Bass, Kuster meet again in NH Congressional race - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Bass, Kuster meet again in NH Congressional race

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CONCORD, N.H. -

It's a rematch on the ballot for New Hampshire's 2nd District Congressional seat. Charlie Bass beat Ann McLane Kuster by a little more than 3,500 votes in 2010. This year, the Hopkinton lawyer says things will be different.

"There are all different issues," said Ann McLane Kuster, Democrat for Congress. "It is about helping their kids go to college. It is about helping their mother-in-law with Medicare and Social Security and making sure she is safe in her home and making sure she has the health care that she needs."

"I am going to be working for the day after the election on resolutions to these big issues so that Americans don't see their taxes go up by 25 percent by the beginning of next year. So, we don't have this mindless sequestration," said Rep. Charlie Bass, Republican for Congress.

Bass held his seat for 12 years before being defeated in 2006. Returning to Washington two years ago, he says the red versus blue attitude was worse than he had ever seen. But Bass says he can fix it.

"Hyper partisanship is not working now," he said. "And the time has come for those of us who have great principle, and I am a principled Republican to be willing to listen to those on the other side and work something out."

He points to his support of the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan as proof, one of only a few Republicans to do so. But in the same interview as his call to end the bickering, Bass is quick to take a shot at the other side.

"We shouldn't expect what the Democrats call the new normal in America, which is an elevated level of misery that we have to accept. We don't need that," Bass said.

"Voters are very sophisticated," Kuster said. "They know what got us into this terrible financial mess-- two wars that weren't paid for and the free fall from Wall Street."

Kuster say Congress has failed the America people and actually agrees with Bass that bipartisan support is the way to solve the country's problems. She uses a well-liked Republican senator-- Kelly Ayotte-- as an example.

"Senator Ayotte has a very good idea about protecting New Hampshire small businesses who sell goods on the internet and don't want to be responsible for collecting other state's internet sales tax. I would sign on day one," Kuster said.

But Kuster also calls out her rival party, starting with the man at the top of the ticket.

"When Governor Romney and Congressman Bass double down on this trickle down, the voters understand that that is going to lead to higher deficits, fewer jobs and a bleak future," Kuster said.

"You change it by example and although the bipartisan budget that I supported and co-sponsored along with seven others, three Democrats and four Republicans plus me, only received 37 or 38 votes. But it is a start," Bass said.

There are a lot of eyes on New Hampshire this election cycle. Officials at the secretary of state's office in Concord say it could be a record turnout at the polls. So, this contest in the 2nd District-- like the other races here-- will most likely come down to organization and which party can get out the vote.

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