Gregg comes out swinging in first gubernatorial debate

2012-10-10T20:45:00Z 2012-10-12T00:36:05Z Gregg comes out swinging in first gubernatorial debateDan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
October 10, 2012 8:45 pm  • 

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. | Democrat John Gregg tore up Republican Mike Pence in the first Indiana gubernatorial debate Wednesday, blasting the six-term congressman for promoting policies that have cost jobs and for seeking to divide Hoosiers on social issues.

"You're talking about a road map to create jobs, yet your ideology has led to Indiana losing hundreds of thousands of jobs," Gregg said. "As a free trader, you have voted and decimated the steel industry."

Gregg warned Hoosiers that Pence "is no Mitch Daniels" and said Pence would pursue a social issues agenda focused on denying women access to health care if elected governor.

"That's all he's been about," Gregg said. "We in Indiana need to stay away from divisive issues — we can't even agree on class basketball and time zones."

Pence responded tepidly to Gregg's attacks, telling the former Indiana House speaker and former Vincennes University president, "You're not sounding very much like yourself these days."

Throughout the one-hour debate, Pence returned time and time again to the themes of his "Roadmap for Indiana," mentioning the "Roadmap" no fewer than 10 times and its proposals to reduce the state income tax, promote school choice and improve the state's business climate.

"I believe that Indiana is on the verge of an era of growth and opportunity, and if we produce a plan, which I have in my Roadmap for Indiana, I think we can take Indiana from good to great," Pence said.

Gregg also spoke of his plans to cut taxes and grow jobs, but spent more time touting his experience enacting a state budget, running a university, starting a business and leading two large companies.

"I've always been able to get people to work together," Gregg said. "When I was speaker of the House, every single bill that landed on the governor's desk had bipartisan support."

Standing at his podium between Pence and Gregg on stage at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center, Libertarian Rupert Boneham spoke eloquently of the need to reform Indiana's criminal sentencing policies, improve mental health services for children and eliminate high-stakes standardized testing in Indiana schools.

"Life is not a multiple choice; life is an essay," Boneham said. "We need to teach our children how to think and learn and comprehend."

All three candidates agreed that Indiana high schools should offer more vocational training programs.

It remains to be seen whether Gregg's attack strategy will result in the same bounce in the polls that Republican Mitt Romney has gotten after relentlessly pursing Democrat Barack Obama in the first presidential debate.

Either way, the three candidates for governor will meet at 6 p.m. region time Wednesday in South Bend for the second of their three debates.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Latest Local Offers

Need Your Drains Cleaned?

Jack & Vernon's Septic Service is here to help you out! We…

Featured Businesses

Election Contacts

County election board and voter registration offices

Lake County Board of Elections and Registration
2293 N. Main Street
Crown Point, IN 46302
(219) 755-3795

Porter County Voters Registration
155 Indiana Avenue
Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 465-3484

Dates and Times

Primary Election: May 6, 2014
Election: Nov. 4, 2014
Poll hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Poll

Loading…

Does the state do enough to cultivate economic growth in Northwest Indiana?

View Results

Resources

Illinois: Check registration, polling locations

Check your registration status and polling location in Illinois.

September 30, 2010 1:29 pm
Indiana: Check registration, polling locations

Check your registration status and polling location in Indiana.

September 30, 2010 3:20 pm