First congressional district candidates debate on KWWL - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

First congressional district candidates debate on KWWL

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - First District Congressional candidates Rod Blum and Pat Murphy took on a variety of talking points Saturday night.

The candidates talked Ebola, ISIS, and how they can make northeast Iowa a better place to live and work. Both Murphy and Blum are well known as champions for Dubuque.

When asked what issues were important to the rest of the district, Murphy said education.

"Probably the most important issues I'm hearing is focusing on the economy, science, technology, engineering and math, making sure the education we're providing today meet the advanced manufacturing jobs of what are available today and for the future," said Murphy.

When asked the same question, Blum said jobs.

The candidates also spoke about international issues.

Blum believes Washington has done a sloppy job with the Middle East.

"To pull out too soon, and to negate everything we spent in  terms of treasure and lives over there to me is a mistake," Blum said.

He says America needs to be very careful, because today's allies may be tomorrow's enemies.

Murphy said congress needs to have the correct information on terrorists groups before making any quick decisions.

In a unique twist the candidates were able to ask questions of each other.

Blum asked Murphy how he felt about not being ahead in the polls anymore.

"I don't think it says anything. I'm more focused on the people who haven't voted yet," Murphy said.

Murphy asked Blum how raising the retirement age -- something Blum suggested -- would preserve social security.

Blum said raising the retirement age may be a component, but it needs to be a bipartisan issue.

"It can't be all republicans way or democrats way, because it's that important of a social program," Blum said.

It wasn't all debate though, both Murphy and Blum agreed that the Renewable Fuel Standard is extremely important to eastern Iowa.

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