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October 11th, 2012

Latham Rips Boswell for Repeated Negativity During Televised Debate

The first televised debate between Iowa’s third congressional district combatants devolved into exactly what you expect from Leonard Boswell: bickering and attacks. While the Democrat incumbent repeatedly claimed to be a moderate who can get along with the other side, he continued the constant mudslinging that has become the trademark of Boswell’s campaigns.

Congressman Tom Latham was repeatedly interrupted by Congressman Boswell during the debate. After more than a half-hour of Boswell’s attacks and intrusions, Latham struck back.

“Excuse me,” Latham said, halting Boswell’s interruption. “Part of the problem we have in Washington is people won’t listen. This is the Washington think right here, that you can just talk over somebody and you don’t have to listen to anybody, it’s my way or the highway. That’s what happened when Nancy Pelosi and Leonard Boswell were in charge of the House of Representatives.”

Latham went on to reference Democrats bringing the cap and trade and Obamacare bills to the floor without the opportunity to debate or offer amendments.

The two incumbents also exchanged unpleasantries over the negative ads each camp is running. Boswell has not run a single positive ad in this race or during his 2010 contest against Brad Zaun. Both the Des Moines Register and WHO-TV have renounced Boswell’s attack ad on Latham. Latham took the Democrat to task on that issue.

“This is really about being honest, about someone who tries to make up an issue and I would just, you know, ask Congressman Boswell, ‘When’s the last time you ran a positive ad?’”

Boswell avoided the question by claiming Latham ran negative ads in previous races. That completely misses the point. Tom Latham has also run positive ads during each race, including this one. Boswell has not.

“You notice he didn’t answer the question about when’s the last time he ran a positive ad because he can’t remember,” Latham said.

Overall, Latham scored a few points on Boswell’s repeated negativity, but there was no clear winner in the debate, which was sponsored by KCCI-TV and the Des Moines Register. Neither congressman is what you would consider a gifted orator. Their rather dry personalities do not shine on television. It is doubtful this debate changed voters’ minds in either direction.

Wednesday’s matchup marked the second of three debates this week between the two congressmen. They will meet again Thursday night in Council Bluffs. That debate will be carried live by Iowa Public Television at 7pm, one hour prior to the vice-presidential debate.

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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