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Posted on Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 9:03 p.m.

Virg Bernero and Rick Snyder trade blows in first and only Michigan gubernatorial debate

By Ryan J. Stanton


Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, the Democratic nominee for governor, fields questions from reporters immediately following tonight's debate.

Ryan J. Stanton |

With three weeks to go before the Nov. 2 election, Virg Bernero and Rick Snyder participated in their first side-by-side interview tonight for the job of Michigan governor.

Bernero, the Democratic mayor of Lansing, came out with guns blazing and attacked Snyder for outsourcing jobs at Gateway Computers, painting a picture of the Republican businessman from Ann Arbor as an out-of-touch millionaire who looks out for himself first.

Snyder, aside from a few feisty comebacks to Bernero's characterizations of his record, remained soft-spoken and stuck to a message of creating jobs and reinventing Michigan.

"We don't have a lot in common in terms of how we approach things," Snyder said at one point in the debate, comparing himself to Bernero. "I'm a positive person."

Snyder said he had to give Bernero credit, though.

"I mean, he's a great talker — in terms of he gets several points in for every one I have a chance to respond to because of speed," he said. "That doesn't mean there's substance there."


Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder, left, and Democratic candidate Virg Bernero stand at podiums prior to their debate at the Detroit Public Television studios in Wixom.

Mandi Wright | Associated Press

Neither candidate deviated much from his usual method of delivery during the hour-long debate inside Detroit Public Television Studios in Wixom, though Snyder did come across as more spontaneous than usual. If there was a script, Bernero forced it out of Snyder on multiple occasions by putting him on the defensive.

The biggest surprise of the night came in Bernero's opening statements when he shared what he described as "some disturbing news" that another of Snyder's companies has created jobs in China. Bernero said Snyder is the founder and board director of San Jose, Calif.-based Discera Inc., a tech company that recently set up an office in China.

"Here's what Mr. Snyder's chief technology officer told the press: 'Discera is helping Chinese businesses compete and win in the global marketplace,'" Bernero said. "Helping Chinese businesses to compete and win? Yet you want to be our governor? What about Michigan workers? What about the 630,000 Michiganders looking for work? Mr. Snyder, how could you?"

Snyder dismissed Bernero's allegations about Discera.

"Discera does not have an operation in China," Snyder said. "They're based in San Jose, Calif., and they're based in Ann Arbor, Mich."

Midway through the debate, Snyder's campaign released a statement from Discera CEO Bruce Diamond acknowledging that Discera set up a five-person office in China in July, but Diamond said the office would eventually lead to the creation of more jobs in the U.S.

Bernero attempted to portray himself as the real job creator in the race, noting that the Lansing region has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state.


"We've laid out the red carpet, instead of the red tape, for business and that's working," he said. "We've secured half-a-billion dollars in new investment in my city — 6,000 new jobs. But while I'm busy creating thousands of new jobs here, unfortunately my opponent has shipped thousands of jobs overseas to China in his role as chief executive outsourcer at Gateway."

Snyder differed with Bernero on how to create jobs.

"You don't do it by being in government," he said, adding it's the work of government to create an environment where jobs can flourish. "It is hard work to create a job, and let's get our government out of the way. We have a 'closed for business' sign up in Michigan right now."

The debate was broadcast live on public television and many commercial stations across the state. An archived webcast is expected to be accessible online at and through Election Day.

As he has said on the campaign trail, Snyder repeated his line that the creation of the Michigan Business Tax was "just like Lansing went to the video store and rented 'Dumb and Dumber.'"

Bernero spun Snyder's words back at him, saying it's funny that Snyder wants to talk about "Dumb and Dumber," because he actually hired one of them.

"One of the guys who authored the Michigan Business Tax that he wants to eliminate is actually Brian Calley, his lieutenant governor," he said. "So I guess if you don't want Dumb and Dumber, you better not vote for the Republican ticket."

Bernero went out of his way at multiple points to portray Snyder as rich. He said he liked Snyder's "Nerd Mobile," but he personally can't afford one.

