I attended the Columbia County Republican debate between Paul Broun and Barry Fleming on June 21, and have to say that I do not agree with the way the debate has been portrayed in the local papers. I was shocked when I saw that The Augusta Chronicle and The Columbia County News-Times were reporting that the debate showed how similar Broun and Fleming are. In my opinion the debate showed the difference between a true eloquent statesman, and someone having a hard time getting his point across.
Before the first words were spoken, the differences between Broun and Fleming could not have been more apparent. Fleming looked very professional, wearing a suit and tie. He could not have looked more like what a congressman should be. In contrast, Broun was wearing an open shirt with no coat or tie. He did not look like what I expect from a congressman. Also, Fleming stood to speak, while Broun did not bother to ever get up from his stool.
More importantly, there was a marked difference in how the two candidates answered the questions. Fleming answered every question that was asked, and could not have been more knowledgeable about the facts. Broun, on the other hand, evaded the questions, choosing instead to list his talking points, whether they pertained to the question asked or not.
I am disappointed to see the mischaracterizations coming from the local newspapers about this debate. Most voters depend on the media to inform them about the candidates. They do the voters a disservice when they simply list candidates' similarities rather than pointing out the differences.
Rebecca Magnotta, Grovetown