Local News

NC Senate Candidates Bowles, Dole Debate Economy, Taxes

Posted October 15, 2002 6:32 a.m. EDT

— Elizabeth Dole and Erskine Bowles sparred over jobs, the economy and a campaign filled with negative ads in the first debate between the two U.S. Senate candidates.

The debate, produced by WRAL and WTVD, was taped at Meredith College seven hours before it was aired on television stations around the state.

The two candidates were immediately were asked about negative television ads.

Bowles said pointing out legitimate differences between the candidates' views is not negative.

He spoke about Dole's support of a proposal to allow workers to put a portion of Social Security withholdings into private investments, which he opposes as costly and risky.

Dole pointed out that she had proposed to Bowles the night of the primary that the campaigns eliminate all television advertising in favor of debates.

She added that her position on Social Security had been distorted, but that doing nothing to correct the system's problems would leave younger workers with reduced benefits in the future.

Another debate, scheduled for Oct. 19 at Guilford College has been cancelled.