Debate #2: What it means for Western Colorado voters

By: Brian Shlonsky Email
By: Brian Shlonsky Email

The second presidential debate is in the books, President Obama and Governor Romney squaring off at Hofstra University on Tuesday.

This time, the battle much more heated than the last. While Romney dodged comparisons to President George W. Bush, President Obama defended why his next four years would be better than the last.

But for some Colorado voters, it was the candidate’s views on health care, energy and education that hit close to home, and could have a direct impact on Western Colorado. The first: energy.

"If you want to drill on public lands, you use it or you lose it, and so what we did was take away those leases, and we are now re-letting them so that we can actually make a profit," Obama said.

The right course for America is to have a true all of the above policy, I don't think anyone really believes that you're a person that will be pushing for oil, gas and coal," Romney said.

Locally, some energy providers say the candidates should also be looking to alternate energy sources.

"There hasn't been a new coal fire burning plant in our area since the 1970s in our area built, so if we have renuables, whether it's hydro, whether its solar like we provide, or whether it's wind, we all have to collectively work together to feed the grid," Mike Noble with Syndicated Solar said.

On education, the candidates agreed college graduates need to be put to work, but residents say local districts also need more funds at the pre- college level.

“Kids graduating this year without a job and without a college level job, that's just unacceptable, and likewise you got more and more debt on your back. So more debt and less jobs. I'm going to change that," Romney said.

"We struggle greatly with our funding over on the western slope, I know in general it's not where it should be, and so I feel like that's one big resource is government is how we get our funding," Grand Junction resident Jessica Mulvey said.

And on health care? Most of the discussion focused on women and how they are affected by Obamacare, but local providers would like to see the focus on recruiting.

“In my health care bill I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured, because this isn't just a health issue its an economic issue for women,” Obama said.

"Having more primary care, more physicians, access for so many people, is really hard for a lot of citizens, to get in to see a doctor because we have such a shortage, and also cost, it is very, very expensive for a lot of people who don't have health insurance," Shelley Friesen

The candidates did briefly touch on alternative energy, the president saying he thinks governor Ronmey would do away with jobs that he says have thousands of people working right here in Colorado to create wind power.

Romney responded, saying that he appreciates those jobs, wouldn't cut them, and wants to work to make sure the country is taking advantage of all energy resources.

The next presidential debate will be on Monday, Oct. 22 at Lynn University.

The candidates will be tackling foreign policy. That debate will air at 7 p.m. on KKCO11 News.


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