Comments about ‘Hatch, Liljenquist trade heated barbs in morning debate’

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Published: Friday, June 15 2012 9:00 a.m. MDT

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Orem, UT

All I heard from Liljenquist during the debate was the same empty rhetoric and attacks he has used throughout the campaign. It seems he blames Hatch for everything that is wrong with the country - ridiculous. He's low on ideas and failed to outline his vision for the state of Utah or the country.

I will be voting for Hatch on the 26th. We need someone who can get things done by reaching across the isle and working with good democrats and republicans who are dedicated to improving the country. His experience and reputation in the Senate make him ideal for this role - especially at the head of the finance committee.

Kearns, UT

Liljenquist came across as the spoiled child in the debate. Hatch came across as the kindly but firm grandpa trying to teach the spoiled child about life. Hatch won hands down. All Liljenquist can do is to continually spout the FreedomWorks talking points, which are a misrepresentation of Hatch's record. I really liked how Hatch took Liljenquist to task several times. Liljenquist seemed a bit flustered always falling back on the talking points.

Salt Lake City, UT

Last Utah General Legislative Session for 2011, I remember seeing bill after bill sponsored by Sen. Dan Liljenquist pass the house. I was amazed at the respect he and the bills had. I was amazed at how both republicans and democrats voted for them.

For example, his 2011 SB 180 Medicaid Reform bill passed both houses with no votes against it from either party and was signed by the Governor.

With at least 7 bills, both the house and senate, both republicans and democrats all voted for the reforms Senator Dan Liljenquist proposed. In all, 9 of his bills were signed by the Governor.

We need that in Washington DC. These are the same areas that are bankrupting our nation. Again, we need Dan Liljenquist in Washington DC. Yes, we have a US Senator with 35 years of seniority, but remember that in 2011, Senator Dan Liljenquist was still in his first 4 year term. He did it without seniority.


Dan Liljenquist showed that he is infinitely more qualified than Senator Hatch. If this was Hatch's second term they might have had a more even debate but this morning Hatch dodged questions, explained himself poorly and refused to be accountable for ANY of the debt. Insanity. It's time for Dan Liljenquist.

Centerville, UT

I can see Orrin Hatch has paid for his talking points to get out there...Dan did NOT sound like a spoiled child. Hatch couldn't finish his sentences and what was up with the analogy with jumping down in the hole? Dan was very articulate and soundly won the debate. Sad that it was not on TV but as long as Hatch is down in the hole, he will continue with his silly gimmicks...Hopefully, the citizens of Utah will see through them.

Conservative Voice

It's apparent why Orrin Hatch didn't want to debate on Prime-Time. He sounded tired and cranky.

Dan on the other hand sounded energetic and experienced with a complete understanding of the issues.

My vote will go to Dan!

Sanpete, UT

Go big Dan!


Sorry guys, but I listened to the debate and Dan Liljenquist definitely did not win. He kept spouting off the same talking points about how the current congress has bankrupted our future. Fine. Tell us your plan. I didn't hear a plan. Hatch has shown that he can work with Democrats and Republicans to get things done. The reality is that Dan and Hatch are for the same things. Dan is just trying to differentiate himself by claiming he is not a Washington insider. The new blood argument does not work for me. I think Hatch's experience is very important. I will be voting for Orrin Hatch on June 26th.

Spanish Fork, UT

Looks like Hatch's Hired guns got there comments in early in an attempt to sway opinion on this message board.

Hatch was tap dancing the entire debate. He never addressed the issue of how a 16 trillion dollar unfunded liability is good fiscal party and he lost his temper when he was called to the carpet over his fear mongering over the "fantasy" possible closure of Hill AFB. He drummed the issue up and he is the only candidate running for Congress in Utah even talking about it.
Utah voters need to open up there eyes to these tactics and realize that a vote for Hatch is a vote for the establishment that loves there big pork barrel spending ways.

Robb C
Salt Lake City, UT

I have been back and forth about Senator Hatch. I wrote a letter to the editor opposing him earlier this year but then ended up favoring him in the caucus because I was disappointed to see all his opponents touting that they are farther right than Hatch. Farther right than Hatch? That's all we need! I'm not looking for another Mike Lee.

However, in the end I decided it was more important to send a message that a lifetime in office is unacceptable. I have already sent in my ballot, voting for Liljenquist. I do think the debate confirmed that he has MUCH more energy at this point in life and is a competent replacement for Hatch.


Finally about fifty minutes debate - during the working day.

Liljenquist certainly didn’t make Hatch
“responsible for everything wrong with the country”; he described Hatch as being typical of a whole generation of congressmen (Republican as well as Democrat) that had together created the USA's unprecedented debt. He opposed partisanship that was hypocritical, for example when Republicans like Hatch are quick to accuse Democrats for the same things that Republicans do, notably creating unsustainable debt. He called for a new generation of congressmen that would do something substantive and not just "talk a good game" when elections were imminent.

