Virginia U.S. Senate candidates use debate to spar over number of issues

Posted at 12:54 AM, Oct 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-14 14:55:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- In one of the last,  broadly televised debates between Senator Mark Warner and his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, Warner denied he offered any job to a state senator in exchange for keeping that senator in the state Senate.

"I have known the Pucketts for 20 years," Warner said after CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George asked Warner if he regretted making the phone call.

"I didn't offer anyone a job; I wouldn't offer anyone a job," Warner said.

Warner said State Senator Dick Saslaw and Governor Terry McAuliffe's Chief of Staff Paul Reagan asked him to call the Pucketts.

"I think there are a lot of unanswered questions," Gillespie said following the hour-long clash.

During the debate, moderated by CBS-6's Bill Fitzgerald, candidates sparred on a number of issues.

Warner made the claim that Gillespie had signed Grover Norquist's no new taxes pledge, something Gillespie denied.

"I don't believe in raising taxes, I don't sign pledges," Gillespie said in response.

"I will fight an effort to raise our taxes further," Gillespie added.

The issue of Social Security came up, in which Warner pounced on Gillespie's career in the White House.

"My opponent has a very different approach on Social Security," Warner said. "He was a major cheerleader in the Bush-Cheney plan to privatize Social Security.  Given the collapse we saw in 2008,  think if that had become legislation?"

Both candidates will be at a forum on Tuesday in Danville.