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Q&A: Paul, Conway talk health care, positives

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Two men have fought hard to replace Kentucky's retiring U.S. Senator Jim Bunning. Since May, Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway have talked tough on the campaign trail, on the television, and elsewhere.

This race has garnered national attention, with a Tea Party favorite who defeated an established Republican candidate in the May Republican primary, and Kentucky's attorney general who won a close Democratic primary.

We sat down with Paul and Conway as the campaign came to a close to get some answers for some of our questions.

First, we asked, "What is the most important issue in this campaign?"

Conway: "Jobs. Jobs and the economy. Kentuckians are very concerned. The Kentuckians I'm talking to are very, very concerned about their jobs - will they have them into the future. I have a plan and my opponent doesn't have a plan."

Paul: "I think the most important issue is the economy, the lack of jobs, unemployment and really how government relates to that. I think government with a massive debt is being a drag on the economy."

Next, we asked, "What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent?"

Paul: "I support a balanced budget amendment. I think both Republicans and Democrats haven't done a very good job with balancing the budget. I think, in many ways, they've proven themselves untrustworthy. I think we also need to have term limits and I think they go and stay too long, that we need more people who are not career politicians. I'm a small business person. I'm a physician. I think we need people like that to go to Washington because I think the career politicians haven't done a good job fixing the problems."

Conway: "Let me count the ways. I think I get the state and I don't think he does. I understand that drugs are indeed a pressing issue in Kentucky and he's said that drugs are not a pressing issue, and he would work against any federal assistance for drug addiction or for treatment. I've been fighting crime as AG and he's said that nonviolent crime should not be a crime."

Even though a health care reform bill has been signed into law by President Barack Obama, the debate over the issues is still raging.

We asked both candidates, "What is your solution for health care?"

Paul: "I think we should repeal Obamacare. I think the federal takeover went too far. I think there were some problems that we faced in health care and what we should do is figure out those problems without letting the government takeover everything. What's happening now is premiums are rising and that's going to lead to more unemployment."

Conway: "My solution is to fix the health care bill, not repeal it like my opponent wants to do. I think we need bulk purchasing for Medicare, allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and that would save about $200 billion and also to go after Medicare fraud."

After many personal jabs, it's hard to know if either candidate could say a good thing about their opponent, so we asked, "What are you able to say positive about your opponent?"

Conway: "Anyone who's in this game deserves some credit because you put yourself out there and I certainly respect that. He's also for more transparency in the Federal Reserve, called for an audit of the Fed. That's not necessarily a bad idea."

Paul: "We've tried very hard not to say anything about him personally. I've never referred to his family or his faith. We've also tried very hard to make this about the issues. I appreciate that when he has talked about the issues, he's been consistent and solid in supporting President Obama. That's his platform. My platform is the opposite. But, really I think he's done a good job of presenting President Obama's agenda and how he supports it."

The race comes to an end tomorrow when we will know who will represent Kentucky in the U.S. Senate for the next six years.


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