The first Republican California Congressional District 52 debate between Denise Gitsham and Jacquie Atkinson made it clear who is the true conservative.
March 17th, 2016 I arrived at the Del Mar Country Club completely open to either candidate. Here’s what I found out.
The debate began with Gitsham and Atkinson agreeing on their support of the Second Amendment, how to prevent another mass shooting in our schools and other gun-free zones, and the need to eliminate redundancy in the Federal government.
However, it became apparent that Gitsham had come better prepared to speak in specifics where Atkinson was content to speak in general terms with the exception of foreign policy and military spending.
The First Punch
After several minutes into the debate there was a disagreement how to proceed with the Export-Import (Exim) Bank. Gitsham characterized it as welfare for private industry and Atkinson as a necessary hand-up for small businesses conducting international commerce. Whatever your opinion, this issue is immaterial to most voters, so let’s move on.
The candidates revealed fundamental differences on the topic of abortion. Gitsham opposes abortion, labeling herself as Pro Life, and supports protecting the consciences of physicians opposed to conducting abortions and defunding Planned Parenthood.
Atkinson opposes late-term abortion though she supports a women’s right to choose in her first trimester.
Atkinson added that Rowe Vs. Wade is settled law and not an issue she plans to resurrect. Also, her stance toward Planned Parenthood was unclear.
Gitsham declared her opposition to legalizing marijuana for recreational use whereas Atkinson is content to leave the decision to California voters. Atkinson would not say whether she is for recreational use or not.
She added for clarity that she has never used marijuana and does not intend to in the future.
Gitsham took a tougher stance on immigration questioning the motives of illegal immigrants who pass into this country while pregnant. As such, Gitsham is opposed to citizenship for parents of anchor-babies whereas Atkinson supports a path to citizenship.
Gitsham and Atkinson differ on foreign policy though they both consider it a primary strength of their candidacy. Gitsham is content to choose between the lesser of two-evils in accomplishing what’s in the best interest of the U.S. whereas Atkinson took a hard-line approach citing no support for leaders and/or regimes who are not trustworthy.
My Final Thoughs
Gitsham and Atkinson agreed on many issues though it was obvious that Gitsham is fundamentally more conservative than Atkinson, especially on abortion, recreational marijuana use, immigration and The Export-Import (Exim) Bank.
Though Gitsham is the more conservative of the two, I wonder if she has the strength and political savvy to unseat incumbent Scott Peters.
Nevertheless, I can rule out voting for Atkinson as she is too liberal for my taste.
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