While I think Hatch needs to go this time, I must say I am uneasy about Dan’s talk of “broadening the tax base”, his Palinesque idea that “everyone should pay something”
At least if applied to income taxes. Everyone DOES pay taxes, including federal taxes, already. Not enough specifics from either candidate on reducing spending, other than repealing “Obamacare”.

Both said nothing about being militarily over-extended or supporting moves to shut down redundant / picayune federal bureaucracies. Dan was better, I thought, than Orrin on Illegal immigration though.

Murray, UT

I, like many others, support the concept of term limits. Hatch, when he ran the very first time, said he would only serve two terms. He is now running for the seventh. He has been there too long and has forgotten whom he serves. Hatch needs to retire.

If the term limit argument is not enough, you can look at his voting record over the last ten years. His votes show a clear pattern of significantly diminishing our rights under the 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution. Look at the bills he has voted for, like the Patriot Act (with renewals and expansions), TSA (intrusive searches and virtual strip searches), and last December the NDAA (where a US citizen can be detained without charges, counsel, or communication with anyone). And this is the short version of Hatch's upholding the Constitution.

You want one more reason? Hatch is in his mid 70s. This is a 6 year term. Look at some of the past senators that stayed to long. They never disclosed their health and they were absent alot because of poor health. Has Hatch been straight with us regarding his health?

Hatch needs to retire.

Uncle Charles
Where freedom and liberty reign, utah

@Fred33 proclaims: "Hatch has shown that he can work with Democrats and Republicans to get things done."

Please, give us some specifics. Somehow I think that Conservatives will have a different definition of what we want "done" verses the voting record of Hatch.

Hatch has sufficiently scared the old folks in Utah and they feel his pain so they are voting for him. They don't want to feel that they are being put out to pasture either.

@Hunt: I agree!

Hatch is completely scared to a TV debate with Dan because he knows he will come off as a grumpy old man who has nothing to offer. Fred, what's Hatch's plan? Support Romney? Be chair of the Finance committee? One more term? What are the fine points of the Hatch plan?

You can't give it because it doesn't exist.

Apricot Tree
Brigham City, UT

Hunt: No hired guns. What a silly, desperate comment. I was a state delegate and never was contacted by the Hatch committee. Hatch won the debate, and will continue to win.

McKay: Silly gimmicks are Liljenquist's forte. Liljenquist, together with gimmicks, a lack of U.S. government experience and empty promises, is NOT what America needs right now. Try to think of the big picture, rather than blaming the woes of the government on one man. With so many Presidents, and a continual downfall of the economy and an increase of debt since the beginning, we should NEVER blame on one person only. Look at how hard Hatch has been working, and then consider timing. I will be voting for Hatch.

Santa Monica, CA

There is a stalemate in Washington and unless something is done to break this, we may be doomed as a nation. Orin Hatch is no favorite of mine, but I have seen him reach across to the smarter party and I remember a magazine cover with he and Teddy Kennedy posing with babies in their arms in bipartisan support for mothers. Look, Obama is going to be our President for another four years and we need jobs in this country. Trickle down economics is a flat out myth and anyone who tries to tell you differently is white and fairly well off. We need a lot of Dems elected, and experienced Republicans who know how to compromise. Hatch has proven he can do this (at times). President Obama will get a lot done, with or without compromise in Washington--as he has done this term, but if Congress can't right it's ship, it might as well stay on recess for the immediate future.

Provo, UT

Wake up Utah, It's time for Hatch to go!

Salt Lake City, UT

Hatch by a mile.

Provo, UT

I worked on Capitol Hill in DC for eight years and in politics for a total of 18 years. Dan Liljenquist was the clear winner of the debate today. It's wise of Orrin to only have one debate. I worked on Orrin's campaign as a volunteer in 1975 and have voted for him ever since. He is only a shadow of his former self. He is really slowing down. It's time for a change. Dan Liljenquist is an excellent replacement. We are very fortunate that he decided to run this time, despite Hatch's seniority and hugh money advantage.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

It's amazing that, in an attempt to right things, we'll get rid of our most influential voice in DC. Couple Hatch chairing the Finance Committee and Romney in the White House and the old DC would change in a hurry. Hopefully Utahns will prove smarter than the Tea Party far right and make the right choice.

Clearfield, UT

I don't want either of them. However, after investigating closely investigating their records, their rhetoric and their positions, I find that I don't want Hatch a lot less than I don't want Liljenquist. Hatch is the less-worse of the two of them. Therefore I will be voting for Hatch in the primary. I have no idea yet about what I will do in the general election -- that will take a lot more study.

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