In his second campaign against the GOP incumbent, challenger Rob Zerban finally got his chance to debate Rep. Paul Ryan on stage at Carthage College in Kenosha.
I'll begin by stating that I was not at the debate in-person, but I did watch it live streaming from Carthage College in its entirety. Zerban did not disappoint.
Journal Times Excerpt:
“What do you do when you a see a problem? Forget about the talking points. You go up and put a solution on the table,” Ryan said.
Zerban accused Ryan of not acting when the deficit grew under President George W. Bush and, on a question about pay inequality between men and women, ripped him for voting against legislation such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.
“This is why people have a problem with members of Congress right now,” Zerban said. “Their actions and words don’t match up.”
It's so true and Ryan is at the top of that smoldering heap of failure. What Paul Ryan says at townhalls and debates does not match his actions in Congress, and Zerban was smart to point that out more than once during the debate without losing the gist of the question. There were a couple of moments (for me) where Zerban's calmness (as he appeared on camera, in-person may have been different) and solid grasp of the issues made me forget that the entrenched Ryan has 16 years in congress over Zerban.
Another issue they greatly differed on, climate change, quickly made the intertubes since the Pentagon released a report just hours before the debate that rising sea levels and other effects of climate change will pose major challenges for the US and our military. Zerban said climate change is man-made and Americans should accept the challenge as an opportunity to invest in renewable energy.
The Koch-sponsored Ryan of course disagreed with Zerban's position and that of scientists. He claimed the benefits do not outweigh the costs, essentially implying the problem will go away on its own.
Nobody "won" the debate and nobody got "schooled," but I believe Zerban delivered what many folks have been anxiously waiting for - a solid candidate with the ability to represent the people, articulate reality and with the courage of his convictions.
Carthage College: Watch Zerban - Ryan First Debate