BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - At the final U.S. Senate candidate debate before the Nov. 4 election, Sen. Mary Landrieu immediately called into question Congressman Bill Cassidy's absences at some of the other debates, while Cassidy and Col. Rob Maness both stuck to their stances against Landrieu and the president.
The debate began with the candidates throwing jabs at one another.
"Congressman Cassidy, it's good to see you facing the voters finally for this hour," Landrieu said.
"Senator, congressman, both of you should be in Washington right now, but both of you are here," Maness said. " Both of you are ducking responsibility."
And a short time later came the first of many criticisms against President Barack Obama by the two Republicans.
"I don't trust this president," Cassidy said. 'I think he is a terrible Commander In-Chief."
Throughout The hour-long debate, moderator and FOX 8 anchor John Snell, along with a team of panelists, covered a range of topics that included Ebola and the battle against ISIS. The candidates also tackled domestic topics, including the challenges facing the Social Security program.
"What does bankruptcy mean? It means an 85-year-old will see her benefits decreased by 25 percent," Cassidy said. "We can fix this. If you take someone who is 30, she would become eligible for benefits one month later than she ordinarily would. If 29, two months. If 28, three months. By doing that, we can fulfill the promise that if you're currently on Social Security, nothing changes."
"How is the path you have us on that much different than the path he has us on?" Snell asked.
"Very different path, and I want to make sure this is clear," Landrieu said. "Because this is a big difference in our policies and what he has voted for. I will not vote to raise the Social Security age to 70. I will vote to add money to the fund. I will not vote to cut the Social Security age to 70. And I will not vote for coupons for Medicare."
"The issue with Social Security trust fund dollars that are available gives us some time, about 15 years before anybody needs to look at changes and benefits," Maness said. "So we have some time to work and sit down and come to the table and find solutions that will work. We've got to stop politicizing this issue and scaring people have to death."