Senate hopefuls try to set themselves apart in debate

With just days to go before Tuesday's primary election, Democratic Senate candidates Rep. Rob Andrews, Sen. Frank Lautenberg and Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello squared off in a debate hosted by New Jersey radio station 101.5.

The three candidates butted heads Thursday on everything from the war in Iraq to oil prices. Lautenberg says the secret to solving America?s oil problems is the country?s strategic reserve. The reserve is set up for emergencies, but it is nearly full. Lautenberg says the country should stop filling the reserve to decrease demand and therefore prices.

Andrews says he?s already taken action by writing a bill proving more scrutiny for oil investors.

Cresitello says Congress should go after the oil companies with a windfall profit tax. Lautenberg and Andrews spent the debate bashing each other while Cresitello fought to be noticed.

During the debate, Andrews continued to harp on Sen. Lautenberg?s age. His campaign ads remark ?Lautenberg will be 91 at the end of his term. 91." Andrews says Lautenberg?s age is a fair game because the senator made it an issue in his first campaign in 1982.

All three candidates say they favor pulling U.S. troops from Iraq, but Lautenberg and Andrews both accused each other of not taking strong enough action against the war. Cresitello says he is the only candidate to oppose the war from the beginning.

To watch the entire debate, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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