BOISE -- With the primary just a week away, the Republicans vying for Idaho s 2nd Congressional District seat in Washington D.C. squared off Sunday in a debate on Idaho Public Television.
Challenger Bryan Smith, a lawyer and businessman from eastern Idaho, wants voters to give him a shot at the position that Rep. Mike Simpson has held for eight terms.
Smith calls himself a true conservative and spent the hour-long debate painting Simpson s views as liberal.
Meanwhile, Simpson said he has helped support Idaho interests and given constituents continued tax relief during his years in Congress.
The debate kicked off on the issue of taxes. Smith vowed to bring pressure to cut spending and not raise taxes, while Simpson maintains taxes are lower since he's taken office. Simpson said he would continue to place reform on entitlement programs in order to get the budget in check.
The candidates were also asked about immigration and, while they both agree the border needs to be secure, Smith took the opportunity to lash out at Simpson for his vote on amnesty. Simpson replied to Smith s accusation by saying it was a lie.
You have got to have a guest worker program that actually works for agricultural and manufacturing in this country where they work, said Simpson.
Smith also attacked Simpson s decision to vote yes on the $700 billion dollar bailout.
We need to continue in that tradition and send someone back to Washington who is not afraid to stand up for conservative tradition republican principles in Washington, said Smith.
Simpson responded by saying Smith s attack ads don t give the whole story and that he voted yes because it was a good government move and good for the American economy.
To watch the full debate, click here.