Last night, Rep. Joe Heck (R-Henderson) debated his opponent, Erin Bilbray (D), at the Ner Tamid Reform Congregation in Henderson. At first, the atmosphere seemed pretty calm. Heck and Bilbray were even being polite towards each other. But then, this happened.
Heck interrupted Bilbray, which resulted in a few Bilbray supporters heckling Heck, which resulted in some Heck supporters shouting at Bilbray. And of course, this all resulted in moderator Jon Ralston popping off on everyone. He even threatened to have Ner Tamid organizers "clear the room".
Perhaps that's what was needed, as that caused everyone to quiet down so the debate could resume.
And so it did. Ralston started with foreign policy, and Heck seemed prepared for that. In fact, he stated he not only wants air strikes against ISIS in Iraq, but also more ground troops. He even went so far to say it was a "mistake" for the US to pull troops out of Iraq. Heck pretty much announced he's a "born again neo-con" last night with his desire for a renewed US occupation of Iraq.
Bilbray, on the other hand, was far more careful with her words. She said she supports President Obama's air strikes campaign, but does not want any more troops on the ground. She even called out Rep. Heck and other Members of Congress who haven't backed up their rhetoric with any floor votes.
Then, the conversation moved to #Ebola. And here's what actually happened:
Bilbray pointed out how CDC budget cuts have hurt our ability to prepare for outbreaks like this. Heck scoffed at that, but then came back down to earth when he acknowledged Ebola won't suddenly kill us all. But then, he just had to blame Texas nurses. Keep it klassy, Rep. Heck.
Once Ralston moved the debate to domestic issues, that's when Bilbray seemed to hit her stride. She struck a decidedly combative tone, yet nonetheless a tone suggesting she knows what she's talking about. And while Heck scored some points here and there, he still seemed somewhat off his game after his surprisingly weak performance at the Vegas PBS Debate.
After the gun safety question and brief closing remarks, it was over... Or at least, we thought it was over.
That was the only Ner Tamid debate, as other candidates had backed out. We'll have more on that later. Suffice to say, the audience then had the chance to watch a live version of "Ralston Reports" as he grilled Lt. Governor candidate Lucy Flores (D) and Clark County Sheriff candidate Larry Burns.
But once all the speeches were over, this happened:
We noticed something from the corners of our eyes, but couldn't hear what was being said. Apparently, it was a Heck supporter who decided to confront Erin Bilbray's daughter.
@DWashingtonLV Because Caroline is friends with " illegal children". What is wrong with these people?— Erin Bilbray (@erinbilbray) October 21, 2014
Oh, my. What a lovely way to end such a lovely debate (/snark). At least we have the tweets to tell the whole story.