In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Candidates Debate In Special Election For Weiner House Seat

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On the fiscal front, Turner called for spending cuts of 35 percent, and suggested eliminating the federal Departments of of Agriculture and Education. "We have a government that is out of control," Mr. Turner said, stressing that the cuts should be made without increasing taxes. "It's not only possible, it's absolutely necessary," he added.

In response, Weprin attacked Turner as a Tea Party candidate, and proposed raising taxes on wealthier Americans in order to protect the social safety net. "You can't just cut, cut, cut," said Weprin. "We have to preserve Medicare and Social Security, and those programs that Americans rely on."

As the New York Post reports, Democrats have also sought to tie Turner to the national GOP's proposals to privatize Medicare, which helped the Dems pick up a historically Republican House seat in upstate New York back in May. A recent ad from the state Dems asked rhetorically: "Will we stop extremist Bob Turner from sticking seniors with a $6,400 bill?"

At the debate, Turner pointed back at Weprin: "Want to hide from the problem - there's your man."