Friday, October 13, 2006

Roskam and Duckworth play “Meet the Press.”

Jeff Berkowitz: On the issue of embryonic stem cell research-- of taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research-- is your objection simply that that doesn’t have the highest potential gain scientifically, or are there philosophical objections that you have in terms of pro-life issues?

State Senator Peter Roskam: My opponent misstated my opposition in the state senate. In the state senate, the reason that we were able to defeat the bill was because it was actually putting the state’s imprimatur on embryonic stem cell research. It wasn’t a private ban on embryonic stem cell research. So, I think she was misinformed on that. But, the other thing was that it actually allowed human cloning. And, it was very subtle. You have to understand the language and read the bill, but it allowed human cloning. That’s why a majority of the state senators, bipartisan, top to bottom of the state, agreed with me on that issue.

Berkowitz: But, if it didn’t allow—

Deanna Bellandi [AP]: But, are you opposed to using taxpayer money to fund it, or are you opposed to the complete idea of it.

Sen. Peter Roskam: I am opposed to using taxpayer money to fund it.

Deanna Bellandi You are Okay with it being private?

Sen. Peter Roskam: Well, look. I think the question that either Craig [Dellimore] or Eric [Krol] asked earlier is really the question that is going to come to the fore. I think that this is an issue that gets attention. Let me put it this way. In all of the doors that I have knocked on, this is not the issue that people are talking to me about on doorsteps. What they are talking to me about on doorsteps is taxes, spending and immigration and I have been all over this District. I don’t knock on a door and they say- what’s your view on stem cells? They are interested in taxes, spending and immigration.

Deanna Bellandi: But, are you opposed to embryonic stem cell research because of your position on abortion?

Sen. Peter Roskam: Well, I am pro-life and I’ve been consistently pro-life and one of the arguments I made on the Senate floor is you don’t pit one life against another. But, by the same token, to characterize my senate vote as putting forth a ban on embryonic stem cell research is fundamentally untrue.

Jeff Berkowitz: When you say you want to raise taxes, or at least roll back the Bush tax cuts on the top 1% of [income earners of] people in America, what‘s that to you? Is that people with an income over $150,000? People with an income over $200,000? Where would you start raising taxes?

Major Tammy Duckworth: Well, you know, it’s the top one percent. I agree that we absolutely need tax cuts for middle-income families. And, that’s where I am going to focus first. And, then I am going to roll back the other tax cuts based on what we can afford. I think in the studio earlier today Mr. Roskam never answered the question of how are we going to pay for these tax cuts of the very wealthiest Americans. So, I would start off with No. 1, let’s give tax cuts on child care tax credits, let’s eliminate the estate tax and protect small farmers and small business owners. Let’s protect the childcare tax credit. Get rid of the marriage penalty. Let’s fix the alternative minimum tax. And, then let’s start rolling back the tax cuts for the top tier, depending on what we can afford. I just don’t think we can afford that right now. In the next congress, we need to take a long hard look at our budget and see what we can afford. We can’t afford giving tax cuts to people who make millions of dollars.

Jeff Berkowitz: Does that have any effect on the economy as you start rolling back Bush tax cuts on what you would call higher income people?

Major Tammy Duckworth: On the top 1%? I don’t think it is going to have a negative effect on the economy. I think the bigger negative effect on the economy is the 400 billion dollar deficit that we have every single year [Ed. Note: the fiscal 2006 deficit was $248 billion dollars, or 1.9 % of GDP] and the fact that we are hitting nine trillion dollars in debt. I think that has a bigger effect. I think the fact that these just uncontrolled spending – whether it is the President that my opponent endorses, or as he did in Springfield, when he endorsed Gov. Ryan’s various bloated budgets that left us with 5 Billion dollars in debt. It is going to leave our children with a tax burden that they can’t afford. Every child that is born in America today—their portion of the national debt is well over 25 thousand dollars. We can’t do that to our kids. We cannot do that to this great nation. This nation should be strong and it cannot be strong as long as it continues to owe trillions of dollars to foreign owners. We just cannot do it.
Partial Transcript of separate Press Conferences held by Sen. Peter Roskam [R- Wheaton, 6th CD Candidate] and by Major Tammy Duckworth [D-Hoffman Estates, 6th CD candidate] on September 22, 2006 in the WBBM 780 AM Radio offices after their taping of AT ISSUE.