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Case, Hirono pick apart each other’s record in debate

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    CTY CASE HIRONO DEBATE - 26 JULY 2012- â?ªFormer U.S. Rep. Ed Case and U.S. Rep. Mazie faced off in a televised debate at Hawaii News Now on Thursday evening. Case and Hirono are vying to be the Democratic nominee for the seat of Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, who is retiring. The primary election is Aug. 11. The winner is expected to face off against Republican former Gov. Linda Lingle in the general election. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Cindy Ellen Russell

Former U.S. Rep. Ed Case took a more assertive track Thursday night in the final debate with U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono before the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, casting Hirono as a fringe liberal who considers the federal budget deficit an inconvenience. But Hirono picked apart Case’s record in Congress, citing votes on family planning, prescription drug coverage for seniors and immigration that are likely to be unpopular with many Democrats.

In the live 90-minute television debate sponsored by Hawaii News Now and the Star-Advertiser, the moderate Case sought to make a distinction between what he described as the “easy votes” as opposed to the “right votes.” 

“Mazie believes that a budget is not important. Mazie believes that a budget is an inconvenience. I believe that you have to provide some fiscal responsibility and stability in order to afford Planned Parenthood — for assistance for women — in order to afford a whole range of items into the next generation.”

The liberal Hirono zeroed in on the portions of Case’s record where he appeared more in line with national Republicans, not only on budget-related votes to cut family planning or against expanding prescription drug coverage for seniors, but on other public-policy choices.

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