Guam – Carl Gutierrez and Eddie Calvo finally faced off for the first time in a gubernatorial debate Wednesday.
The focus of the forum was on the the specific plans each candidate has for the economy and to address business concerns and private sector issues..
The debate was hosted by K57’s Breakfast Show Host Ray Gibson and among the questions he asked was:
“The cost of doing business on Guam is higher than most municipalities, cities and states more specifically the cost of healthcare will further inflate costs. What plans do you have to make healthcare more affordable and to better regulate the industry as an example insurance companies healthcare providers and the Guam memorial hospital.”
In response, Calvo said: “We got to work with the Obama administration we’re still not sure about the funding of the high risk pools we’re not to sure about the insurance exchanges we have to get clarity by the federal government about the way their programs are going to be set up and they are going to have to subsidize they’re gonna have to help subsidize.”
Gutierrez used the question as an opportunity to take a jab at his opponent over the high cost of Gov Guam Health Insurance.
“What are we doing to make sure that when a monopoly moves in to negotiate that that monopoly pushes as much as possible over and above what is a reasonable return for profit i don’t understand why there’s a law that says that if you want to bring in an insurance company here you’ve got to run over and get a certificate of need.”
While Gutierrez took some jabs at Calvo over the cost of Calvo’s Selectcare Health insurance, Calvo jabed back at the former Governor.
“Right now we’re at a deficit of 216 million dollars it’s not as much as a three hundred and fourteen million that was left in the red by my opponent if you put the right people in place and if you remember those days when you fight with the Department of Education board and management and you take over and your left with an entity thats un-auditable and a federal government putting you in high risk grantee status when you take over GWA and become the super board and then you leave it sixty million dollars in the red and then you have to worry about your children and your families having to drink water with fecal coliform in it.“
Gutierrez defended his administration’s record saying, “When I first bought my first Japanese car when I was a young boy they had a sign there on the rear view mirror it said be careful because when you look back there’s gonna be distortion.” He also said, “I’m very proud to have worked with you to extricate Guam from that financial situation we were in remember we had the 93 base closure 95 base closure we had typhoon Omar we had earthquake Chata’an, Paka, Korean airline crash, airlines pulled out but we pulled together.”
In his closing remarks Gutierrez spoke about how he would continue to partner with Guam’s business community to ensure that Guam’s economy grows. In fact he said that he would work with everyone even those who don’t support or agree with him. “That’s the business that I’m in pull everybody together keep my enemies close to my vest so that they can help me that’s how you do it you don’t take revenge you don’t look back you move forward,” said the former Governor.
Calvo spoke about coming together in his closing remarks as well. “Though we have disagreements we’re in different parties it is my hope that ultimately after this election whoever wins that we all come together as one people in January because it is so important so important in our history in our long history that if there was ever a time for our people to come together now, now is that time.”
The debate was sponsored by the Guam Chamber of Commerce, the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association, the Employers Council, the Guam Contractors Association and the Japan Guam Travel Association.