With the November elections rapidly drawing near, the two candidates set to square off in the race for U.S. Senator in Massachusetts, appeared on Broadside for a special event on Friday.
The Senate seat on the ballot was held by John Kerry for 28 years before he resigned in 2013 to become Secretary of State.
Senator Edward Markey, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican challenger Brian Herr, joined Jim Braude for an exclusive debate.
Markey won the vacant Senate seat in 2013 following a special election. He had previously served in the House of Representatives for 37 years. Herr is a two-time selectman in the town of Hopkington and a businessman with 29 years of experience in commercial construction.
The candidates began the debate by discussing the widespread Ebola nightmare across the country and world.
Herr accused President Obama of dismissing the issue and think's he's wrong for not imposing a travel ban. Herr also said Markey has put lives at risk based by supporting Obama.
"We are putting lives at risk when we do not put a travel ban in place to and from those countries. We need that travel ban now. We can't wait four of five months from now when it becomes an issue here in America. All to often in this administration and with Senator Markey not challenging the administration, we leave it up to chance and circumstance. We need to be proactive with how we manage things within the Federal Government and we don't do that," said Herr.
Markey says we need to be guided by the best public health recommendations, not political decisions.
"So screening in West Africa before people get on planes, screening when people get here is absolutely essential, having SWAT teams which go in to these communities whenever an Ebola case arises is important. But we have to make sure we do not invoke the law of unintended consequences by interfering with public health decisions on what is the best way to isolate this disease," said Markey.
The two candidates went on to discuss the notion of training Syrian rebels to combat ISIS, the upcoming vote to repeal casinos in Massachusetts, job creation and healthcare in the state, among other pressing issues.