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Kaine and Allen Go Head to Head in Richmond - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Kaine and Allen Go Head to Head in Richmond

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During Monday night's debate between U.S. Senate candidates, Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine, Medicare, Social Security, and the economy were all issues on the table.

As we approach the home stretch, former Virginia governors Kaine and Allen are pushing for a seat in Washington. The debate was broadcast statewide from Richmond, so both had a chance to plead their cases directly to millions of Virginia voters.

Neither candidate let up during this hour long political battle. Allen and Kaine both appeared poised and direct in a debate that some analysts call a toss-up, but not surprisingly there was no shortage of attacks.

Healthcare, equal pay among women, and defense were each topics the candidates had to take on, and across the board, Virginians were given a stark contrast. Allen was asked whether his party went too far in pushing for ultrasound mandates.

"A criminal attacks a woman who is pregnant. I think that if that attacker injures the woman, and injures or kills the unborn child, I'm wondering who's for accountability. And I think that measure on personhood would, in effect, would allow to have accountability," responded Allen.

In contrast, Kaine stated, "I will protect women's right to make their own healthcare decisions, cause you can't empower women in the economy if you take away their choices."

The debate was co-sponsored by AARP, so the future of Social Security and Medicare was also fair game. Almost one million Virginians 65 and older receive Social Security. Candidates were asked how they would protect benefits in the future.

George Allen suggested, "Have a gradual increase in the age, or the age of eligibility. The other thing is have some income adjustments for those that are millionaires. They don't need to have the same benefits of those of lower incomes."

"When George was in the United States Senate, he voted to privatize Social Security. That would have been a huge catastrophe prior to the collapse of Wall Street. What I would do is over time allow the payroll tax cap to adjust upwards as a first way of protecting the solvency of the program rather than changing the retirement age," explained Kaine.

There is a lot at stake here, just three weeks ago the two were separated by one point in the polls. Public Policy Polling says going into Monday night's debate, Kaine has a 51-44 advantage over Allen. So, it will be interesting to see who will get the biggest boost after the debate.

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