In response to a question about whether he would forgo his salary as governor, Bernero said that was "hilarious" — "I'm not a multimillionaire like my opponent."

"I'm sure that I will cut my pay," he said. "As I said, I'll sacrifice along with the other state workers, but I can't simply reach into my pockets from years of corporate gains and stock shares that I've cashed in on. So, no, I'll need a salary to support myself and my family."

Snyder avoided the question, saying he didn't want to come across as "pandering" by making any promises, but he said he would make some sacrifices.

Tonight's debate is likely the only one that will happen between now and Nov. 2. Bernero has pushed for more debates, but Snyder indicated tonight he's not interested.

The debate was seen as a significant opportunity for Bernero, who has been trailing Snyder by about 20 points in most polls. It remains to be seen whether Bernero will gain any ground after tonight. At least one analyst said he believes it was a draw.

“I scored (Snyder) higher than Bernero in terms of self-confidence and vision for the future — this whole idea of reinvention and the new era," said Craig Ruff, a lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy and senior policy fellow at Lansing-based Public Sector Consultants. "On the other hand, I thought Bernero did a very good job of exuding empathy for people who, because they have had their properties repossessed or because they’re out of work, they want somebody in Lansing to carry their weight for them."


Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder, the Republican nominee for governor, fields questions from reporters following tonight's debate.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The fact that it was a draw, Ruff said, likely benefits Bernero more.

"Nobody made a major mistake," he said. "And yet, because it’s a draw, I normally give — and I do tonight — the benefit of the doubt to the challenger, the underdog, that Bernero probably did better for himself than Snyder did.”

Snyder said in an e-mail to supporters before the debate started that the election is about a choice between "a proven job creator" and "a self-proclaimed career politician who embodies the same old partisan politics that have held us back for so long." He stayed on that message tonight, while also hammering on his 10-point plan to reinvent Michigan.

Bernero hasn't talked much during the campaign about his nearly two decades of experience in government as a county commissioner, state senator, state representative and now mayor of Lansing for the last five years. He stayed away from coming across as a career politician again during tonight's debate, other than talking about his record in Lansing.

Bernero said he's getting results in Lansing, where he has balanced the budget every year without raising taxes and has brought jobs to the city. He said he can apply the same principles to state government and balance Michigan's budget without gimmicks.

Bernero and Snyder made clear tonight they have fundamental differences on the state's use of tax incentives to attract companies to Michigan.

"My opponent has taken kind of a philosophical approach saying we should do away with tax incentives. I disagree," Bernero said. "I think that would be unilateral disarmament."

Snyder called it a math problem. He said "massive incentives" wouldn't be needed if the state didn't have a broken tax and regulatory system.

"You don't create jobs by buying people into our state and giving huge checks out to people," he said. "You create jobs by having free enterprise work. And you have free enterprise work by having the most level competitive playing field."

As far as the state's film incentives, Bernero said he'd hate to pull the rug out from under the program right now. Snyder has taken a stance against the incentives.

Both candidates were asked where they stand on abortion, gay marriage and affirmative action. Bernero said Michigan is stuck with state constitutional provisions on affirmative action and gay marriage, but he's "100 percent pro-choice" and supports civil unions and diversity.

"I personally don't have any problem with gay marriage," he said. "If somebody wants to spend their life with one person, I think that's a good thing and I don't know why government would want to step in the way of that, so I think we should look at domestic partnerships and civil unions that can be done without broaching that constitutional … restriction that's there."

Snyder said he's pro-life except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger. He used the abortion question to talk about his preferred subject: jobs.

"If you're pro-life or pro-choice, one of the best answers we can get is to create jobs because that helps abortions go down overall," he said.

On gay marriage, Snyder said he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, "but people should also have the ability to make contracts between themselves." On the topic of affirmative action, Snyder said, "I don't believe in quotas."

The debate was sponsored by The 2010 Great Debates Sponsoring Coalition, which is comprised of more than 20 business, labor and nonprofit organizations, in collaboration with the Ann Arbor-based Center For Michigan and Detroit Public Television.

Moderators for the debate were Detroit Free Press Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson and Detroit News Editorial Page Editor Nolan Finley.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529.



