GOP candidates square off in first political forum - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Rouzer, White spar in first NC7 GOP candidates' forum

David Rouzer and Woody White sparred several times during their first candidates forum of the primary campaign David Rouzer and Woody White sparred several times during their first candidates forum of the primary campaign

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Woody White and David Rouzer traded several barbs on stage Tuesday night in the first candidates' forum of the Seventh Congressional District primary campaign.

White, Rouzer, and Chris Andrade answered questions in front of a crowd of about 200 people in Brunswick County. While they agreed on many issues such as repealing Obamacare, cutting spending, and reforming entitlements, White and Rouzer took several shots at each other during the forum which lasted more than 90 minutes. 

One of the first tense moments between the candidates came when White accused Rouzer of lobbying for and supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants. "He lobbied for it," White said of Rouzer. "He admitted doing it on WECT in two debates in April of 2012, and that's what he supported."

Rouzer denied that what he did was lobbying for amnesty. He said it was advice given to a group of farmers concerning a bill introduced by former Sen. Jesse Helms and others. "I do not support amnesty," Rouzer told the crowd. "I will never vote for amnesty. I will never vote for a path to citizenship for anyone who has come here illegally. Period."

Rouzer cited his experience as a state senator from Johnston County, and time he spent working on Capitol Hill under Sen. Helms.  "That's one of the assets I bring to the table is the experience to help advance the conservative cause on Capitol Hill, because I've been in those battles," he said. "I've been in the battles in the legislative branch, and I know how the bureaucrats operate in the Executive Branch."

White, who is the current chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners, criticized the same experience Rouzer touted. "We need people from the real world in Washington D.C.," he said. "If we think we can solve problems by electing career government employees to Washington to be part of the 'get along, go along' crowd, we're wrong."

Andrade says he wants to give voters another choice, and encouraged Republicans to vote in the 2014 elections. "If every Republican voted in the last election, we would not be talking about President Obama," he said. 

The candidates will meet in another forum in New Hanover County April 15, sponsored by the Lower Cape Fear Republican Women. That forum will be streamed live on wect.com.

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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