Challengers Don Cravins and Peter Vidrine attacked incumbent Charles Boustany for his record on the economy, coastal erosion and energy. Boustany, in turn defended himself as a leader in health care and coastal issues at one point stating that he helped southwest Louisiana accomplish in three years what it took southeast Louisiana thirty years to do.
The debate was televised live from the ULL student union with KATC 3’s Hoyt Harris as the moderator. Some of the questions were also posed by students in the audience, online viewers, and the candidates themselves.
The candidates were allowed to pick one question for one of his opponents, and the opponent had one minute to answer.
Vidrine asked Boustany what part of the Constitution authorized the recent $700 billion bailout plan.
Boustany replied that voting against the bailout could have caused a freeze in credit that could destroy the economy.
“This is a very serious threat to the economy and the United States,” he said. “Congress had the authority to act and should act.”
Boustany asked Cravins who he would be supporting as our next president.
Cravins said that he would be supporting Barack Obama. He also took a shot at Boustany.
“No matter who becomes the president unlike you I’m not going to Washington D.C. and vote with him 92% of the time,” he said.
Cravins asked Boustany what vote he would take back if he had the opportunity.
Boustany said he was “very proud” of his voting record.
“You elected me in 2004 and 2006 to provide honest and thoughtful representation,” he said. “That’s what I’ve strived to do my entire career and that’s what I’ll do in the future.”
Vidrine said he is running because he does not feel represented in Congress. He also criticized Boustany for raising 1.2 million for his campaign.
Boustany said he would continue to work toward addressing what he sees as four major issues in the campaign - the economy, energy, healthcare, and coastal protection.
“I’ve got achievements on all four of those areas and there’s plenty more that I want to do to fight for the folks of southwest Louisiana,” he said.