(left to right) Mike Pence, John Gregg, and Rupert Boneham
(South Bend, Ind.) – Republican Mike Pence’s plan to promote married families drew criticism from Democrat John Gregg during Wednesday night’s gubernatorial debate in South Bend.
Gregg, a single parent himself, said he took “great offense” at Pence’s plans to promote traditional families – those with a married mother and father – in Indiana.
Pence, who holds a healthy lead in the polls and fundraising, had a safe debate strategy held at the University of Notre Dame. As he did in the candidates’ first debate last week, the 6th District Congressman once again stuck to touting his “Roadmap for Indiana” plan.
"I have a plan to take Indiana from good to great," Pence said.
Gregg called Pence a “one-trick pony” in exhibiting skepticism that Pence could carry out his Roadmap. The Democrat claimed that no piece of legislation that Pence authored during 12 years in U.S. Congress ever became law.
Gregg illustrated himself as a moderate Democrat, saying he would reach across the aisle if elected.
“I don’t have any fancy slogan for what we’re trying to do. I just got Hoosier common sense, and I think it works. And it worked when I was Speaker of the House and we did thing in a bi-partisan fashion,” Gregg said.
If elected, Gregg would likely have to operate that way again in order to get anything accomplished. Republicans already hold strong majorities in the state House and Senate, which may become stronger in the November 6 election.
Pence referenced Gregg’s experience as House speaker, stating that for five of the six years Gregg was the leader Indiana ran a deficit.
Libertarian Rupert Boneham also appeared in the second debate, contrasting himself from the two lead candidates.
“I want to stand up and swear an oath to Indiana, to every citizen in Indiana, that I will treat every citizen equal, that we will give every citizen the same rights,” he said.
On policy, Boneham stated that the way to grow the state is by empowering counties.
There is one more debate scheduled between the gubernatorial candidates. It will take place Thursday, October 25 in Fort Wayne.