Sen. Debbie Stabenow
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - There will be no face to face debate in this year's U.S. Senate race in Michigan where incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow is being challenged by Republican Pete Hoekstra. So, we invited both candidates to WZZM 13 to answer the same questions.
Below are abbreviated responses to a variety of questions. Watch the videos for their complete interviews.
1) What is one thing you would do to boost job creation?
Sen. Stabenow: "I don't think we have an economy that - I don't think we have a middle class unless we make things and grow things and so I focus on two things - one is as chair of the agriculture committee, supporting our farmers and our new bio-based manufacturing industry and then on the other side is making things and that's where in west Michigan we are seeing an explosion of new technologies not only are we front and center on furniture on other bio-technologies but the new advanced batteries the efforts on advanced manufacturing."
Hoekstra: "If there's a single magic bullet - it's reliable, affordable American energy. We can become energy independent, keep 4 to 500 billion dollars in the United States - cycle that through the economy, grow this economy but provide low cost affordable energy to our manufacturing sector, to our agricultural sector, two big industries in Michigan that use a lot of energy - get American energy independent."
On one topic, the candidates were in agreement:
2) What is the biggest security threat facing our nation?
Sen. Stabenow: "The biggest security threat facing us is a nuclear Iran, no question about it - for us, for Israel, for the world. That's why I have been laser-focused on the toughest sanctions possible - they are now working but we can't take anything off the table. The whole global community is now focused on the very toughest economic sanctions we could possibly have."
Hoekstra: "The single biggest threat right now is a nuclear Iran - that fundamentally changes the dynamics of our national security picture because it fundamentally changes the picture in the middle east. Hand in hand with that goes the threat from radical jihadism - Al Quaeda - organizations like that. Those two combined pose, I think a real clear and present danger to the United States."
3) Can you say one good thing about your opponent?
Sen. Stabenow: "I think that Pete certainly is a man who loves his family. I also would say I appreciated back when we were in the House together and I in the senate we worked together on the issue of prison industries. I also led the effort in the state legislature when I was there. We need to make sure that our west Michigan furniture manufacturers and others aren't seeing unfair competition from the prison industries so - we worked together on that, been on the same side and that needs to get fixed."
Hoekstra: "I think Debbie Stabenow I think she's a very, very nice person. Debbie and I have always gotten along in a very agreeable way. That's not an issue I have with her the issue I have with her are the policies that she puts on the people of Michigan that I think have been damaging to our economy and damaging to Michigan families, but Debbie's a very nice person."