October 14th, 2010
09:37 AM ET
4 years ago

Coons: O'Donnell 'strayed from the truth' in debate

(CNN) – Delaware Democratic Senate nominee Chris Coons said he didn't hear much substance from opponent Christine O'Donnell in their debate Wednesday night.

"I mostly heard attacks, criticism, personal, catch slogans, but not a lot of real substance about what she would do moving forward," Coons told CNN's "American Morning" on Thursday.

"As we got farther and farther into the debate I think she got sharper, more personal and strayed a little farther from the truth in terms of characterizing my record here," Coons said.

According to the most recent CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll of likely voters, O'Donnell trails Coons by 19 percentage points. The survey had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

FULL RUSHED TRANSCRIPT:

KIRAN CHETRY: 15 MINUTES PAST THE HOUR. A SHOT OF THE ELECTION EXPRESS BUS HERE ON THE UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE CAMPUS WITH A GREAT TIME LAST NIGHT WATCHING THE DELAWARE SENATE DEBATE BETWEEN CHRISTINE O'DONNELL AND CANDIDATE CHRIS COONS. A LOT WAS DISCUSSED LAST NIGHT AND JOINING US THIS MORNING, WE'RE VERY HAPPY THAT CANDIDATE CHRIS COONS DECIDED TO WAKE UP WITH US AND TALK POST GAME AFTER LAST NIGHT'S DEBATE. THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US.

CHRIS COONS: THANKS FOR THE CHANCE TO BE HERE.

KIRAN CHETRY: WE WATCHED THE DEBATE WITH A LOT OF DELAWARE VOTERS LAST NIGHT AT A RESTAURANT RIGHT OFF CAMPUS, AND SOME OF THE CRITICISM OF YOU OFF THE BAT IS THEY FELT THAT YOU WERE IN SOME CASES DISMISSIVE OF CHRISTINE O'DONNELL. HOW DO YOU VIEW HER AS A COMPETITION? DO YOU THINK THAT SHE'S A VIABLE CANDIDATE?

CHRIS COONS: WELL, I TAKE HER SERIOUSLY. SHE IS THE NOMINEE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND I THINK PARTLY WHY CONGRESSMAN CASTLE DIDN'T WIN IS HE DIDN'T TAKE HER SERIOUSLY ENOUGH. FOLKS IN DELAWARE ARE ANGRY, FRUSTRATED AND LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS. WITH 35,000D WITH 35,00 DELAWARIANS OUT OF WORK, I DIDN'T HEAR SUBSTANCE ABOUT WHAT SHE WOULD DO MOVING FORWARD AND WHAT I WAS HOPING WOULD COME OUT OF THE FIRST DEBATE LAST NIGHT WAS A CHANCE FOR DELAWARE'S VOTERS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE, THE BACKGROUND, OUR VIEWS AND PLANS FOR HOW TO MOVE DELAWARE FORWARD.

KIRAN CHETRY: IN HER INTRODUCTION SHE SAID THAT IF YOU WANT SOMEONE TO RAISE YOUR TAXES IN WASHINGTON JUST LIKE HE'S DONE HERE IN NEW CASTLE, COUNTY, AND THEN HE'S YOUR GUY. DID YOU FIND THAT UPSETTING?

CHRIS COONS: WELL, THAT UPSET ME LESS THAN THE THINGS FURTHER ON. GETTING FURTHER AND FURTHER INTO THE DEBATE, SHE WAS SHARPER, PERSONAL, STRAYED FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

KIRAN CHETRY: SHE ALSO SAID SHE DIDN'T GROW UP WITH A TRUST FUND LIKE YOU. DID YOU FIND THAT UPSETTING?

