Saturday, March 10, 2012

CD6: GOP Candidates Target Rep. Roscoe Bartlett at Debate: Time to "Pass the Baton" // Bartlett Criticizes Tea Party

UPDATE: In an interview on Bloomberg News, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett criticizes the Tea Party: 
Bartlett said he’s a “little concerned” that the Tea Party may have become “too much purists.” The debt increase was embedded in a bigger bill, he said in an interview. “I voted for it for the first time ever.”

With no clear Tea Party favorite in the Republican presidential race, the limited-government movement is pushing candidates for other elected offices. While many of the races are in safe Republican areas, others may drain party resources in districts, like Bartlett’s, where Democrats have a chance to win...

The Gazette's Katherine Heerbrandt has a write-up of a Republican candidates debate held last Thursday, in Frederick, Maryland (see excerpt below). The 6th Congressional District GOP candidates outlined their campaign platforms -- and many of them criticized incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett:
With a nod to Bartlett (R-Dist. 6) of Buckeystown, who sat next to him during the debate, [State Senator David] Brinkley said it was time for Bartlett to “pass the baton....”

After the debate, candidate Brandon Rippeon challenged Brinkley’s assertion that he is the best chance Republicans have for keeping the 6th District seat. The 40-year old businessman said that independent voters do not support candidates who do not live in their districts.

“We cannot win this race without the independents,” Rippeon said....
[Delegate Kathy] Afzali, who called I-270 a “two-lane mess,” said the federal highway was a federal issue. “Once we get our fiscal house in order, we need to fix it,” she said.

Bartlett, seated beside the second-year delegate, swiveled in his seat and gave Afzali a stern lecture about her statements.

“Kathy, you have been in Annapolis long enough to know that the federal money comes to the state and the state distributes it,” he said. “You determine how the money is spent. It’s not my problem, it’s your problem.”

Afzali and Bartlett also were at odds about defense issues.

Afzali called Iranians “dangerous people who move like crabs and support terrorism around the world;” said she supports Guantanamo Bay because it is full of “dangerous people who want to kill us” and keeping the Patriot Act intact because “we are in a time of war and the world is a very dangerous place.”

Bartlett said Guantanamo has been the biggest recruiting tool for Al-Qaida and should be shut down.

The candidates took some subtle and not-so-subtle jabs at the 85-year-old Bartlett for his voting record on raising the debt ceiling and other issues. Afzali called the Republican party “tired and old.” Candidate Peter James said Bartlett had voted to raise the debt ceiling five times, while candidate Robin Ficker promised a big goodbye celebration for Bartlett and his wife, Ellen when he loses.

“I have liked and admired you both ...but I look forward to throwing you a party,” he said.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the 6th Congressional District race!

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