Wed, Oct 13, 2010 : 1:21 p.m.

reply to Mitch.... I too do not want dumb and dumber, but a vote for the obama/granholm junior named berNERO is a vote for DUMBEST!!!

David Briegel

Wed, Oct 13, 2010 : 4:35 a.m.

jerrilyn, Actually, an abortion is a womans health issue. That right has been decided. It is not a political party's flag. It is the law. We erase budding lives every day with our Perpetual War Profiteering Machine. Our gift to the world!


Tue, Oct 12, 2010 : 9:21 a.m.

You didn't mention the 6% flat tax that Snyder proposes that will increase tax on small businesses by 4.5%. This should have been emphasized much more by Bernero. Bernero also did not propose any solutions for the budget like Snyder did even though I did not like Snyder's solution.

E. Manuel Goldstein

Tue, Oct 12, 2010 : 9:18 a.m.

If this guy Bernero gets in, who will protect the interests of the poor Wall Street banks?? I mean, for goodness sakes, Bernero wants to place a moratorium on house foreclosures!! And start up a state bank that would lend to small businesses! Wall Street banks won't be able to compete! And then they will pull all of their money out! I think Rick, if elected, will subject himself to the standards being applied to Obama right now - that he has less than 2 years to turn Michigan around entirely, otherwise he will be labeled by the press and conservatives as a failure.


Tue, Oct 12, 2010 : 9:06 a.m.

The only people who CAN "create" jobs are business owners, e.g. the RICH, ugh. How dare they be rich in our capitalistic society so that they can provide jobs to the rest of us so that we might become RICH or at least be able to provide our own living and make our own choices. What will happen when we have disparaged the "rich" enough that they become "poor" like us. Who will take care of them? Who will pay the taxes so the government can take care of all of us?


Tue, Oct 12, 2010 : 8:40 a.m.

@Atticus F, you will have to elaborate!! How is Snyder's platform even close to Cox's???? I see no reason to think that Snyder will single-handedly limit abortion in Michigan. It's a non-issue for his platform. The only reason he has even talked about it, is because he's been asked. But if you look at his website he doesn't mention it on his plan for Michigan and that's because there are bigger issues right now, like getting jobs back in Michigan and fixing our defunct government.


Tue, Oct 12, 2010 : 8:15 a.m.

Rick Snyder has bragged about increasing jobs while at Gateway Incorporated and then as a venture capitalist. He wants the electorate to believe that he can apply his corporate successes to creating jobs in Michigan if he becomes governor. The facts are that Rick Snyder became another executive vice-president of Gateway Incorporated in 1991. By that time Gateway had already achieved remarkable success after having been founded by Ted Waitt and Mike Hammond in 1985. Hiring practices most certainly were in place when Rick Snyder arrived and were maintained by Ted Waitt who was a strong, hands-on CEO for the Gateway corporation. While Rick Snyder may not deserve credit for the initial success of Gateway Incorporated he was a board member and interim CEO while the company was outsourcing jobs. Rick Snyder wishes to have the electorate believe that he did not want jobs to go overseas and stresses the fact that many American companies had turned to outsourcing in order to maintain financial success. While this paradigm shift for jobs did occur and, indeed, continues, the fact remains that American jobs were lost while foreign jobs were being created. Rick Snyder is accurate when stating that some jobs were repatriated from overseas in the latter years of his tenure with Gateway. However, those jobs involved technical service which performed poorly overseas, contributing to the company's decline. So the shifting of foreign jobs back to America was an effort to repair a tarnished reputation. Combine the realities of Rick Snyder's actual performance at Gateway Incorporated with the relatively small increase in Michigan jobs associated with his venture capital endeavors and you have a poor resume regarding job creation. Rick Snyder's record pales further when compared to Virg Bernero's record for job creation. Based solely on the jobs issue Virg Bernero deserves the opportunity to apply his successful mayoral skills at the state government level.


Tue, Oct 12, 2010 : 8:09 a.m.

