Trump references aplenty in Fareed-Carbajal debate
October 17, 2016
During a televised congressional candidates debate, Democrat Salud Carbajal tried to pin Republican Justin Fareed to derogatory comments presidential candidate Donald Trump has made, while Fareed accused Carbajal of being a “machine politician” who serves the Democratic establishment.
Carbajal and Fareed are battling for the 24th District congressional seat. The campaign has gained national attention due to its competitiveness and because of the large amounts of money flowing to the candidates.
KEYT and KCOY hosted the debate Sunday evening on a hilltop overlooking Santa Barbara. Carbajal and Fareed took questions from a group of five moderators which consisted of journalists from KEYT, KCOY, Noozhawk, Calbuzz.com and UCSB radio station KCSB. Carbajal and Fareed also directed questions to one another.
Early in the debate, Fareed was asked about Trump’s temperament and whether the Republican presidential nominee can be trusted as commander in chief. Fareed did not state whether he supports Trump. Rather, Fareed said the federal government needs checks and balances and that Congress has been relinquishing its powers to bureaucrats controlled by the president.
Carbajal was then asked whether, like Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, he has differing public and private positions. The moderator noted that Carbajal had been caught referring to Lompoc as the armpit of Santa Barbara County.
On the Lompoc issue, Carbajal said the comment was taken out of context, but he would apologize again. Carbajal then attacked Fareed.
“I support Hillary Clinton. It’s obvious who the most qualified candidate is. My opponent is on the record supporting Donald Trump. He can run away all he wants, but he was with him when he made degrading comments about women. He was with him when he made degrading comments about veterans. He was with him when he made degrading comments about the disabled and minorities. He could move away from Donald Trump because Donald Trump’s ship is sinking, but he’s not doing it out of principle. He’s doing it for expediency to save his campaign,” Carbajal said.
Fareed responded by saying the discussion about Trump was a distraction from issues that affect the Central Coast. Later in the debate, Fareed, too, went on the attack, addressing Carbajal as the pick of Washington, D.C. insiders.
“You have been in county government for over 24 years, nearly as long as I’ve been alive. You were endorsed and supported by the establishment and insiders in Washington, D.C. from Nancy Pelosi and Lois Capps before a single poll was made, before a single vote was casted,” Fareed said.
Fareed later said, unlike Carbajal, he is not a career politician.
“I haven’t spent the last 24 years climbing the ranks behind closed doors to get to a certain point to run for Congress,” Fareed said.
On policy matters, Fareed called for less government spending and regulation, a simpler tax code, market reforms to health care and the return of powers to the states under the 10th Amendment.
Carbajal called for fewer tax loopholes, more gun control, tuition-free community college, more support for Planned Parenthood and a transition to a renewable energy economy.
Despite the heated tone of the debate, Fareed and Carbajal’s views intersected on several issues. Both candidates declared support for California’s marijuana legalization initiative. They also supported desalination, particularly at Diablo Canyon, and agreed that the government should allow people with student loans to refinance their debt.
Additionally, both called for reforming the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. However, they differed over how to reform the health care law.
Fareed said there should be more competition and market-driven solutions in the health care industry, including a change that would allow companies to sell insurance across state lines. Carbajal called for more government regulation, including premium caps. He also said Congress needs to take a look at developing government-run health insurance, known as the public option.
On immigration, Fareed was asked whether he supports policies, like a wall and deportations, for which Trump has argued. Fareed said the United States must strengthen its borders, as well as its entry and exit visa process and agricultural worker program.
While discussing immigration, Fareed also proposed a rule that would require legislation that goes through Congress to only incorporate to a single subject matter.
Carbajal, who referenced Trump several times throughout the debate said, “A wall is very silly. We know that only is a metaphor for so many other things.”
The Democratic candidate also said there needs to be a path for citizenship, and immigrants must go through background checks and pays their taxes. Carbajal, too, said the country needs to secure its borders.
On gun control, Carbajal said he supports universal background checks, bans on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition clips and a law prohibiting people on a no-fly list from possessing firearms. Fareed said Congress needs to root out the cause of the problem, which is terrorism, and the United States needs to improve its cybersecurity.
The debate ended without candidates making closing remarks, as the moderators ran out of time.