GOP U.S. Senate candidates debate in Green Bay

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GREEN BAY -- Two weeks before the primary election on August 14th, Republican candidates for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat gathered for a debate in Green Bay Monday, July 30th. Each offered their solutions for federal problems.

Republicans have their best chance in decades to claim a U.S. Senate seat held by Democrats since 1957. The seat is currently held by the retiring Herb Kohl.

Before the GOP candidates get a chance to take on lone Democratic candidate Tammy Baldwin, they continue to battle against each other. When it comes to the economy and budget issues, each candidate says he feels he's the best, for specific reasons.

State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald says he has shown through his work in the state Legislature that he has the political courage needed to take on tough budget issues. Fitzgerald helped pass Gov. Scott Walker's controversial plan curbing collective bargaining rights for public workers.

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann says he has the experience during his four years in Congress balancing a budget through cutting spending.

"We've laid out a plan that balances the budget in a five-year period of time by cutting $1.4-trillion in spending," Neumann said.

Hedge fund manager Eric Hovde says the country faces an economic disaster that must be addressed immediately.

"We need to bring down the trillion in spending that President Obama has passed on to us," Hovde said.

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson says strong leaders are needed.

"Number one - let's introduce a balanced budget amendment. Let's pass Paul Ryan's budget," Thompson said.

The candidates took jabs at one another Monday during a debate at WTAQ Radio in Green Bay.

Out of the fray was Fitzgerald, who says he hasn't had the inclination or money to run the negative ads his opponents have been putting on the air.

"I'll tell you what we really need to do, you need to elect candidates with political courage because that's what it's going to take," Fitzgerald said.

The latest Rasmussen poll shows Baldwin ahead of all four Republicans in head-to-head matchups, ranging from a 3% advantage over Hovde to a 10% advantage over Fitzgerald.

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