POSTED: 9:34 p.m. HST, Jun 13, 2012
U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono today questioned whether former U.S. Rep. Ed Case would place federal budget concerns over issues such as women's health if he was elected to the U.S. Senate, while Case suggested that Hirono was too far to the left to effectively represent the political mainstream in Hawaii.
In the liveliest exchanges so far in their Democratic primary campaign, Hirono, a liberal, used a Hawaii Public Radio debate to link the moderate Case to national Republicans. Case cast Hirono as an out-of-step progressive who is more of a follower than a leader.
Hirono cited a Case vote in favor of an unsuccessful House Republican spending cut proposal in 2005 that would have slashed funding for family planning, the arts and public broadcasting.
"Today Planned Parenthood and women's health services are under attack, Hirono said. "With your record of putting Republican budget principles ahead of Planned Parenthood and women's health services, how can we trust you to stand up for women's access to these services?"
Case accused Hirono of "cherry picking" one of the thousands of votes he cast while in Congress and said he has consistently been rated highly by women's organizations. He said the vote she mentioned "stood for fiscal responsibility.