Hendersonville – Davis & Cawthorn Debates, Part 1
Congressional candidates Moe Davis and Madison Cawthorn sparred in recent debates, over insuring illegal immigrants and other health care and economic issues ahead of the election on Nov. 3.
Conservative Cawthorn and progressive Davis are the two main candidates in the 11th U.S. House District race.
The two differed sharply on such issues as the economy, health care, national debt, and the Green New Deal.
Sparks flew in their televised debate Sept. 30 over whether to insure immigrants who are illegally in this country, as a health care sub-issue.
Davis said he is for illegals getting medical insurance paid for. He said it will slow down the COVID-19 pandemic. He said in closing, “Health care — we gotta address that problem. And make sure that everybody has the opportunity — the availability — to get treatment. With clinics closing, it’s getting harder and harder not just to have access with insurance coverage, but the availability. We have to address that.”
Cawthorn sees a correlation. “We need to stop the hemorrhaging of our southern border and lock that down immediately. To ensure that new illegal immigrants can’t get here. And we need to change our immigration policy, to make it easier to become an American citizen legally. But all of the undocumented immigrants that are here right now — the illegal immigrants — I don’t believe they should be granted special access, to become citizens of our country. Now, sure I believe they are a backbone — especially for our farmers and a lot of our builders — they are a backbone of our economy. And so I do believe we cannot afford every single one of them. The people that were born here, there should be a pathway — not as a citizen — but so they are legally here. So they can gain health insurance. So that way, they can afford health care for themselves and for their family.
A fascinating turn in the segment on health care was when Davis acknowledged he has views more liberal than the 11th District as a whole on that issue, but vowed to support private insurance options to Medicare for all or some other federal comprehensive plan.
The GOP warns the playing field will be tilted against private insurers, and they will go out of business. Cawthorn warned 180 million Americans would lose their private insurance, if Democrats nationalize health care.
Davis said “in a perfect world, I agree that we should have a single-payer plan” — without private insurers, whom he said are for “profit over patient.” Yet if elected, “I’m willing to represent the district — not (always) my personal beliefs,” Davis said. “So, the district I don’t think is there (supporting single-payer). So what I’m advocating is a government-funded option. Where folks can go to the doctor. But if they want to procure their own insurance, then they’re welcome to do so.”
Cawthorn warned voters Davis is apt to go with preferences he and Democrat leaders have. “I really detest the comment where you’re saying you have a private belief, but you’ll do something different in public,” Cawthorn said. “This is reminiscent of Hillary Clinton..of elitist politicians — who say ‘well this is what I believe. But I can’t tell the public that. Because then, I wouldn’t get elected. But we’ll make sure it happens.’”
Later in the third debate, Davis turned the tables, saying Cawthorn said in an interview he cannot separate his religious and political beliefs. Thus, Davis questioned Cawthorn’s claim he does not think there should be a federal law disallowing gay marriage.
But Cawthorn said that issue should remain up to states. In closing, he said “I’m proud of Judeo-Christian values. One where we treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect and acceptance and love.”
As for a working majority, Davis shrewdly touted he has better chances to individually “get things done” by being in the party in control of the US House. This can mean bringing more project funding into this district.
Cawthorn cited the soaring national debt as a chief concern. He said in the second debate (on Sept. 5) that the best way to reduce “national debt is to create a better economy” via lower tax rates and “welfare state” spending.
He also said Davis “would like for the government to assume all student loan debt that is currently out now” — piling on “another $1.6 trillion in debt. Which is money that we just can’t afford.”
Davis opposes a national balanced budget amendment — especially if it stifles pandemic-related relief spending. Cawthorn wants the amendment, but with exceptions so “if we’re in wartime or an emergency time, we can go into deficit spending.”
The Green New Deal sparked another divide, in the third debate. Cawthorn called it a “joke,” and cover for a liberal spending “wish list” such as $15 minimal wage and Medicare for all. In satirizing Davis’ opposition to “waterboarding” terrorist suspects, Cawthorn said, “the Green New Deal would ‘waterboard’ generations of Americans with more debt” with $51 trillion at the onset. “It doesn’t even hold China accountable for being the worst carbon user in the entire world. So it would help reduce our emissions — slightly…It’s intellectually disappointing and dishonest.”
In concluding comments of the third debate, Davis said this state is “still behind…We’ve got problems in this district. And I want to go to Washington, to address them.” He closed with “I’ll be in the majority. I can get things done. I’ve worked for Congress” as a consultant.
Cawthorn noted Davis is from Shelby, and sounds no longer “proud of North Carolina. But I grew up right here in these mountains. And I’m still proud of these mountains…I love the people in it.”
Cawthorn in the second debate outlined a choice between him as an “excited warrior,” versus “just another liberal lawyer.” In the third debate, he said it is a choice to kneel to God and the flag or “kneel to the state, and to the (rioting) mob.” He concluded that debate with “Vote for me — instead of for Big Government.”
Editor’s note: This is one of two stories on the debate between Cawthorn and Davis.