Illinois Senate candidates debate at Knox

Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin and his Republican challenger Steve Sauerberg debated on the Knox campus Thursday, October 9, 2008.

Excerpt from the Chicago Tribune:

Only days after backtracking on questioning Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin’s patriotism, Republican challenger Steve Sauerberg reheated the issue Thursday by accusing him of actions that “emboldens the enemy” and “puts our soldiers in danger” in Iraq.The remarks by Sauerberg, during a debate at Knox College in Galesburg, prompted Durbin to ask “where the bottom is” in his opponent’s campaign.

Two days earlier, during a joint appearance at the Tribune’s editorial board, Sauerberg said of questioning Durbin’s patriotism, “Maybe that’s fair. Maybe it’s not.” Sauerberg also then told Durbin, “I apologize if you’re upset with me” and praised the incumbent’s work on behalf of the troops.

But on Thursday night, in the last debate before the Nov. 4 election, Sauerberg told an Illinois Radio Network audience that he was only voicing a frequent concern of voters by questioning Durbin’s patriotism.

The Register-Mail visits with students and attendees:

Maury Cohn looked a little young Thursday night seated inside Knox College’s Kresge Recital Hall…..

Cohn admitted he will turn 14 next month and is a freshman at Galesburg High School. He passed on whatever it is soon-to-be 14-year-olds normally do to attend a debate.

Just to be clear, this was a debate between two people who don’t have Obama, McCain or Palin as a last name.

“I’m interested in how politics work,” Cohn said. “But I’m not interested in going into politics. I like to know what’s going on, what’s happening in the world I live in.

Excerpt from WGIL radio:

150 years and two days might have been worth the wait for another major political debate to come to Galesburg.

Incumbent U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Republican, Doctor Steve Sauerberg, at times, verbally slugged it out on the Knox College campus Thursday night, in a debate heard live on WGIL and

The two differed on every topic thrown at them, including earmarks. Durbin says he’s always been transparent when it comes to earmarks, especially some that have been pretty good to this area….

….Sauerberg, when asked by Springfield Bureau Cheif Melissa Hahn about the possibility that the City of Galesburg is hopeful for federal money for three proposed railroad overpasses, that would likely come in the form of earmarks, said the city probably shouldn’t get that lucky.

Excerpt from the Daily Illini:

Knox College hosted the Lincoln-Douglas debate 150 years ago. Thursday night, United States Senate candidates Steve Sauerberg and incumbent Democrat Dick Durbin made their arguments for the seat.

The majority of the debate was related to the economy, and both candidates attempted to relate the issues to the Knox College students in attendance.

The debate began with discussion of the crisis on Wall Street and the bailout plan proposed by Congress.

Excerpt from the Register-Mail:

When Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas held their historic debate at Knox College a century and a half ago, the pair had to clamber through a window to get to the podium, as Knox President Roger Taylor recounted Thursday.

Sen. Dick Durbin and Steve Sauerberg found it a lot easier to get to the podium, when they debated at Knox last night 150 years and two days after the famous Lincoln-Douglas debate.

But, while the way to the podium may have been easier, the debate was just as ferocious as it was then.