Saturday, July 2, 2011

Shea-Porter Stumbles in Candidate Forum

The BIA/NHPR 1st District candidate forum on Monday started with a panelist accidentally referring to Carol Shea-Porter as “Congressman Shea-Porter,” and it was only downhill from there for the embattled Congresswoman. During a contentious 60-minute back and forth with Frank Guinta, she had trouble answering basic questions about topics ranging from Wall Street to the auto bailout, and constantly reverted to the “blame Bush” strategy that has worked for her in the past, but is not polling well among likely voters this cycle.

A few classic Shea-Porter moments:

• Immediately after agreeing that no corporation should be “too big to fail,” Shea-Porter lauded her vote in favor of the GM bailout.
• When Guinta referred to the new Wall Street regulatory body as an “agency,” Shea-Porter interjected with “its not an agency, it’s a bureau” drawing general laughter according to our source in the studio audience.
• Defending her support of the Employee Free Choice Act, which takes away the right to a secret ballot in union elections, Shea-Porter said “its not voters’ rights, its workers’.” (It’s not surprising that she wishes workers couldn’t vote.)

Even when the discussion turned to issues where Guinta is clearly vulnerable, such as his personal finances and his flip-flop on the stimulus, Shea-Porter still fumbled and made vague insinuations, as opposed to Guinta’s blunt and clearly worded attacks on her record. Guinta himself had a few rough spots, but largely stayed on message and delivered a comparably strong performance.

Shea-Porter’s weakest moment came during her response to the final question. Asked to name a private business that had come to her for help as their member of Congress, and to describe how she had been able to assist them, she refused to name a business, citing “privacy concerns.” When pressed to give an example without names, she responded that a list of “earmarks” is available on her website. Guinta rattled off a list of Manchester small businesses he helped during the downtown revitalization that took place during his time as Mayor.

Unlike Paul Hodes, who clearly knows which way the wind is blowing this cycle, Shea-Porter shows no signs of trying to reinvent herself as a “fiscal conservative.” With the latest polling showing her 10 points back and debate performances like this, it looks like she’s prepared to go down with the Big Government ship in November.

Listen here.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.