CHICAGO (CBS)— Suburban 6th District Congressional candidates Republican Congressman Peter Roskam and Democratic challenger Sean Casten sparred over President Donald Trump and immigration Wednesday at a forum hosted by the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board.
Policy issues dominated the discussion, which turned into a feisty debate when incumbent Congressman Roskam jumped into defensive mode when Casten accused him of avoiding town hall meetings in his district.
Seated side-by-side, the opponents threw jabs at each other without making eye contact.
“The last time you had a town hall, Lehman Brothers existed, Uber didn’t and America had never known a black president,” Casten said.
Roskam criticized town halls as “media events that involve a lot of shouting and screaming and talking past one another instead of to one another,” he said.
Then, a Tribune editorial board member interjected with “There are a lot of other lines of work if you don’t like it.”
Roskam responded, “I do like it, but there’s also different ways to do it.”
Trump’s tax cuts also took center stage, with Casten saying he wants the cuts repealed.
“We have to get our House in order,” Casten said. “We have to have revenuesthat meet our expenses.”
Roskam said 6th District taxpayers can’t afford the tax burden that he says would result from Casten’s proposed fiscal policies.
Trump has been a central focus of Casten’s campaign commercials that have aired so far this election year.
Set to ominous background music, a recent commercial released by Casten’s camp accuses the Wheaton Republican of copying the “Trump playbook,” which he defines as “lies and dishonesty.”
Roskam’s ad alleges Casten mismanaged his family business, accusing of him of being “just another shady Illinois politician who would make things worse.”
The candidates will appear together at two more televised forums before the election.