AP: Heitkamp puts Cramer on ‘defensive’ over tariffs, ag
In their first debate, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., put Rep. Kevin Cramer, D-N.D., who is running for her Senate seat, “on the defensive regarding trade and tariffs in a state where agriculture is the No. 1 industry with about 25 percent of the workforce,” the Associated Press said in an analysis of the event.
“Heitkamp has run several ads showing farmers in their soybean fields and complaining that Cramer has done nothing about the drop in crop prices,” the AP noted.
Heitkamp said the trade war is having a “very dramatic and negative effect” on North Dakota’s economy and its farmers.
“We spent 30 years building markets and we’re going to lose it in a year,” she said.
Cramer has argued that President Donald Trump’s approach must be given time to work, the AP added. He pointed to Trump’s deal with Canada and Mexico and elsewhere as evidence that the president’s approach is working, the report said.
At the beginning of the debate Heitkamp apologized for a newspaper ad attacking her opponent that improperly identified some survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, calling it a “grave and horrible error,” the AP said.
“I am praying for guidance and forgiveness,” the Democrat told the nearly 200 people at Bismarck State College.
Heitkamp ran the ad in defense of her vote against Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
The race has been considered a toss up, but The Washington Post has said the seat is the most likely to flip from Democrat to Republican, and The Cook Political Report today moved it from “Toss Up” to “Lean Republican.”
“While Heitkamp has done everything within her power to win a second term, and Cramer seems at odds with voters on some issues, he has been sitting on a lead ranging from the high single digits to the low teens,” Jennifer Duffy, the Cook Report Senate editor, wrote.
“And despite Heitkamp’s best efforts, it doesn’t appear that she can turn this around in the next 19 days.”