Having an abortion is NOT a woman's health issue. Somehow, we are at the point where we are pandering to the few who think they have a right to erase a budding life if their birth control fails or is non existent. We have let government be so intrusive into our lives that we cannot even make a good decision for ourselves. We suffer no consequences because of our choices anymore. We should be a country of laws that we enforce. If someone kills someone, they are incarcerated, if they steal, they are incarcerated. Have the lawyers support the law instead of looking for loopholes. e.g. O.J. Simpson. Because if we don't have the laws, our society will continue to crumble. Do not elect the glib politician. Elect someone who enforces our laws and does not interpret them to their own gain to please a party to reelect themselves.


Tue, Oct 12, 2010 : 7:43 a.m.

If only we could think for ourselves, instead of waving the flag for our political "party", maybe we could truly see that more of the same does not change the future unless to make it worse for us. Glibness and rhetoric does not a leader make. Did you like the late 80's after the late 70's? Vote your intelligence, do some real homework. Instead of following the usual crowd, truly think for yourselves. It is difficult with so many voices rumbling, but take a look at our situation and decide.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 9:45 p.m.

If you are pro-choice, then Virg Bernero is your candidate. Please don't assume that Snyder won't affect life for many. If you are willing to vote for big government coming between a woman and her doctor, how can you be pro-choice? Limiting abortion to cases of rape and incest isn't as simple as it may sound to some. Girls fearful of a family member or mother's boyfriend may not come forward immediately and may not even know about pregnancy and the possibility of abortion. Young girls may not understand laws as you and I do. Plus, Rick Snyder's choice as lieutenant governor has extreme beliefs that don't allow any exceptions to his anti-choice stand. Though abortion is legal in the United States, restrictions can make it widely unavailable in practice. A scary possibility is to limit availability of the "morning after" pill. I'd like to hear the Republican team's position on the "morning after" pill and on certain forms of contraception that some consider a form of abortion. So much for the party of small government. It's small when it comes to regulating things that can injure or fleece us, but it's big government when it comes to women's health issues. Even besides the issue of women's health, Virg Bernero will be a better governor for most Michiganders.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 2:01 p.m.

Were their views on the environment discussed at all??

Jake C

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 1:20 p.m.

As stated by the DetNews, if this were scored like an actual high school or collegiate debate, think this would be in Bernero's favor. But this reminded me a bit of Kennedy vs. Nixon, with one guy staying calm and cool and talking in a nice easy rhythm, and another guy throwing out a whole lot of talking points -- but there wasn't much substance on either side. I liked the information that Bernero delivered, but I didn't like the way the delivered it. I have to give Snyder credit for staying calm and on-message and positive. That said, I still don't think Snyder would be the best person to lead Michigan. He has a worrying lack of government experience (and despite what the Tea Partiers think, that's not a good thing in my book). If you cut out all the portions of the debate where the candidates attacked each other (which was mostly Bernero going after Snyder) then there didn't seem to be a whole lot either of them could say to separate themselves in terms of their economic strategies. It was all very vague in terms of "finding every wasted dollar" vs. "value-balanced budets". And everyone already knows how they stand in terms of Social issues, which really shouldn't matter this election (but of course they will will matter for far too many of our voters, even if nothing will change in terms of abortion or weed or whatever). Sadly, neither candidate was willing to commit to cut any actual spending, and thinks they can just find all sorts of waste in taxes and spending in order to improve our failing Educational system and everything else. Mr. Bernero, where exactly do you think you're going to find all this unnecessary government spending to find more than a few thousand (or even million) dollars here and there? It often seems like it takes a $100k consultant to find an unnecessary $30k assistant -- not a good use of money. Mr. Snyder, how do you think that radically changing the Michigan Business Tax code will instantly make things more fair, and also somehow result in more money coming in through the tax system? As stated in It's the film a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, "We've figured it a dozen different ways, and no matter how we figured it, someone doesn't like the way we figured it!"

Atticus F.

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 12:59 p.m.

Cory Lord, Snyder is running on a similar platform to Mike Cox!! that type of thinking is going to set us back to the stone age.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 12:57 p.m.

