Party Chairs Burn And Gleason Spar On CBS Philly

Politics PA

PA Dems Chairman Jim Burn and PA GOP Chairman Rob Gleason debated the issues of this November’s Presidential election on the Dom Giordano Show on 1210 WPHT in Philadelphia.

The two chairmen of their respective parties discussed some of the key issues in the election, while exchanging jabs against each other with respect to Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

Burn knocked Romney on his record at Bain Capital, claiming that businesses were driven into bankruptcy and that middle class families lost their jobs at the expense of Romney’s business partners making millions. Gleason said that the Bain attacks have worn out their welcome.

“The Bain thing is worn out. These facts have been checked and they’ve been debunked. The election really isn’t about Mitt Romney, it’s about Barack Obama, there’s no question about that. After 3 and a half years of his presidency, the unemployment rate has increased to 8.3 percent, he said it would be under 8 percent. There are 12.8 million people unemployed,” said Gleason.

Among the other issues debated was the “You didn’t build that” comment from President Obama. Gleason said that Obama’s comment show that the President doesn’t believe in the private sector creating jobs, and that because of Obama’s lack of business experience, this is why the country is in the financial situation that it is.

Burn responded to the question by saying that Romney and others have misconstrued President Obama’s words.

“My impression and analysis is Governor Romney and those who support him are trying to take two or three words, an expression, a phrase, and take it out of context in an extremely disproportionate fashion,” said Burn.

“I understand that because, when a candidate is down and can’t gain momentum and he’s losing — whether it’s Pennsylvania or one of the other swing states which Mr. Romney is trailing in all of them — you have to try and find something to give you a lift and give yourself some momentum.”

The principal tension of the debate, however, was the issue of the new Voter ID law. Burn slammed the idea, claiming that because the Republican leadership’s expedition of the law, there has been mass confusion and it is disenfranchising voters who are unable to obtain an ID because of age, illness or other reasons. In addition, Burn denounced the notion that there was widespread voter fraud across the state. Gleason believes that voting irregularities are a serious issue, and that a photo ID requirement is necessary.

“The reason we want to have photo ID is because you need to have a photo today whether to open a bank account, to get married — you need it for everyday life and society. I think that everybody has a photo ID and you know what? PennDOT has only had 3,600 requested since this all started statewide. So I think there’s a much ado about nothing here. The state is going overboard to make sure everybody is going to have the ability to have photo ID,” said Gleason.

The debate ended with a discussion about whether or not Mitt Romney should release his tax returns.

Burn said that transparency is a major issue with Romney, as other presidents and presidential candidates have released their tax returns, Romney refuses to. Gleason responded with the notion that this debate over Romney’s tax returns is a mere distraction over the real issue at heart: Obama’s failed policies.

“Obama had four years to turn this country around and he can’t do it. If I had an employee working for me who couldn’t do it in four years he’d be fired. That’s what’s going to happen to Barack Obama,” said Gleason.

Here’s the link to the audio of the entire debate:

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