CHRIS COONS: WHAT DISTURBED ME IS SHE WASN'T FOCUSING ON THE ISSUES. MY FAMILY STARTED A BUSINESS. MY STEPFATHER STARTED A BUSINESS HERE IN THE BASEMENT WITH HIS PARENTS AND ALONG WITH MUCH OF MY FAMILY AND HUNDREDS OF HARD WORKING WORK ING WORKING PEOPLE, IT GREW TO BE SUCCESSFUL. I THOUGHT THAT'S WHAT ALL OF US TRIED TO DO AND THAT'S WHAT I'D LIKE TO DO IN WASHINGTON SO MORE FAMILY HAVES THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING SUCCESSFUL AND MORE KIDS GO TO COLLEGE AND GROW OUT OF THIS RECESSION. FRANKLY, I HAVE SURPRISED TO HAVE A REPUBLICAN ATTACKING ME FOR THE SUCCESS OF MY FAMILY AND FOR THE HARD WORK THAT WE HAVE PUT INTO THE COMMUNITY.

KIRAN CHETRY: SHE WAS - I GUESS, USING THAT TO DEFEND WHY SHE HAD UNPAID COLLEGE BILLS AND LIKE MANY AMERICANS I LIVED IN DEBT OR HAD TROUBLE MAKING ENDS MEET AND IT WAS INTERESTING BECAUSE IN THE BEGINNING OF THE DEBATE SHE HAD YOU SORT OF DEFENDING PRESIDENT OBAMA, SOME OF HIS POLICIES AS SHE TALKED ABOUT THE STIMULUS PROVIDING NO JOBS, LOSING 2 MILLION JOBS AND ON AND ON. DO YOU AGREE WITH HOW THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS HANDLED THE ECONOMIC CRISIS AND THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE?

CHRIS COONS: TAKE THE STIMULUS, FOR EXAMPLE. THERE WERE REAL POSITIVE THING THAT IS HAVE COME OUT OF THE STIMULUS BUT I HAVE PUBLICLY CRITICIZED AND DISAGREED WITH SOME OF HOW IT'S BEEN DELIVERED AND THE SPENDING. SOME OF ITS IMPACT. TOOK TOO LONG FOR A LOT OF MONEY TO GET OUT. SOME NOT SPENT IN THE BEST WAYS BUT I KNOW PEOPLE AND MET PEOPLE AND WORK WITH PEOPLE WHOSE JOBS WERE FUNDED AND MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE STIMULUS. INVESTMENTS IN ENERGY EFFICIENCIES AND EXPANDING JOBS HERE IN DELAWARE. I WAS JUST DOWN AT THE PORT OF WILMINGTON FOR A RIBBON CUTTING OF A NEW FACILITY AT THE PORT MADE POSSIBLE BY BONDS THAT THE COUNTY OFFERED TO A PRIVATE EMPLOYER THAT PUT 150 CONSTRUCTION GUYS TO WORK. I THINK THAT'S A REAL POSITIVE IMPACT.

KIRAN CHETRY: IT'S A DELICATE BALANCE. SOME OF THE ANGER THAT'S BEEN SORT OF SHOWN BY THE TEA PARTY HAS BEEN ABOUT WHAT YOU WOULD SAY IS A DEVELOPMENT PROJECT AND WHAT OTHERS CALL PORK SO THAT WE GO TO WASHINGTON AND SECURE PROJECTS FOR THE HOME STATE AND THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG WITH INCUMBENTS AND WHY THERE'S INCOUPLE BENT ANGER. IF YOU WERE TO GO TO WASHINGTON WOULD YOU SAY NO TO PORK BARREL SPENDING, TO ANY TYPE OF SPENDING OUTSIDE OF THE PROGRAMS THAT WE HAVE TO SPEND ON INCLUDING MEDICARE AND BENEFITS, AS WELL AS MILITARY SPENDING? I MEAN, WOULD YOU HOLD THE LINE ON OTHER SPENDING?

CHRIS COONS: WELL, LET'S BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. WOULD YOU HOLD THE LINE ON THIS OR THAT. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE TO PUT PEOPLE TO WORK AND STRENGTHEN THE ECONOMY. THE PROJECT AT THE PORT OF WILMINGTON I'M TALKING ABOUT WILL CREATE MORE HIGH QUALITY, LONG-TERM JOBS FOR DALE WARE. THIS WAS FUNDED MOSTLY THROUGH THE PRIVATE SECTOR. THE WORK WAS DONE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND CREATES PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS. I DON'T THINK THAT'S PORK BARREL SPENDING BUT HELPING TO STIMULATE THE LOCAL ECONOMY. MY RECORD –

KIRAN CHETRY: YOU WERE BOTH ASKED WHERE WOULD YOU CUT? WHERE WOULD YOU CUT BESIDES AND I KNOW YOU TALKED ABOUT THIS TRYING TO FIND A WAY OUT OF THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN AND STOP WITH THE DEFENSE SPENDING?

