Inside Politics

Pa. GOP candidates for U.S. Senate spar on 6abc

Friday, April 13, 2012

With the Pennsylvania Primary just 11 days away, four of the five men seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate gathered at 6abc.

David Christian, Marc Scaringi, Steve Welch, and Sam Rohrer tackled topics ranging from jobs, to the role of the federal government, to the man likely to run at the top of the Republican ticket, Mitt Romney.

"Well there's a lot we can do in getting the government off our backs and out of the way, and allowing the free enterprise system, the free market system to work," said Scaringi.

The candidates were largely in agreement on several topics, adamant that job creation is being hindered by too many regulations. But tensions rose when the topic turned to experience. Of these four men, only Sam Rohrer has served in elective office.

"I've been a conservative republican in my votes, a leader in the Pennsylvania House," said Rohrer.

"I want to know what legislation has his name on it after 18 years," responded Christian. "He has one piece of legislation that he's known for and that's voting for a pay raise."

The candidates also sparred over endorsements. Only Steve Welch won the nod from Governor Tom Corbett and the state Republican Committee, despite a brief switch to the Democratic Party, which he called a protest of failed Republican policies.

"There's a lot of inaccurate information out there," said Welch. "I did vote for John McCain. Make sure that's crystal clear."

Welch then joined the others in criticizing the only Republican candidate not to attend the forum, Tom Smith. They denounced him as a lifelong Democrat, who only recently joined the Republican ranks.

Tom Smith was invited to take part, but did decline the invitation. The conversation touched on plenty of important topics. It's all part of a special edition of Inside Story, airing Sunday morning April 15th at 11:00 a.m. on 6abc.

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