The four candidates for Governor of Tennessee participated in a televised debate Monday night at Belmont University in Nashville – their last scheduled debate before the August 5th primary.
The candidates are Democrat Mike McWherter, who has no opposition in the Democratic primary, and Republicans Bill Haslam, Zach Wamp, and Ron Ramsey.
The candidates themselves consider Haslam to be the man to beat. That is only my opinion, but I make it based on the way they “tore into him” according to a report in the Commercial Appeal. Usually the contenders feel the need to knock the front-runner down in a debate.
Here are some highlights of the debate:
Haslam was widely criticized for refusing to disclose his tax returns. “What are you hiding’” asked McWherter. Haslam insisted that releasing his returns would make public the returns of others and that all sources of income have been revealed.
Ron Ramsey criticized Congressman Wamp for his congressional vote in favor of the bailout bill. “How do you justify taking our grandchildren’s money to bail out Wall Street barons? ” Ramsey asked. Wamp responded by saying that the nation’s banking industry was about to fall “off a cliff” and there were fears that depositors would not be able to withdraw their money.
I must comment for a moment on Congressman Wamp’s vote and his answer to the question. His answer is complete nonsense. There were no fears beyond F.D.I.C. insurance coverage. He simply voted to transfer trillions of dollars of bad debts owed by large banking houses to the backs of U.S. taxpayers. He seems rather ashamed of that vote now, as he well should be.
My conclusion from watching and reading summaries of this debate is that it was a very good thing, because it revealed conclusively that except for Ron Ramsey, there’s not a bit of difference between the rest of them. Ramsey is the only one who at least gives the impression that he understands what’s coming toward us and how a governor should defend his people.
- Darrell Castle