Culver, Branstad match up in first debate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Culver, Branstad match up in first debate

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV)--  It was a bruising trip down memory lane for Chet Culver and Terry Branstad, who used Tuesday night's debate to attack each other's record in office.

From the state's debt load... Terry Branstad, (R) Candidate for Governor said, "The debt load has increased three times since I left office." To the bonding done to pay for state projects... Gov. Chet Culver, (D) Iowa said, "He bonded for four times more money to pay bills while he 'cooked the books.'"

What the debate boiled down to were promises made and promises kept. Terry Branstad, (R) Candidate for Governor said, "He has a pattern of big promises that don't follow through." Branstad used Culver's response to the closure of Sioux City's John Morrell plant as an example. Culver promised a "rapid response" in two weeks. It took seven. Terry Branstad, (R) Candidate for Governor said, "When I was governor , I was very hands-on. I was involved with the government agencies. We worked to bring jobs to Iowa, to replace the ones that were lost."

Culver countered with Branstad's record. Gov. Chet Culver, (D) Iowa said, "When you were running for governor in 1982, you promised to create 180,000 jobs. In 1992, you said you would create 300,000 jobs. Your promise was unfulfilled by 470,000."

When Branstad asked Culver to name his biggest mistakes in office, Culver admitted he had made some. Gov. Chet Culver, (D) Iowa said, "We have taken responsibility for those mistakes." Since Culver didn't name any, Branstad was happy to do that for him... back in 2009. Terry Branstad, (R) Candidate for Governor said, "One was in 2009, passing the biggest budget in state history, when the whole nation is in a recession, and then denying what the auditor, and the LSA said about the budget problems in the state." Problems that will be waiting to confront Culver or Branstad... whomever is elected in November.

As you would expect, both campaigns are claiming victory. But, what do the latest polls say? A Rasmussen Poll of 500 likely Iowa voters, done a month ago, shows Branstad with support of 52% of people. Culver polled 16-points behind Branstad. But, 8% say they'd vote for another candidate.

Online Reporter: Matt Breen

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