Can anyone point to a transcript or audio recording of the debate? I unfortunately was stuck in an airplane. Thank you.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 12:03 p.m.

I'm a huge liberal and I'm voting for Snyder. I want gay rights, pro-choice government policy, and health care for everyone but I don't want someone who thinks the same way Granholm has about Michigan's government. Snyder's proposal for budgeting is great because it is new. There isn't one thing that Bernero offers that will help this state in the long run. He has ideas to help problems now but will end up hurting us even more in the future. He's like a band-aid for a disembowelment. To me typical liberals love Bernero because he's a Democrat. And typical conservatives like Snyder because he's Republican. Get off the party bandwagon and think for yourselves people. That is the only way we can fix this state.

Stephen Landes

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 11:59 a.m.

I found the debate to be both awful and insightful at the same time. In my opinion it was awful because I heard Mr. Bernero repeating the same tired old lines time after time. I have no idea what it means to say he is going to fight for Michigan -- how? He has no plan to "fight" for Michigan other than to say he is a "fighter". That isn't an answer. What I heard was attack and fast-talk from Mr. Bernero: That seems to be all he can bring to the campaign. I also found insight, but really into the media types who were asking the questions. Mr. Snyder has been saying for a year that we need to do things completely differently; that we need to reinvent the way we do business in this state. Unfortunately, the questioners weren't able to pick up on that in their research on the candidates, so we were left with simple-minded questions like "if you value education where will you find the funds to increase spending". Simply increasing the budget isn't possible or even advisable and it certainly isn't something that Mr. Snyder, nor possibly Mr. Bernero, advocates. The questions betrayed an old mindset that we have to root out if we are to make progress. Asking the real question means that more than 2 minutes will be required to give a real answer. The question should have been "If the objective is providing an education for all Michigan children that results in them being successful citizens, adults, and employees/employers what process do you suggest we follow to achieve that objective?" I would like to see a debate around questions like that with each candidate having 20 minutes to present their answer and then cross-questioning to help understand positions and clarify issues. A real debate would expose a fast talker like Bernero and educate voters about what each candidate would bring to the office.

michigan face

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 11:52 a.m.

I will vote for Virg for every reason he gave me and against Snyder for every reason he gave. Gary Lillie - you just one of Snyder's cronies here in A2 - admit it - millionaire and right wing conservative who cannot stand anyone else's ideas and have no concern for the "common folk" or their rights (including abortion, gay rights and anti-war)- just your idealogies. Get real - your voice is a very slanted one.

David Briegel

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 11:26 a.m.

BigMike, That was my honest opinion in response to Hilton who was lamenting the lack of variety of opinions amongst the Republicans. I continued by giving my opinion of the debate outcome. Then David Cahill even gave you the obvious pro-choice difference. Snyder wants his big govt in between a woman and her Dr, in between a researcher and the advancement of science and the human condition, preventing two lovers from wedding, and he wants a big corporation between us and our healthcare! How do you figure that is smaller, less intrusive govt? Ignatz, excellent post. Engler was a failure! TopCat, I believe we are living in the utopia created by the policies you espouse. De-regulation and tax cuts that don't trickle down as promised. This is what we get!? Shepard, 20 years of Republican Pres and NO balanced budgets! Fiscal discipline is only required when Republicans are in the minority and not in control of the Bridge to Nowhere Pork Barrell!! Birder, smoke and mirrors pretty well sum up Snyder and his Republican values. I will vote for Virg!


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 11:05 a.m.

The debate didn't change my vote. Bernero is more of a glib talker, but if you listen to what he says, it's mostly political rhetoric. Americans in general have been brainwashed over the years by TV to judge political candidates strictly how they speak and look in front of a camera. Snyder will be the first to admit that's not his forte. What people should focus on in this election is one thing - Michigan's economy and what the candidates will do to turn it around. Personally, I'd much rather go with someone who has proven to create jobs and has a detailed understanding of business. (As opposed to a career politician who doesn't understand anything else). The Democrats across the board in this election seem to rely on one tactic to buy votes - accusing the Republican candidates of outsourcing jobs to other countries. Globalization of the U.S. economy is a REALITY that Michigan needs to understand and embrace - not to run from and stick our head in the sand. Almost every company in Michigan today outsources something - supplies, web services, customer service, parts, you name it. If elected, the Democrats will do NOTHING to change this reality - that's a fact. It's just a smoke and mirrors trick to distract voters from realizing the Democrats have no concrete plan to turn the state economy around. 8 years of Granholmonomics have proven that.

