Text of debate between Sen. Orrin Hatch, Dan Liljenquist on KSL's Doug Wright Show

Published: Saturday, June 16 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Dan Liljenquist and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch participate in a debate at KSL in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, June 15, 2012.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Related: Audio, video clips: Sen. Orrin Hatch, Dan Liljenquist debate on KSL Radio

Related: Hatch, Liljenquist trade heated barbs in morning debate

Following is a transcript of a KSL Radio debate between candidate Dan Liljenquist and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. The debate was held Friday. Liljenquist and Hatch face a June 26 GOP primary. The winner will face Democrat Scott Howell, a former state senator, in the November general election.

Doug Wright: A warm welcome to the Doug Wright show today. Special hour today — we have blown out all the commercials. We have cleared the decks because today is the day for the debate between Dan Liljenquist and Orrin Hatch. I greatly appreciate both of our guests clearing their schedules and making their time available. I'm glad we were able to hammer this out. Gentlemen, welcome. Dan Liljenquist, thank you for being here.

Dan Liljenquist: Great to be here, Doug.

Doug Wright: Orrin Hatch, thank you for being here as well.

Orrin Hatch: Good to see you, Doug. Nice to be with you.

Doug Wright: Just for our listeners knowledge here, we did toss a coin just a moment ago. Senator Hatch did win that coin toss which means he will get the first statement and the closing statement on the program. We will go back and forth with the questions. We'll give each of our candidates 90 seconds to respond and then we will have a 30-second rebuttal and that will flip back and forth. How you choose to use that time is pretty much up to you. I also wanted to indicate for our listeners that the questions, almost without exception, have been submitted and we have done a little distillation on some of them and combined some, but they have come from emailers and texters and it's been a very, very interesting, interesting group of questions and some have had many, many of our texters and emailers focused on one particular issues. So, we'll talk a bit about that as we go. So let's just kick things right off so we have as much time as possible to deal with the questions. Orrin Hatch, since you won the coin toss we'll start with you. Here's your two minutes.

Orrin Hatch: Well, thanks, Doug. I want to compliment you and Jim Lonsberry and the other people here at KSL for putting this on. This is a great experience for both of us and we appreciate it. Look, our country is at a crossroads. We're either going to go farther down or we're going to start picking up and going up. That's one reason why I'm working very, very hard as vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee all over the country to raise millions of dollars for our senate candidates because we have to have the senate and hopefully can maintain control of the house if we're going to get this country spending and this country's ways under control. So, I'm all over this country chatting and fighting for Mitt Romney. I believe he's the only person literally who can help bring this country right out of the midst and the doldrums it's in. But it's more than that, too. The reason I'm really running is not only to help Mitt but also to take over as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. I'm the Republican leader on the committee now. That's the committee where 60% of all of this, uh, bloated spending is going and frankly, that's where Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, that's where tax reform has to take place. Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are the entitlement programs and we've got to get it under control or our kids and grandkids aren't going to have a very good future. And even some of the seniors aren't going to have such a good future if we don't get things under control financially and otherwise. It is also the committee that handles all of the international trade and bonding and other financial issues. Literally 60% of the budget comes through that committee. It's a very, very important thing and it takes a long time to even get on the committee let alone become chairman. So that's why I'm running. I believe this country is the greatest country in the world. I know it is. I know we can pull out of the mess we're in. We're going to pull out of the mess we're in and I'm going to be there to help us do it.

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