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Election 2012: 21st Congressional: Bill Owens (D) v. Matt Doheny (R)

Matt Doheny, Bill Owens & Donald Hassig

Matt Doheny, Bill Owens & Donald Hassig

Both sides say they have the best interest of the middle class at heart, but the argument can be made that the middle class has been in a downward spiral under both political parties for years. Give specific examples of what can be done to offer immediate relief to the middle class and how you would help make that happen?

Most of what I talk about is focused on the middle class and trying to create those middle class jobs. The other piece of this is we're in a scenario where we have been, in essence, pushing the middle class down. There is a point where you get to the cliff. If you continue this downward push you will then push the economy over the edge of the table.

We need to get people back to work focusing on education and not just higher education. We need to make sure we have people who have skills and can work in the trades. Point kids toward the jobs that will be available. I think that for most of us, when I decided to become a lawyer, I did not know what it was going to take to be a lawyer. I grew to love the job, and I don't think that there is anything wrong with that.

Everyone talks about bipartisanship, yet candidates — like yourselves — continue to campaign with hostility toward the other side. After such a mean-spirited campaign is bipartisanship really possible?

I would say to you that the answer is yes because generally speaking, the people you have had a tough campaign with are not the people that you are working with generally. Chris Gibson and I work together fine.

It is an interesting question as to are we a reflection of society or is society a reflection of us. If in fact you are going to solve some of these problems, part of what has to happen is we have to take responsibility, but the public has to take responsibility as well. People have to argue from the facts and as you do these things, there will be pain of various types that people will experience, and it has to be a shared pain in order for it to be fair.

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