Steve Beren For Congress (WA - 7th CD)

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2006 FILIPINO FESTIVAL: BEREN, MCDERMOTT DIFFER ON WAR

Republican candidate Steve Beren and Democratic incumbent Jim McDermott both campaigned at the July 30, 2006 Filipino Festival Pista Sa Nayon, and each candidate took the microphone to address the crowd from the stage.

Speaking first, Beren told the audience that he was running for congress because of his desire to work on behalf of the people and families of the Seattle area.  He noted that people who are born elsewhere and immigrate to the United States often appreciate our freedom more than some native-born Americans, who sometimes take freedom for granted.  “In today’s world, there are great challenges and we need to stand up for freedom,” Beren said.  He noted that the Philippines, India, Israel, and other countries, like the United States, face the threat of terrorism.  “I support our troops,” Beren declared, “and I am for victory in the war against terrorism.”  The Republican candidate received a good round of applause from the crowd.

McDermott spoke next, also addressing the issues of immigration and the war.  With regard to immigration, McDermott said that during the course of the campaign “some people are going to tell you that immigrants are the problem, that immigration is bad.”  With regard to the war, he said that situation in Iraq keeps getting worse, that there is no way for us to win, and that we should withdraw all our troops from Iraq before Election Day.  The response from the audience was tepid, but polite.

After McDermott’s remarks, Beren approached the Congressman and the two candidates shook hands and greeted each other.  “Congressman, we’ve really gotten to the point where our staffs have to get together to discuss the scheduling of some debates,” Beren said.  “We’ll see,” McDermott replied. 

Beren persisted, saying, “You keep saying that there needs to be a debate between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of the war.  Let’s have that debate.”  McDermott replied, “We’ll see how the campaign develops.”

“The campaign is developing very fast, Congressman,” Beren answered.  “I’m going to be on you about this challenge every day throughout the campaign.”

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