothing is changing in Washington state,” Larkin said. “Women are not losing access to safe and legal abortions, nor will they. The court has ruled this is a state’s issue and I’m extremely happy with it being at the state level. I’m not planning on going back to D.C. to and pushing for a federal abortion ban.”

Schrier pushed back on Larkin’s statement saying that he had repeatedly gone on the record as advocating for a national abortion ban and, if elected, could be in the position to help the Republican party pass one.

“That is exactly what he supports and he has said there should be no exceptions for rape or incest,” Schrier said. “It’s outrageous; it’s extreme, it’s out of touch. A national ban would override the protections we have in Washington state. Don’t be fooled, it’s an extreme and dangerous agenda.”

The 8th district election is still incredibly close, with polling numbers from Politico showing that the election is still a toss-up. Ballots for the election have been mailed and must be postmarked by Nov. 8 or deposited in ballot boxes by 8 p.m. that day.

The debate at Central Washington University was sponsored by the Washington State Debate Coalition, a statewide partnership of media, educational and civic groups.

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Schrier, Larkin debate who is too extreme for WA voters