GOP DEBATE: Three Senate Hopefuls Weigh In On Issues

gop debate

The 2014 Iowa republican primary is less than two months away.

US Senate candidates made their pitch to young voters in Des Moines Wednesday evening.

Five republicans are running for a spot on the ballot opposite Democrat Bruce Braley. However, only three of them took part in tonight’s debate at Grand View University.

State Senator Joni Ernst and businessman Mark Jacobs both declined to take part in the event. The Polk County GOP also pulled its sponsorship from the debate.

The three remaining challengers, Radio host Sam Clovis, businessman Scott Schaben and former US attorney Matt Whitaker were in attendance.

The men answered questions on topics including same sex marriage, foreign aid, abortion and the Affordable Care Act. They also weighed in on what they say needs to happen to the nation’s tax system.

“I think the 16th Amendment ought to be repealed,” Sam Clovis said. “If we repeal the 16th Amendment we get rid of the IRS. Now this has long-term ramifications. I am a fair tax guy, I believe in a fair tax and national sales tax with all of the structures that are appropriate to that.”

Scott Schaben added, “Our tax code does needs to be made simpler. We need to close loopholes. We’ve got to figure when any time there is a loophole, why is there a loophole, who is the special interest and what are they benefitting and what’s the true benefit of it.”

“I would support a fair tax under one condition and that is you guarantee to me that the federal government doesn’t have just another vein to tap into and tax you more,” Matt Whitaker argued. “Because this federal government throughout the course of this nation’s history has continued to ask for more. Today, at local, state and national level our tax burden is the highest it’s been in our nation’s history.”

The Republican primary will take place on June 3rd.