Gade compared Warner to a windup doll with only one line as he fended off the jabs, saying he did not support the “nonsense idea” of repealing the health-care legislation known as Obamacare.
“Every time you pull the Mark Warner string, he says I’m for repealing the ACA,” Gade said. “And I’ve never said that. I’m not for it. We need to upgrade the ACA.”
The issue of health-care access has dominated much of the campaign. It is personal for both Warner, who has a daughter with type 1 diabetes, and Gade, who lost his leg in combat in Iraq in 2005.
Gade pledged Tuesday night never to support a bill that does not protect people with preexisting conditions. Warner stressed that prescription drug pricing reform is essential and said the government should have the power to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies.
Gade, a first-time political candidate, held his own
A poll released Thursday by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Public Policy shows Warner leading by 13 points among likely voters.
In the debate, moderated by NBC’s Chuck Todd, Gade asked voters to take a chance on a fresh face in politics rather than continue with the status quo, forcefully responding to attacks from the popular former Virginia governor, who defended his record as a business-minded moderate.
Warner touted his work on the coronavirus relief package passed by Congress in March and as a member of the president’s economic recovery advisory team, pledging to focus on getting more aid to minority-owned small businesses in the next relief package.
He argued that Gade’s behavior on the campaign trail, including not wearing a mask or practicing enough social distancing at some events, indicated he did not take the virus seriously.
“On this issue, my opponent and I couldn’t be more different,”