13th Congressional District candidates go 'On the Record'

Republican George Holding and Democrat Charles Malone want to represent the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.

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Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — Can't Republicans and Democrats agree on anything? 
George Holding, a former federal prosecutor and a Republican, says he's gained 30 pounds while on the campaign trail this year.

His Democratic rival for North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, Charles Malone, says he dropped 20 pounds while on the campaign trail.

During their 30 minutes "On the Record" this week with host David Crabtree and Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie, the two men agreed on very little, including whether hitting the hustings added or subtracted tonnage. 

The 13th Congressional District is a Wake County-based district that spools through Granville, Franklin, and four other counties. Although currently held by Rep. Brad Miller, a Democrat, it bears little resemblance to the district Miller won two years ago, which used to stretch along the Virginia border into Rockingham County and dips into Guilford County. The new district was drawn to favor Republicans. 

Holding and Malone did find one point of agreement: both said the pending "fiscal cliff," a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect Jan. 1, is irresponsible. The so-called cliff was created as part of the deal to raise the federal debt ceiling.

Holding called it an example of "broken Washington politics," saying that Republicans and Democrats deserved equal measure of the blame. For his part, Malone said Congress should "be more responsible" and not wait until the last minute to head off what economists agree would be a punishing blow to the American economy.

However, the two had more difference, one of which was a disagreement of the federal health care law informally known as ObamaCare. Holding says he would like to see the Affordable Healthcare Act repealed, while Malone said it was "a step in the right direction" that one day rank with Social Security and Medicare in its importance to the United States.

Pushed on whether partisan differences, rather than genuine policy disagreement, had driven opposition to the bill, Holding said there was good reason for repeal.

"When 80 percent of doctors, when surveyed, say they will leave the medical profession if ObamaCare comes into law and to full effect, do you think that's a success?" he asked.

PolitiFact has found this claim to be False. The survey in question was done by an organization that opposed the health care law and claiming that 80 percent of doctors said they would leave the profession doesn't accurately describe the results. 

For his part, Malone said that Republicans wanted to turn Medicare, the health insurance program for the elderly, into a voucher program. 

"When you put it on a voucher system, for example, that to me is just too risky," he said.

Fact checks by national news outlets have cautioned that the voucher phrasing may not be exactly right but does roughly describe the Romney-Ryan plan.

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