Voters weigh in on 1st District debate

By Nikki

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) For the first time and only time, Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch faced each other Monday, neither one holding back.

"(Colbert Busch) was very clear. She was very succinct. She was very hard hitting in terms of being firm in her convictions," said Cynthia Rosengrem who attended the debate.

However, not everyone agreed.

"She dodged a lot of questions when it came to Boeing. She dodged a lot of hard-hitting questions that are facing this district," said Steven Wright, a Sanford supporter. "Gov. Sanford has a consistent record when it comes to lowering the deficit, cutting debt."

Amid cheers, the debate at times became awkward. Sanford received several boos for mentioning Nancy Pelosi. He has recently accused national Democrats of trying to buy this election.

"I thought it was disrespectful," said Karla Huebert who attended the debate. "(Sanford)'s going to look out for us in Washington and the government spending and taxes."

For Colbert Busch, a political newcomer, voters say she held her own.

"It's always a question about whether a newcomer can stand up and talk about the issues, understand the issues, understand what's going on and clearly she was," said Phil Noble, who plans to support Colbert Busch. "Gov. Sanford was defensive about his personal record, defensive about what he had done in Congress."

As for how the two candidates think they performed Monday night, "That's for you guys to decide," Sanford said.

"I rocked it. I rocked it. I felt so comfortable," said Colbert Busch.

With the general election just days away, both candidates say there are clear differences between them.

"There's a real contrast when a million dollars of outside money is coming in to impact this race by people who don't want to cut spending, don't want to cut taxes," said Sanford.

"It's still about the economy, job creation, absolutely. And I hear you the voter. You want someone you can trust. You can trust me," said Colbert Busch to voters.

The two candidates will take part in a forum Tuesday put on by the Goose Creek NAACP.