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Congressional candidates Djou, Takai mix it up in debate

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First Congressional District candidates Charles Djou and Mark Takai on Tuesday night mixed it up for the first time, restating their Republican and Democratic party philosophies to a predominantly pro-business audience at a Chamber of Commerce Hawaii forum.

Takai, the Democratic nominee, spoke of his party’s philosophy that government needs to step in when it’s critical for it do so. Djou, the Republican, generally toed the GOP line that less government intrusion is good for business and people.

“Government, from my perspective, is a facilitator,” Takai said. “It’s important for us in Hawaii, and it’s important for business, to have government around because government provides the necessary infrastructure — roads, harbors, airports. Those are the types of things that we can’t rely on business and fair enterprise to do. Without government providing the necessary infrastructure … we would be at a loss.”

Djou said the “beauty of America” does not come from laws, regulations or bureaucracy. “It comes from all of you … it comes from people who have the dream to dream big whether it is to start their own business, buying their own home, whether it is investing in their children so that they can have a better life and a better future,” he said. “Government can only supplement, complement and assist that, that’s where government can be effective.”

Both men, however, also spoke of the need to work in a bipartisan nature at a time of political gridlock.

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