UNION LEADER: "GOP candidates Guinta, Innis square off during debate"
Full WGIR-AM debate audio: http://bit.ly/1rBx94H
Audio clip of Frank Guinta's terrorist comments: http://bit.ly/1pg4zj8
GOP candidates Guinta, Innis square off during debate
By Dan Tuohy
July 24, 2014
Former Congressman Frank Guinta brushed off a reference to him being a career politician during a congressional candidates' debate on a news radio show Wednesday.
It was one of a couple of clashes between the main Republican candidates running to face U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-Rochester, in November.
Jack Heath, host of WGIR's "New Hampshire Today," asked Guinta if he took offense at the reference from Dan Innis.
"I understand Dan has to beat me up somehow," Guinta responded. "I get that. I get that's part of the playbook. He's got to somehow knock me down. I would ask people to run based on their merits and try to explain to people why they would best serve, not by trying to knock somebody else down in the Republican primary."
Innis, a businessman from Portsmouth, had just finished saying that part of the dysfunction on Capitol Hill is driven by people who have been in Washington too long. "They're down there playing politics instead of solving problems," Innis said. "I think the American people and the people of New Hampshire are ready for a new start."
Innis took aim at Guinta early in the debate. The Portsmouth businessman was speaking about how it is important to be independent and to break with leadership to best represent New Hampshire, when he turned to Guinta and said, "A good example here is that Frank Guinta supported the passage of the Patriot Act. I would not have supported that. I think it violates the First, Second and Fourth amendments, and I would have stood up and said, 'No, we need to take another look at this.'"
Guinta fired back. "Let me say, you either stand with the terrorists or you stand with freedom and protecting Americans. You might want to go and take a look at what was going on," he said, referring to the war on terrorism after 9/11.
The candidates were asked if a modest gas tax would be a good means to provide funding. Guinta said dedicating transportation funding through oil exploration leases would be an effective way to restore dollars. Innis, while saying Guinta's idea would ultimately be passed on to consumers, said the way Congress raises revenue, including the gas tax, is open to question.
"I think Congress needs to come together and look at this and say what are the ways that we can fund this? Ideally we don't raise the gas tax, but maybe we need some adjustment," Innis said.