ST. GEORGE – Sen. Orrin Hatch went head-to-head with two Republican opponents in a debate at Dixie State College of Utah Monday night. The debate was sponsored by the Washington County Republican Women and featured three hopefuls for the Utah GOP’s nominee for U.S. Senate.
Incumbent Hatch, former state Rep. Chris Herrod and former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist answered questions for more than an hour.
All three candidates agreed on getting rid of President Barack Obama and his health care legislation, and that the federal government needs to get out of the way and let the states manage their own natural resources.
“The federal government is crippling us,” Hatch said. “We could mine for uranium 10 miles away from the Grand Canyon if we get our lands back from the federal government.” Hatch also said, “Utah, Colorado and Wyoming have an estimated 800 billon to 1.6 trillion barrels of oil and we cannot get the federal permits to go get it.”
There were only two major differences between the candidates:
First, Herrod and Liljenquist both said it’s time for new younger leadership, stating Hatch has been office for 36 years.
Hatch disagreed, but did say this would be his last term if re-elected.
The second was a tandem question asking the debaters to address two issues:
“The erosion of individual liberties” along with “Did our government over step its bounds?”
“No, the right wing conservatives’ worries are misplaced … The existing law did not change.” Hatch also said “Trust me, the rights of U.S. citizens won’t be violated.”
This brought boos from the audience.
Liljenquist disagreed. “It should cause us all concern,” he said. “It is what they do in China … The Bill of Rights allows us to face our accuser because of habeas corpus. We are innocent until proven guilty.”
This brought a big applause with a few standing applauses.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.