ICYMI: Slotkin Highlights Bipartisan Record, Junge’s Stumbles Continue in 2nd Debate
September 27, 2020
The viral moment of the 2020 campaign in MI-8: ‘If you’re going to talk about my mother’s case, then you shouldn’t talk about it without knowing anything about it’
DETROIT, Mich. – The coverage is in after Sunday’s second debate in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District: Rep. Elissa Slotkin dominated by highlighting her bipartisan record, while her opponent, Paul Junge, continued to mislead voters and, in mis-stating the facts surrounding Slotkin’s mother and her struggles with health coverage, walked into a social media buzzsaw
When Junge claimed that “undue burdens and regulations” would help people like Slotkin’s mother — whose pre-existing condition meant she was without health insurance when she was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer — Slotkin spoke with the same passion she’s brought to health care issues from her entry into politics:
“With all due respect, if you’re going to talk about my mother’s case, then you shouldn’t talk about it without knowing anything about it,” Slotkin said. “My mother’s case wasn’t that she couldn’t afford insurance because of undue regulation. It’s because she had a pre-existing cancer that she had had 30 years ago. … Please don’t speak about my mother as if you understand what made her health care unaffordable to her.”
Slotkin continued to highlight her record of bipartisanship, including bipartisan legislation to increase price transparency on prescriptions; a bipartisan bill passed in the House this week to strengthen the Strategic National Stockpile of medical supplies; her advocacy for the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus COVID-19 relief plan; and last week’s endorsement by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce citing her “bipartisan spirit.”
Junge, on the other hand, is once again under fire for his repetition of misleading talking points, and made it clear that if he heads to Congress, he’ll make no effort to work in a bipartisan fashion.
More highlights from reaction to Sunday’s debate, streamed live by WDIV-TV in Detroit:
MICHIGAN RADIO: “The Republican challenger in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District repeated a misleading attack he’s used before, and danced around the accusation that his campaign has no real platform beyond criticizing the Democratic incumbent for frequently voting with her party’s leadership. …Junge has attacked Slotkin for voting with Democrats, but didn’t promise to pursue bipartisanship himself if elected. ‘Yes, of course I will,’ Junge said when asked if he’ll vote in line with Republican Party leaders in Congress.”
THE DETROIT NEWS: “Junge had argued that part of the solution to help people maintain health care insurance was to keep premiums low and stated that was one of the issues keeping Slotkin’s mother from getting coverage. The government could keep those premiums low, he said, by ‘doing things like not putting undue burdens and regulations that require certain type of coverage someone might not want. It’s allowing insurance companies to provide coverage across state lines.’ Slotkin in turn accused him of deflecting on hard questions about his plans for health care. ‘My mother’s case wasn’t that she couldn’t afford insurance because of undue regulation,’ Slotkin said. ‘It’s because she had a preexisting cancer that she had had 30 years ago.’”
DETROIT FREE PRESS: “Slotkin hit back noting correctly that she has been judged one of the most bipartisan members of the U.S. House during her first term in office despite that voting record, a claim which the Free Press has found to be correct based on the votes she has taken and the bills she has had a hand in introducing.
WHMI-FM: “Slotkin said Junge was missing the point entirely of that story. ‘If you’re going to talk about my mother’s case then you shouldn’t talk about it without knowing anything about it.’”
The third and final Slotkin-Junge debate is scheduled for Oct. 6 in Howell, and will be broadcast live on WHMI-FM.
A career national security professional, Slotkin is a former CIA analyst who joined the agency after the Sept. 11 attacks and later served three tours in Iraq alongside the U.S. military. In her first term in office, she has written bipartisan legislation to address PFAS “forever chemicals” that was enacted into law, and the Real Time Benefits Act to increase transparency in prescription drug prices, which passed the House with bipartisan support.