Klobuchar, Bills jab each other in feisty debate

U.S. Senate candidates Amy Klobuchar and Kurt Bills traded blows in a lively, sometimes contentious debate at the Minnesota State Fair.

Thursday’s debate sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio News was the first in which the candidates sparred on a wide range of topics. Much of the focus was on the federal budget, taxes and spending, but it also touched on foreign policy, global warming and agriculture policy.

Both candidates mounted a few attacks that verged on personal.

Bills, the Republican candidate, lashed Democratic incumbent Klobuchar as a creature of Washington not equipped to tackle major issues. Klobuchar ridiculed Bills for his failure after one term in the state House to pass any legislation.

Both candidates say it’s important to bring down the federal deficit, but laid out very different approaches.