The two top candidates from Arkansas's District 4 Congressional seat faced off Monday. Issues in the AETN debate ranged from the minimum wage to the opioid epidemic.
Recent tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, and the responses from other countries were points of criticism brought by Democratic candidate Hayden Shamel.
"These tariffs are doing nothing but hurting American consumers and American farmers. In fact, we've had to give welfare to our farmers here in Arkansas just to make for the problem that we created," Shamel said.
Republican incumbent Rep. Bruce Westerman voiced his support for Trump’s trade policies and suggested Shamel did not understand the perspective of the state's farmers.
"I would like for my opponent to go look at these hardworking Arkansas farmers and tell them that the insurance programs that they receive from the federal government is welfare. I think they would strongly disagree with that," said Westerman.
Whether the topic was voter ID laws or health care, Westerman repeatedly tried to associate Shamel with U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
"The [health care] bill we passed out of the house still covered pre-existing conditions. It covered your children who are in college. It did away with none of that, but Nancy Pelosi seems to want to make that a talking point," Westerman said.
Shamel, on the other hand, tried to set herself apart from both Westerman and the current national Democratic leadership.
"I'm not Nancy Pelosi. My name is Hayden Shamel. My dad is a cattle rancher. My husband is a high school football coach. My PawPaw was a veteran and he taught me to respect our flag and our military."
Libertarian candidate Tom Canada was not present for the debate.
AETN plans to broadcast this debate, as well debates between the candidates for other congressional seats and constitutional offices this week.