ATLANTA -- The candidates in Georgia's sixth district congressional race tangled in what's likely to be their final debate Thursday.
Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia Secretary of State, argued about the budget, climate change and women's health. The debate aired live on WABE-FM Thursday morning and is set to air Thursday night on WPBA-TV.
Ossoff complained that "Secretary Handel has not specified any (federal budget) cuts. Whereas I have, which is pretty unusual for a candidate for Congress, specified $600 billion in cuts over ten years." Ossoff has spent heavily on advertising touting his ideas about cutting the budget.
But Handel is unimpressed. "What Jon has proposed is essentially just a gnat in the grand scheme of a big budget," Handel said, saying that systemic budget reform is needed to reduce the federal debt.
"Only a big spending career politician like Secretary Handel would refer to $600 billion as a drop on the bucket," Ossoff declared. Handel fired back: "Out of a 20 trillion dollar debt, it is."
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Handel scoffed that Ossoff, a former Congressional aide and documentary filmmaker, is budget savvy. "My opponent talks a lot about cutting spending. He talks about balancing a budget. He has not done it one single time," Handel said. "I have a track record of cutting spending and balancing budgets."
Ossoff blamed both political parties for the federal debt. "The problem is career politicians. And if we send another career politician like Secretary Handel to Washington, we’re going to get more of the same."
Handel fired back: "Your track record, your experience amounts to being a junior staffer for (Rep.) Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) and producing a couple of documentaries."
Early voting in the race is already underway. The runoff is June 20. No more debates are scheduled.