CHRIS COONS: I TALKED LAST NIGHT ABOUT A NUMBER OF THINGS, A FREEZE ON DISCRETION NATION NON-DEFENSE SPENDING. SOMETHING THE PRESIDENT SUPPORTED AND I WOULD SUPPORT. THAT WOULD REDUCE A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF PROJECTED INCREASES IN SPENDING IN THREE YEARS. SECOND, THERE'S A NUMBER OF PROGRAMS IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, PRICE SUPPORTS FOR COMMODITIES THAT NO LONGER NEED PRICE SUPPORTS AND MORE PRICE SUPPORT OF CORPORATE AGRICULTURE THAN THE FAMILY FARMS THEY WERE DESIGNED TO SUPPORT. THERE'S A NUMBER OF DEFENSE PROJECTS WHERE EVEN THE PENTAGON SAID THEY DON'T WANT THE PARTICULAR PLATFORMS ANYMORE. THE C-17, FOR EXAMPLE. THEY CAN'T TO BE BUILT AND BOUGHT BECAUSE OF DISTRICT POLITICS AND PORK BARREL POLITICS. THERE ARE THINGS TO CUT. MY RECORD AS COUNTY EXECUTIVE WAS CUTTING $130 MILLION IN COUNTY SPENDING AND IN A COUNTY THIS SIZE, THAT'S A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT. IN CAPITAL AND OPERATING THAT I HAVE CUT OUT OF OUR BUDGET OVER THE LAST SIX YEARS.

KIRAN CHETRY: ONE QUICK QUESTION. THIS IS WHAT IF YOU - YOU'RE UP BY 19 POINTS, YOU'RE GOING TO BE DEBATING THE MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUT EXTENSION. IF THE BILL BEFORE YOU INCLUDES ALL EARNERS, WOULD YOU SAY YES TO THE BILL AND SIGN IT? WOULD YOU SUPPORT IT? YOU CAN'T SIGN IT. YOU NEVER KNOW TEN YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.

CHRIS COONS: I WOULD SUPPORT EXTENDING THE BUSH INCOME TAX CUTS BUT I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK HARD AND FOR HOW LONG AND WHAT COST. ANY INCREASE IN INCOME TAX RELIEF COMES AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHER POSSIBLE TAX RELIEF. I WOULD LIKE TO PRIORITIZE A MANUFACTURING TAX CREDIT, A HOME OFFICE TAX EXEMPTION THAT WOULD I THINK HELP INCENTIVIZE THE CREATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES AND JOBS. SOME ACCELERATED DEPRECIATION PROVISIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. ALL OF THE INCREASES OR EXTENSIONS OF TAX CUTS COME AT THE COST OF INCREASING THE DEFICIT, INCREASING THE DEBT. I WOULD PRIORITIZE THOSE WITH THE BEST CHANCE IN THE SHORT RUN OF GETTING THE MARKET, GETTING THE ECONOMY, GETTING THE BUSINESSES BACK ON TRACK AND CREATING JOBS.

KIRAN CHETRY: IF YOU ONLY BUILD >> IF ONLY BILL BEFORE YOU WAS FOR EVERYONE, YOU WOULD SAY YES?

CHRIS COONS: IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES TO MOVE FORWARD ON, YES.

KIRAN CHETRY: IT WAS GREAT TO TALK TO YOU THIS MORNING, CHRIS. THANK YOU.

CHRIS COONS: THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE IN DELAWARE.


Filed under: 2010 • Chris Coons • Christine O'Donnell • Delaware
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. WILLARD BULLOCK

    Coon are mocked out his word

    October 14, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Coons for President

    I ain't from DE, but after last night, I love this guy.

    October 14, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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