Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Trade Jabs In Televised Debate

Aug 27, 2014

The three major Democratic candidates for governor each say improving Rhode Island’s economy would be their top focus if they win election in November.

The trio squared off during a televised debate Tuesday sponsored by Channel 12 and the Providence Journal.

Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo, and Angel Taveras debate at Providence Performing Arts Center.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo, and Angel Taveras generally stuck with familiar themes during the hour-long debate. Pell said he’s the progressive candidate, Taveras called himself the candidate of working families, and Raimondo said the pension overhaul she spearheaded in 2011 shows her ability to get results.

When Pell cited his refusal to take campaign contributions from PACs and lobbyists, Taveras returned fire.

“I think it is easy to talk about that when you can write million-dollar checks to your campaign, and you know, Mr. Pell reminds me a little bit of Mitt Romney, who said, if you want to start a business, why don’t you borrow money from your parents? Not everyone can do that, Mr. Pell," said Taveras.

Pell, a Coast Guard reservist, twitted Taveras earlier in the debate by saying the Providence mayor has never served a day in uniform. The skirmish came precisely two weeks before the September 9th primary. The latest poll shows Raimondo with a small lead on the two other Democrats.

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