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Thom Tillis and Cal Cunningham square off in first U.S. Senate debate

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 10:37 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - The first U.S. Senate debate between Republican Thom Tillis and Democrat Cal Cunningham took place Monday night with the focus on many of today’s big issues.

This was the first of three debates before the November election.

The hour-long debate moderated by WRAL News anchor David Crabtree focused on the coronavirus pandemic and what their views are on a vaccine, military spending and healthcare, to systemic racism and police reform.

Tillis said Cunningham has a liberal agenda, while Cunningham says Tillis has refused to expand health care coverage in our state.

Senator Tillis said Cunningham will say anything he can to win.

Their first topic up for discussion, the coronavirus pandemic.

Tillis and Cunningham were asked if they would get the coronavirus vaccine if it became available.

Senator Tillis said he has no doubt that the vaccine would be safe and would gladly get it, while Cunningham said he would be hesitant and want to ask some questions of the FDA, but says he does agree that a vaccine is necessary to beat the virus.

Then, the candidates discussed systematic racism, which they both think exists, and police reform, where Senator Tillis says that not all police officers are bad, there are just bad apples.

Cunningham said he has called for a federal Department of Justice grant funding program to boost resources for law enforcement.

The candidates also touched on mail-in voting, which seemed to be the only topic they agreed on Monday night.

Both Cunningham and Tillis say they do think mail-in voting is efficient and they think North Carolinians should vote that way if they can’t vote in person.

The next two debates are scheduled for Sept 22nd and Oct 1st.

The election is November 3rd.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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