Delaware Public Media

U.S. House candidates Blunt Rochester, Walker debate at UD

Oct 18, 2018

Candidates for the Delaware’s lone seat in the U.S. House clashed at the University of Delaware Wednesday.


Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester is running for re-election against GOP candidate Scott Walker.

One issue they offered opposing views on during an hour-long debate was climate change.

Walker said he doesn’t believe the science behind climate change and doesn’t support the Paris Climate Accord.

But Blunt Rochester said climate change does not just affect the health of Delawareans, it also affects the economy.

“Our farmers have said to me it’s having an impact on them doing their work," she said. "It is having an impact on jobs that we could be providing.”

The two also took issue with each other’s stances on healthcare.

Blunt Rochester said she supports universal health care, calling it the number one issue she hears about from constituents. She also wants to protect Affordable Care Act.

But Walker said free health care just incentivizes people to make unhealthy lifestyle choices.

“I don’t have to worry eating too much," he said. "I don’t have to worry too much about not exercising, I don’t have to worry about taking drugs or drinking too much because the state’s going to take care of me. That’s crazy.”

Walker and Blunt Rochester also sparred over the economy, with Walker praising the president’s moves in that area. He specifically cited the tax cuts Congress passed last year as helping the economy.

“You get money in your pockets, the rich get money in their pockets too," he said. "What do they do with it? They spend it, they invest it, that creates jobs and that creates more income to tax.”

But the cuts have led to the federal government collecting less tax revenue.

In addition, Blunt Rochester and Walker disagreed about social media. The congresswoman said while it can boost democracy, it also has a dark side.

“It also can be a place for bullying, intimidation and misinformation," she said. "And so we do have to be careful.”

Walker called social media a revolution for the First Amendment and said people shouldn’t worry so much something about coming out wrong.

Walker has been criticized for insulting people on social media and noted he can’t say how many times Facebook has banned him. He was publicly disavowed by the state Republican Party last month.

Walker said the disavowment was misguided. He also addressed unpaid taxes and lost court cases, which he said was because he was a victim of discrimination.

The candidates also debated gun control, healthcare, immigration and sexual harassment.