8th District Debate: Chip Cravaack and Rick Nolan

The candidates tussled over Medicare, mining and job creation.

Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack and his DFL challenger, former Congressman Rick Nolan debated for one hour on the Cambridge campus of Anoka-Hennepin Technical College Tuesday. The candidates tussled over Medicare, mining and job creation. They also detailed their views on guns.

As in previous debates Medicare loomed large. Nolan accused Cravaack of voting to turn the program over to private insurance companies and Cravaack accusing Nolan of not having a plan to keep Medicare solvent.

Cravaack blasted Nolan for his 1978 vote establishing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Cravaack said Nolan "sided with Twin Cities environmentalists" by not supporting logging and motorized vehicles in the wilderness area. Nolan stood by his vote and said he's "proud of my support of BWCA."

Nolan said public employees should have the same right to bargain as private unions and added, "You're a company man, Chip. Not a union man." Cravaack countered that he is a "pro-union Republican."

Cravaack and Nolan are engaged in what's believed to be one of the most competitive House races this year. Outside organizations have spent millions advertising on behalf of both sides and organizing 8th District voters.

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