GOP, Democratic candidates lash out at Obama in Hempfield Township
Republicans Tim Murphy and Keith Rothfus, who are running separately for Congress, presented a tag-team effort to blast the Obama administration on Thursday morning during a candidates forum in Hempfield Township.
During the 90-minute question-and-answer session at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, Democrats Mark Critz and Larry Maggi responded by seldom using the president's name in an apparent attempt to distance themselves from the administration.
Critz of Johnstown told more than 100 people at the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce forum that he opposed Obama's health care reform, along with environmental regulations he has enacted.
“It's about listening to your constituents,” said Critz, who is seeking his second full term representing the 12th District after replacing the late Rep. John Murtha, his former boss.
Critz said he supports reforming the president's health care legislation and, like the Republicans, he favors reducing some environmental regulations specific to the energy industry that is flourishing in Western Pennsylvania.
After the forum, Critz explained he would support the Democratic presidential ticket even though he opposes much of the campaign platform.
“I've had my arguments with this administration. I've gone to battle with them, and I'm fighting hard,” Critz said.
Rothfus, a Pittsburgh attorney who lives in Edgeworth, repeatedly linked Critz to the president. Rothfus talked about repealing the health care legislation, reforming the tax code and reducing regulations.
“I care about the everyday citizen that's concerned about the direction President Obama and big government supporters are taking this country,” Rothfus said.
He opposes increasing the national gas tax to help pay for transportation projects such as roads, bridges and waterways. He said he opposes all tax increases.
“You never raise taxes when you have a slow economy. Big government needs to get out of the way. It is not time to cut defense spending,” Rothfus said.
Murphy, who is seeking his sixth term serving the 18th District, which includes communities in western Westmoreland County, is being challenged by Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi.
Murphy criticized the president and accused Maggi of making vague campaign statements.
“I have no idea what my opponent stands for,” Murphy said. “This is no time to raise your taxes. It is time to reform the tax code and reduce regulations.”
Murphy blasted Obama's foreign policy, suggesting that the president would rather appear on a daytime talk show than meet with Israeli leaders.
He said he would seek to repeal the health care law.
“The health care law is bad and needs to be replaced. It's crippling to big business,” Murphy said.
Maggi, who was a sheriff before he was elected commissioner, told the crowd his record of creating jobs warrants his election.
Maggi conceded the health care law needs to be fixed and said he supports bipartisan talks to deal with overbearing environmental regulations.
“I wouldn't have voted for it,” Maggi said of the health care law. “But it's there. There are some good things.... We've got to get together and talk.”
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Georgia Tech runs all over mistake-prone Pitt
- NFL notebook: Bucs DT McCoy signs 7-year, $98M deal
- Predators GM Poile: Penguins’ firing of Shero not fair
- Fay-West food banks feeling hunger pains
- Pirates acquire infielder from Indians, designate Axford, Gomez for assignment
- WWII pilot takes off in B-29 yet again
- Masontown bakery owner hopes for recipe for success
- Komen acceptance of drilling-linked money raises ire
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- New software expected to help Butler County collect fees
- Armstrong in test program using slag on icy roads