Two Republican candidates for governor debated each other at an event in Manchester Wednesday night.
Despite being pitted against each other for the Republican Party’s nomination, Ovide Lamongtane and Kevin Smith exchanged few barbs Wednesday night, choosing instead to tout their respective backgrounds and prospective plans for the Granite State.
The closest either man came to landing a blow on the other was when Smith called out Lamontagne for promising on the campaign trail that he would shed his Republican label if he were elected.
Lamontagne did not rebut the point.
While the candidates were careful to keep their remarks about each other civil, they made no such concession to the federal government.
Answering a question about the recent firing of a store clerk for denying the use of a customer’s EBT card for unnecessary purchases, Smith said it was no surprise the program had flaws and pledged to fix them:
“You have to know as a governor what you can do to put more restrictions on the use of EBT cards, which is something I’d definitely do. Because a lot of this is Federal money, a lot of the rules come out of Washington; is it shocking that because it’s done out of Washington, it’s not working right?”
Lamontagne struck a similar tone regarding his position on the state’s participation in the Affordable Care Act:
“New Hampshire should not participate in this hijacking of Medicaid by the federal government by Obamacare.”
He stressed that New Hampshire should provide its own solution for Medicaid coverage of uninsured individuals.
Both candidates are slated to face-off against each in another televised debate this afternoon, though it remains to be seen if they will maintain the civil tone from last night.