Final debate for Latham, Boswell
October 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson
The two incumbent congressman who’re facing off in this year’s election had their fifth “debate” last night (Tuesday), and it was contentious. Republican Tom Latham of Clive is seeking a ninth term in congress. Democrat Leonard Boswell of Des Moines is running for an eighth term. One tense exchange started with Latham saying: “It was my bill, Congressman Boswell.” Boswell replied: “I know.” Latham then said to Boswell: “You voted for it, you said…” At this point Boswell interjected: “Oh, absolutely, absolutely, absolutely.” Latham asked: “Can I be allowed to answer the question, if I may?” Boswell replied: “Well, I don’t want to interrupt you,” to which Latham said: “Well, you have.”
The debate was broadcast live last night (Tuesday) on WHO Radio and the moderator began by asking the candidates if they regret the tone of the campaign. Latham answered first. “Congressman Boswell starting running immediately very, very negative, personal ads against me, so you have to respond,” Latham said. “What I regret is the fact that we can’t talk about issues, only about personal attacks and I don’t think that’s constructive.” Boswell said he had to fire after being attacked by outside groups that support Latham.
“Last Christmas over a million dollars was spent — negative — against me before I did anything,” Boswell said. “…Starting in March, before we ever got started, it was getting up to maybe $2 million and so I thought: ‘Well, I have no choice. I’m going to have to fight back.’” About halfway through the debate, the two quarreled about tax policy. Latham favors extending the tax cuts passed during George W. Bush’s presidency to all wage-earners. Boswell would vote to have Americans who earn 250-thousand dollars a year pay the higher tax rates of the 1990s when Bill Clinton was president.