Gary Lillie

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 11 a.m.

It would be nice to find balanced political reporting on Ann Arbor dot com. Mr. Stanton why not just come out and say that you are promoting Virg Benero? Benero had nothing to say other than to attack someone for making money. How often do you hear politicians, or any democrats for that matter lament the fact that someone formed a company and failed? There is a lot more failure than success in the business world, yet those who succeed are seen as the enemy. Good way to promote business and the creation of jobs, isn't it? The number of businesses that have moved out of state is staggering. The reason they move is taxation and unions (I once belonged to three separate unions, so can look at this from both sides). The problems with unions is they are like the way most lawyers practice their business; it must be an adversarial viewpoint, instead of one of working together. That is the main attribute I like in Snyder - proclaiming he will negotiate in good faith where both sides respect each other. What a breath of fresh air. As to government spending pulling the US out of the depression; go here and read Three Myths of the Great Depression. Hopefully you will do so with an open mind.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 10:09 a.m.

The choice is crystal clear even for a 60's old hippie like me. If you're happy with Michigan economy vote for Bernero. He is Granholm version 2.0; empty promises and great sales talk. It's time for a clear and immediate change. Snyder should get a chance. He's got my vote.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 10:03 a.m.

So another government major making a career collecting and distributing our tax dollars is criticizing a brilliant private sector businessman whos funding a large part of his own campaign? and the only issue the career bureaucrat complains about how those jobs were created exactly, though not certainly what it takes to create a job himself. More importantly, at a time when the federal government is passing horrific bills that will demand HUGE MICHIGAN TAX INCREASES, the last thing we need is another governor who puts their relationship with the democrat party and leftist president (she's panting for a plumb job in DC) ahead of the interests of the state. We already have more then enough of that from our Senators and Congressmen who voted with their party bosses to bankrupt the United States! Check out Beneros education if you want to see more of what the leftist press is hiding from you! Unless Michigan has totally given up on its future, Snyder is our man.

Top Cat

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 9:51 a.m.

"Bernero is definitely the advocate for the common man/woman." He may be an advocate but the policies that he and his supporters have endorsed have proved an absolute disaster for the common man/woman.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 9:30 a.m.

Didn't see it will not comment on it but I agree from previous ads and stories, we have two poor candidates.

John Spieser

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 8:52 a.m.

Bernero is definitely the advocate for the common man/woman. I think he deserves credit for his accomplishments in lansing. He can be a little snarky at times, but he can back up what he says and clearly has far more experience than Snyder.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 8:15 a.m.

I lived in Michigan in 1965. It was great! Unions were gaining strength and the people who actually got things done, rather than just "thinking", were getting well compensated. Money flowed from them to secondary jobs. The major drawbacks to that era were civil rights inequities and the building conflict in Viet Nam. Yes, we are becoming the Mississippi of the north, but I thank Egler for that. Engler and those who feel we should pay no taxes.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 8:09 a.m.

I thought it was a decent first debate. A shame they cannot do at least two more. I was not moved to vote by either of them. So in the end my vote will be going for the Green party candidate. We need some independent blood at the state level. Maybe if we have three parties represented at that level more stuff can get done.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 8:07 a.m.

The usual die hard liberals have commented. Ho hum. Bernero advanced no agenda just more half truths. I'm tired of his empty rhetoric. The sooner we send him pqacking the better.

David Cahill

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 8:02 a.m.

Sure. Snyder said he is pro-life. Bernero said he is pro-choice.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 7:55 a.m.

"Republicans are not allowed to think for themselves! You have to actually believe in the Constitution and Freedom to believe such radical progressive ideas." This is the kind of divisive, party-driven rhetoric that has infected politics. It doesn't solve problems when the politicians say it, and it doesn't advance the debate when voters say it. How about a comment about the factual differences between the candidates positions?


