Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly, Republican Blake Masters, and Libertarian Marc Victor squared off Thursday night in a televised debate for the upcoming United States Senate election in Arizona.
The debate, which aired on Arizona PBS, covered the economy, border security, abortion, and water issues.
On the economy, Masters blamed President Joe Biden and Kelly for inflation.
“I will put a stop to Joe Biden’s crazy spending,” Masters said, adding that the president has spent like a “drunken sailor.”
“Sometimes the federal government has to step in to save small businesses, to protect livelihoods,” Kelly later responded.
Kelly said his own party and the president worsened the border crisis but also said Republicans have “politicized” the issue.
“Well call me old fashioned, but I think the correct amout of illegal immigration is zero,” Masters said and touted his endorsement from the National Border Patrol Council.
Later on, Masters and Kelly argued about abortion.
“We all know guys like Blake Masters. They think they know better than anyone,” Kelly said.
Masters said he supports both the 15-week ban on the state and federal level with exceptions. Arizona’s state-level abortion laws are the subject of confusion, as a recently passed 15-week ban with the exception for the mother’s life is conflicting with an 1864 ban that only allows a health endangerment exception from conception.
When the issue of elections arose, Masters said he believes Biden is the legitimately elected president, and that he hasn’t seen evidence of widespread voter fraud. However, he did say that the decision by social media platforms to block a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s business dealings tipped the scales in Biden’s favor unfairly.
Kelly said that he is “okay” with voter identification.
On water, Masters said Kelly is California’s “third senator,” and said that the Golden State should not have any part in water from the Colorado River and that California should work toward developing new technologies to use water from the Pacific Ocean with processes like desalination. Kelly said that California should be stepping up on the issue of water and that it’s a collaborative effort between states.