ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Senate hopefuls Martin Heinrich and Heather Wilson didn't wait to take jabs at each other's records in their first of four televised debates before the November election.
Republican former congresswoman Wilson blamed Heinrich for the slowest economic growth in decades.
"We've lost 30,000 jobs, the price of groceries is up, the price of gas is up, the cost of college is through the roof, and you're trying to help the middle class? Quit helping," said Wilson.
Meantime, Heinrich pointed to the Republican's years in the House leading up to the recession and Wilson's 'yes' votes on two wars and tax cuts for the wealthy for driving up the debt.
"Let's take a step back and look at how we got into this recession in the first place," said Heinrich. "I think it is ridiculous that we have people like Mitt Romney, who make millions and millions a year paying 13 or 14 percent in income taxes, when you're asking small business, you're asking teachers and firefighters all to pay far more than that."
Heinrich proposes increasing taxes on people who make more than $250,000 a year, the same tax rate they were paying in the 90s. Wilson said Heinrich's plan for higher taxes will hurt small business.
"Government cannot create wealth. It can create the conditions for entrepreneurs to invest and create jobs and that means low taxes," said Wilson.
Wilson also criticized Heinrich for putting thousands of jobs at our national labs in jeopardy if budget cuts aren't hammered out by January 1.
"We are about to lose 20,000 jobs in this state next year because of the across the board defense cuts that Congressman Heinrich voted in favor of," said Wilson.
"I voted to make sure we didn't default on our debt and send the entire world into a second recession," said Heinrich. "There's nothing I fought for as hard than the jobs at our national labs."
Both candidates blamed each other for the loss of the F-16's at Kirtland Air Force Base.
On energy, Wilson claimed Heinrich was too green, while Heinrich claimed Wilson is too friendly to polluters.
The two also sparred over immigration, social security and Medicare.
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