Hatch said it will take a senator with his "experience, clout and raw determination" to turn the country around. That and Mitt Romney in the White House.
Howell said if he and Romney are elected, he would "reach out the hand of fellowship" and be the one to compromise and bring about bipartisanship.
In contrast, Howell said he learned to work with Republicans out of necessity to pass legislation as the former Democratic leader in the state Senate. Hatch countered that Howell, if elected, would be surrounded by Democrats who "won't let you be anything but liberal," and he noted that serving in the Utah Legislature is quite different than serving in Congress.
Hatch repeatedly aligned himself with the Republican presidential nominee--often enough that Howell said, "you can't ride on the coattails of Governor Romney."
Hatch didn't waver. "I'll just quote Mitt Romney. He said, 'We need Orrin Hatch back in the Senate helping to lead the way.' "
At another point, Howell said, "sometimes I wonder if I am running against Mitt Romney or Orrin Hatch."
And Hatch interrupted: "Both of us."
Howell contended that Hatch moved far to the right to win tea party support this year, and that contributes to partisan gridlock.
Serving in the Utah Legislature is "quite different than being in Congress, by the way, especially in our Legislature," Hatch said, adding that, if elected, Howell would be "surrounded by people" in the Democratic Party "who won't let you be anything but liberal."
At one point, Hatch pointed to his introduction of the DREAM Act--to allow undocumented immigrants brought as young children by their parents to America to attend college and work toward citizenship--as an example of how he cares about Latinos.
For an hour, Liljenquist debated short video clips of past statements Hatch has made on various topics. He pledged to only serve 3 terms. Liljenquist denounced the federal government's role in education. His supporters roared with applause at his responses, booing Hatch's statements made over the years.
Liljenquist renewed his call this week for televised debates with Sen. Orrin Hatch before next month's Republican primary election. But the longtime senator refuses to debate on television and maintains that the single scheduled radio debate is sufficient.
Hatch responded: "It's understandable why Dan Liljenquist would want Utahns to view this campaign through an alternate reality," according to a press release. "In the real world, demanding debates is a time-worn campaign tactic used by candidates with little name recognition in the effort to gain free press attention."
Ashdown said Utahns admire how he has run Xmission, which would help him even if they turn out in big numbers for Mitt Romney. "It's not me running against Mitt Romney. It's me running on my own."
Howell said the field attracted more Democrats this year because "this is a race where we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take back the Senate seat," because of perceived weaknesses by Hatch
Lee said that his views match Utahns who "are reclaiming their right to constitutionally limited government. We have to focus on limiting the size, scope, reach and power of the federal government."
Our first and most urgent priority must be to prudently and wisely balance our budget, as we always have. Let's not forget, unlike many other states, we have tools we can utilize, and with these options we have added flexibility in minimizing impacts to our most critical priorities. Our discussions should be conducted with civility, respect and a recognition of the challenging circumstances in which we find ourselves.
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