Missed the radio debate between Senate candidates Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer Wednesday afternoon? Never fear, Prop Zero was there. Below, find our real-time reaction and analysis to the Senate faceoff, where a wide scope, few specifics and frequent interruptions made for a less-than-perfect debate.
1:01 p.m., and we're off. You can listen live here.
First question, from La Opinion reporter, is about regulation. Fiorina talks about water regulation in the Central Valley and the Endangered Species Act, which she doesn't like. The act has spawned many regulations in California, and she blames the difficulty of building manufacturing facilities on some of those regulations.
Second question, also to Fiorina, is about an Internet tax, and a 2000 statement she made that taxing sales and other items on the Internet is inevitable. Fiorina says she never favored such a tax--she wants a new tax.
A third question is to Boxer and is about whether the country needs more stimulus. She hits talking points saying the stimulus package worked but doens't really answer the question, and then...
She's interrupted about what she's going to do about the deficit. She starts talking about corporations overcharging the government, but the numbers are tiny--$55 million.
And Patt Morrison, the host, interrupts to say what are you going to cut? The two questioners are not letting these candidates fillibuster.
Boxer says stopping the war will save $1 trillion. And then she'll go after the corporations. Then she pivots to shots at Fiorina for supporting tax cuts the country can't afford.
Fiorina is then asked how she'll pay for tax cuts. She goes straight to talking points without exactly answering the question: She cites numbers for the national debt and criticizes the stimulus.
But she won't say what she would cut. (Neither has Boxer). She talks about freezing government worker pay (a minor saving) and putting a spending limit on the federal government (California has a spending limit and persistent deficits, so no guarantee that would work). Fiorina says one of her ideas would save $95 billion a year. The deficit is more than $1 trillion.
Takeaway: neither of these two candidates has any kind of plan to tackle the deficit.
1:13 p.m. Very good question from a company that provides software and services to schools and non-profits. They need to outsource some work to remain competitive. Is Boxer against all outsourcing?
Boxer says the country needs to change incentives to discourage outsourcing.
Patt Morrison interrupts to ask if it's time for wages to adjust to a more realistic level. Boxer says no. But then says in the next breath that we're moving that way anyway. Boxer then pivots to an attack on Fiorina. She keeps attacking even after she's interrupted and asked again what her plans are to do something about wages.
Next question: Fiorina is challenged on a previous claim that Obama isn't spending enough on border security, when Obama Administration has boosted spending on each.
Fiorina doesn't address the question--she talks about the drug war coming to California across the border. Which is true. It's also not new--drugs have been an issue around the border for a couple of generations.
Neither of these two candidates are answering the questions.
1:19 p.m. Fiorina talks about her support in "the Hispanic community." In a state like California, something sounds so dated about that. There's not a separate "Hispanic community." Latinos are the largest ethnic group in the state. They are the state. They are the community.
Fiorina challenges Boxer for voting against a previous guest worker program. Boxer says that program was too severe. And then goes after Fiorina for emphasizing border security and ignoring the 12 million undocumented immigrants here.
1:23 p.m. Stepping away. This debate is moving too fast, with too many interruptions, to follow easily.
1:24 p.m. Patt Morrison asks Fiorina about a previous comment that she supports extreme environmental groups. "What groups are those?"
Fiorina pauses, issues something that sounds like a sign, and then doesn't answer.
1:26 p.m. Folo is about Prop 23. And why she supports it (though questioner is confused and asked why she opposes the measure, which would reverse the state climate change legislation known as AB 32).
Fiorina says the federal government should spend more money on federally funded research and development. But she says that AB 32 is a bad idea because it's a one-state solution, and global warming needs a global solution.
1;28 p.m. Patt Morrison asks Boxer about comments by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus that committee Boxer chairs has been ineffective.
Boxer says Baucus is a supporter and that he was misquoted.
1:30 p.m. Boxer answer is interrupted by follow-up question: Doesn't Fiorina have a point that a global approach would be better than California's one-state regulation?
Boxer says there have been global attempts that haven't gone that far. And that's why California must act. Boxer keeps pivoting to attacks on Fiorina. Fiorina keeps pivoting to attacks on Boxer. And the questions don't get answered. And the interruptions continue. The debate is a mess.
1:41 p.m. Fiorina is asked about her pro-life position and whether she would support overturning Roe v. Wade.
Fiorina, a bit bitterly, accuses Boxer of trying to say that Fiorina supports "criminalization" of abortion. That's false.
1:43 p.m. Morrison asks about story that the mother of Fiorina's husband being advised to abort him. Why would you deny the right that the mother had to choose not to do taht?
Fiorina gives a strong answer, rebuking Morrison for suggesting that the story is anything less than true. She pivots into attacking Boxer for an "extreme" view on abortion -- public financing. Morrison breaks in to note that the Hyde Amendment bars federal financing of most abortions.
Boxer, bizarrely, calls Roe v. Wade "a decision that brings us all together." That's only the most divisive court decision in recent political history.
1:48 p.m. Gabriel Lerner of La Opinion asks about Mexico, and the drug war that could spill across the border into Mexico. Should the U.S. provide military assistance to Mexico?
Fiorina says we should do what the Mexican government asks. She also says -- provocatively -- that Mexico is approaching a "failed state." She says she's visited the city of Monterey, Mexico and finds beheadings there especially shocking, compares it to discovering beheadings in Pasadena.
1:50 folo up to Fiorina on guns that flow from U.S. to Mexico for use in the drug war. Fiorina's answer: there are laws on the books today that make such trafficking and possession of semi-automatics illegal today.
Fiorina then defends her view that people on the "no-fly" list -- which included Fiorina's sister-in-law and Ted Kennedy -- shouldn't be barred from buying guns. The no-fly list, Fiorina reminds, isn't the terrorist watch list.
Boxer agrees with Fiorina here -- on the point of giving Mexico what they need and ask for on the drug war.
1:53 p.m... and we've jumped to Afghanistan, and whether the government there is worth supporting? My head is spinning from the speed of this.
Boxer ducks it. She says she supports President Obama in bringing the troops back. U.S. can't have an "open checkbook." We need an "exit strategy." She's reciting the Obama strategy without explaining how she would judge the Afghan government, its progress and its corruption.
1:55 p.m. Closing statements. Chance to breathe.
Boxer attacks Fiorina's record on Hewlett Packard. Hits her on outsourcing.
Fiorina talks about accountability. And attacks Boxer for becoming richer in office and writing books.
And it's mercifully over. Reaction: hard to pick a winner given that neither managed to say much of anything without being interrupted. Better to have a debate that focuses on just a few issues, and thus allows more time for discussion and specifics.