The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 17, 2012

VIDEO | Critz, Rothfus engage on issues in 12th

JOHNSTOWN — The two candidates in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District race discussed the times for war, times for compromise and a variety of other subjects throughout a head-to-head debate on Tuesday night at Pitt-Johns­town’s Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center.

U.S. Rep. Mark Critz,

D-Johnstown, and Republican Keith Rothfus met in a one-hour event, sponsored by The Tribune-Democrat, WJAC-TV and UPJ Student Government Association.

The candidates addressed the $16.2 trillion national debt, budget plans, local economic needs, the war in Afghanistan and campaign finance reform.

In a lengthy exchange about the Middle East, both said if Israel ever invades Iran then the United States would have to support its ally in the conflict. However, they differed on what role the United States could have played in recent years to prevent Iran from being a threat to Israel, with Rothfus partially blaming President Barack Obama.

“This is a very dangerous situation, and it’s frustrating to me how really there has been very little progress made with Iran,” said Rothfus, an Allegheny County lawyer.

“We had an opportunity, a couple years ago, with the so-called Green Revolution that this administration did not take advantage of. I think the president was afraid to offend the mullahs in Iran. You have to show leadership and strength. If you show leadership and strength, you eliminate the problems.”

His statement led to one of the few sharp responses in an otherwise cordial debate.

“I actually take sort of offense at that comment that the president was afraid to offend the mullahs in Iran,” said Critz. “These are big decisions when we’re talking about possibly putting people in harm’s way. This isn’t Monday-morning quarterbacking. These are big decisions. Israel is our strongest ally in that region. We had a lot of things happen with Egypt, now with Syria, with Libya. There are lots of things going on in the Middle East, not just Iran. We will be with Israel because they are our strongest ally. This is about the national security of this country, and I really take offense to that last comment.”

At other times, Critz and Rothfus discussed when politicians need to work together to achieve goals.

Both candidates oppose the Independent Payment Advisory Board, an agency put into place by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in order to reduce Medicare expenses.

Critz, however, voted against repealing the IPAB because the proposal was joined with a piece of tort reform legislation, an issue the congressman believes should be handled by individual states.

“I find fault with adding a bill that has nothing to do with the first bill,” said Critz. “It’s not compromise. That’s a poison pill. That’s what that’s called.”

Rothfus countered by saying, “Sometimes, congressman, you have to compromise. When there is something as dangerous as the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is going to cut care to seniors and require a two-thirds vote of Congress to override that, you’re locking in a very dangerous situation.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • bomb1 VIDEO | A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25801486.jpg VIDEO | Northern California bus crash kills 10

    At least nine people died in Northern California on Thursday night, in an accident involving a bus, a car and FedEx truck. The bus was filled with high school students from Southern California who were on their way to visit a college campus.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 10.25.07 AM.png VIDEO | Cement truck crashes into minivan

    A professor at Texas A&M University was fortunate to escape serious injury recently when a cement truck ran a red light at a College Station intersection and crashed head-on into his minivan. A dash camera that Dr. Guan Zhu had installed about a year ago captured the entire incident.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • McCutchen hair.jpg VIDEO: Pittsburgh catches on to McCutchen's hairstyle

    Major League Baseball is using Andrew McCutchen in its newest advertisement. The spot is part of the "For the Love of Baseball" campaign and features the Pittsburgh residents showing their support for the Pirates center fielder and reigning National League MVP by wearing their hair in his trademark dreadlock style.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 4.02.29 PM.png VIDEO | Nebraska prom mishap goes viral

    A group of 22 high school students from Pierce, Neb., all decked out in prom finery, took an unplanned dip in a four-foot-deep pond when the bridge they were posing on for pictures gave way. Photos from the incident have gone viral on social media.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-04-04 at 3.36.06 PM.png 3 apps to make your flight easier

    Whether you fly once a week for work or once a year for a vacation, you can bet that all areas of your trip are being monitored by smart phones. While it isn't hard to find an app with your flight info, some apps make the process of flying a lot simpler.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO | White House may ban selfies

    The White House wasn't too pleased after Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped a selfie with President Obama that was later used promotionally by Samsung.

    April 9, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.43.57 AM.png VIDEO | Amazing dance moves at NCAA title game

    Eye-catching action wasn't confined to the court at AT&T Stadium Monday night during the NCAA Championship game between UConn and Kentucky. This pair -- apparently a father and son -- delighted the crowd during a timeout with some synchronized dance moves.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • hank_aaron_display_image.jpg VIDEO | Aaron's historic homer

    On the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th career home run, take a look at the historic moment as it happened.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results

House Ads