* Well, here’s an interesting turn of events…
Rep. Peter Roskam on Thursday tried to paint political newcomer Sean Casten as a liberal President Donald Trump of sorts — accusing the Democratic challenger of being a bully with words and tweets.
The Republican incumbent has been accused of voting in lockstep with the Trump Administration, but on Thursday, Roskam tried to turn the tables.
“What you’ve heard in a litany of descriptions of what I’ve brought out about my opponent and how he characterizes people, how he ridicules people, how he demeans people — I think is really Trump-like,” Roskam said.
This was no off the cuff remark. It was a planned hit. Roskam’s people had a handout explaining the allegation, according to Tina Sfondeles’ story.
In the debate streamed live online and to be televised on Fox-Ch. 32, Casten characterized the Republican federal tax overhaul Roskam helped usher through Congress as too focused on helping wealthy people. Roskam said the tax cuts will help usher economic growth.
On abortion, Roskam said he’s “not going to be defensive about being pro-life” and criticized Casten for favoring expanding the availability of taxpayer-funded abortions. Casten said abortion should be a choice between a woman and her doctor, not “Peter and anyone else in Washington.”
“I view abortion as a medical procedure like a gall bladder surgery,” Casten said. “I don’t want anybody to have to have one. I can’t imagine the pain that someone would go through to do that.”
“Abortion is not gall bladder surgery,” Roskam later replied.
* Daily Herald…
Much of the health care discussion Thursday centered on a bill Roskam supports to expand access to health savings accounts. The measure passed the House Wednesday.
Roskam said the addition of pretax health savings accounts will help counter one of the main problems of the health care law: high premiums and deductibles.
Casten said the savings accounts will do little good for those who need help paying for coverage the most.
“HSAs are wonderful if you have the disposable income to set aside,” Casten said. “They’re not helpful for folks who don’t have that income.”
* Suburban Life…
Roskam characterized Trump’s work in office as “middling.”
“Good on the economy, jumbling on other issues, but when it comes time to standing up against the administration on things, I’ve been consistent on doing that, reflecting the interests of our constituency,” Roskam said.
To Casten, Trump is putting the country in danger.
“I think President Trump is the worst president of our generation,” Casten said. “Every day he is in the office is a risk to our country and to the global order that we fought to create after World War II. The problem, though, is not Trump. The problem is a Congress that is not fulfilling its obligation to act as a check and balance on the president.”
* Northwest Herald…
A burning hot center of the debate was Trump’s controversial $1.5 trillion tax cut plan that Congress sped into law in December.
The topic offered a moment for Casten to use Roskam’s voting record –
94.4 percent in line with Trump, according to election predictor Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog – as a referendum on his opponent’s time in office.
Video of the debate is here.
* Play along in Roskam, Casten battle for Congress on gamer site, Twitch