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 7:54 a.m.

Bernero is just a guy that thinks it is 1965. Union lackey that is part of the reason that Michigan is now the Mississippi of the north.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 6:11 a.m.

The day after the Aug. 3rd primaries Bernero declared himself an "OBAMA DEMOCRAT" on Frank Beckman's talk show (WJR760am)!! Frank asked Mr. Bernero how he would be different from Jennifer Grandholm in terms of policies. Mr. Bernero danced around the question. Typical politician!!! As for the Gateway thing last night during the debate, as far as I'm concerned, Rick held his own very well in answering Bernero's accusations.


Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 5:52 a.m.

The fundamental ideological differences of these two candidates is so great, that if you changed you mind because of this debate, do your state citizens a favor and sit this election out. If you are going to exercise you civic duty to vote, at least have the courtesy to be informed.


Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 11:05 p.m.

Several random notes after hearing this debate on the radio: • During the hour-long debate, Ryan Stanton live blogged: "You don't do it by being in government," Snyder said when asked how do you create a job. Here, it seems Snyder joins the libertarian right in willful historical amnesia. Government spending on an enormous scale very quickly halted the Great Depression in 1942 after 12 years of relying mostly on market forces with, at best, limited success. War spending in the early 1940s went well beyond the comparatively smaller stimulus efforts of the New Deal during the 1930s. The lesson of the 1940s is that government absolutely can jumpstart the economy if the scale of spending is great enough and properly focused. • Bernero appropriately pushes for a moratorium on foreclosures, which would pressure the big banks to begin cleaning up their act. Snyder came to the defense of the banks over consumers, indicating that the existence of 'legitimate' foreclosures was the paramount concern. • Snyder strongly promoted teacher merit and "tenure reform," which both have political currency due mainly to their potential as means to weaken basic union protections for educators. Bernero instead emphasized across-the-board sacrifice by unions, management and govenment officials. • Snyder "went local" by framing bike path creation on Geddes as a mortal budgetary enemy of the still-unfixed Stadium bridge. Say What?

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 10:56 p.m.

One could say the same about Democrats, David. Both parties are equally obtuse. I'm voting for the one who most breaks from his party line.

David Briegel

Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 10:47 p.m.

Hilton, Republicans are not allowed to think for themselves! You have to actually believe in the Constitution and Freedom to believe such radical progressive ideas. Bernero was the clear winner. Snyder confirmed my impression that he believes all he has to do is show up and we should be thankful he has appeared.


Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 10:07 p.m.

I would still like another independent candidate to show up, because neither of these two impress me. Is this the best we have to offer in Michigan? I was less impressed with Snyder than I wanted to be...why can't we find a republican who is fiscally conservative and will support gay marriage, embryonic stem cell research, a one-payer state health care system, and is pro-choice?


Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 9:02 p.m.

I can see why Snyder only wanted one debate. In my judgment, Bernero was the winner of this one.


Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 8:55 p.m.

Interesting debate. Hardball questions. Insightful responses. Did anyone change their voting intentions based on the debate?


Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 8:44 p.m.

Just because he might win doesn't mean he's the best equipped choice.


Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 8:42 p.m.

I was planning to vote for Rick Snyder but was very impressed with Virg Bernaro and will probably vote for him. I thought Bernero gave much more concrete answers. Snyder seems like smoke and mirrors. I had also heard an interview with Snyder on Michigan Radio a couple weeks ago that pointed out how much his "reform" of the MBT would cost in lost revenue and they asked him what he would cut to make that up - he said "Value-based budgeting". A non-answer in my book!

scooter dog

Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 8:23 p.m.

A wasted hour if I do say! benero is still living in the past and always will. Rick is positive and to the point. I think its pretty obvious who will be in office. Crawl back in the hole you came from virg your going to get smoked on election day

Nathan Bomey

Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 7:59 p.m.

Here's our specific look at Bernero's attacks on Snyder's record at Gateway and as an Ann Arbor venture capitalist: