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Bielat, Kennedy Face off in First Debate

The debate will air on WCVB this Sunday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m.

In their first general election debate appearance, 4th Congressional District candidates Sean Bielat and Joe Kennedy III went head-to-head Thursday night on several topics, including policy, job creation and social security.

Bielat, a Republican, also focused on his opponent's resume. He argued that Kennedy, a Democrat, does not have enough experience for the congressional seat, according to a report Friday in the Boston Globe.

The debate took place at the WCVB-TV 5 studios in Needham and was taped for the channel's political show, "On the Record" with Janet Wu and Ed Harding. It will air Sunday at 11 a.m.

The two nominees are running for the seat currently held by 16-term Democrat Barney Frank, who announced his retirement last year. 

In response to Bielat's claims that his opponent is relying on his family's name, Kennedy stood by his "record of public service" and touted his campaign's efforts to meet voters across the district, the Globe reported.

The two disagreed on most issues discussed during the debate, but came to agreement on state ballot questions for physician-assisted suicide and legalization of medical marijuana. Both candidates are opposed to the measures, the Globe reported. 

The WCVB debate is the first of three scheduled between Kennedy and Bielat. 

The next meeting will be at MassINC's "American Dream" debate on Oct. 10 at the UMass Dartmouth's Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River. That event starts at 4 p.m.

Bielat, who challenged Barney Frank for the congressional seat in 2010, will take questions from Patch readers on Oct. 11 at 12 p.m. in a live chat on sites covering towns and cites in the district, including Attleboro-Seekonk Patch. A similar request for a live chat has been sent to the Kennedy campaign, but the campaign has not responded.

Emcee of Seekonk September 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM
This debate might be worth watching. In recent local newsclips featuring Joe Kennedy III taking questions from citizens or a reporter, his father, Joe Kennedy II is behind him providing the answers. Even with abc affiliate channel 5 going easy on young Joe, he might not be a match for Sean Bielat.
John DiMascio September 29, 2012 at 07:42 PM
If you simply look at the resumes and experience of each candidate, Bielat wins hands down. Kennedy hasn't said a thing, save repeat the same old class warfare talking points. Oh and he also said we don't pay enough for oil. Joe Kennedy III is simply out of touch. Bielat on the hand has real life experience in the private sector. He understands the middle class because he is middle class. He has put forth a detailed proposals. You can read them at http://www.seanforcongress.com/
Christy Waters September 29, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Businessmen make a living solving problems. We don't need anymore attorneys in DC. They create more problems than they solve. If Kennedy doesn't have the experience to run a business, how do we expect him to know what to do to bring jobs back to the district? Sean Bielat is clearly the sensible choice and he gets my support.
Paul Buckley September 30, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Watched this debate. Being a Republican, I come out in support of Sean Bielat. This debate showed the voters of the Fourth Bristol District which candidate has the experience and qualifications to represent us in Congress. Joe Kennedy dodged the question on experience as he should have. He has none. Working in the public sector only two years as an attorney does not qualify you in my opinion of speaking for this district. Bielat’s military service outweighs Kennedy’s. Plus his experience of being a successful business person gives Bielat the clear nod. Bielat gave clear answers to the multiple questions served to him. Kennedy struggled to be clear and concise. Please give your vote to Sean Bielat Tuesday November 6, 2012
Darren Major September 30, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Every tine I see these people post about any Republican running....you can almost see the decision process and its never issue related: 1) Is the candidate a Dem or GOP - answer has to be GOP for support 2) Is the candidate a Kennedy - answer is hate/malign candidate if Kennedy That is basically it - sad as it is - so when you see the posts, well the credibility wanes pretty fast - there's nothing behind the decisions except vote GOP because of GOP not because of any logical exploration of the issues/events Borders on being pathetic....
Darren Major September 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM
One question I have that hasn't been answered is that Sean Bielat has come and left this state pre/post elections in 2010 and 2012 - Why hasn't he tried to stay here to actually know the issues reflecting the state, not just being a figurehead for the Super PACs - that's reason enough to disqualify him - people malign Kennedy for moving to Brookline but Bielat abandoned the state !! Pathetic again
Darren Major September 30, 2012 at 03:39 PM
As usual - false issue of debate moderators favoring Kennedy - turned out to be a lire - just atched the debte and the moderators did a decent job keeping the questions and follow ups fair and issue related - why cant conservatives just tell the truth - if your views are so honorable, your lies belie the fact every single time!
Darren Major September 30, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Does not paying your campaign debt also show qualification - Bielat had alleged reasons but he still hasn't paid off his bills - that is fact and fact confirmed by the candidate - doesn't sound responsible after 2 years. Bielat isn't in MA long enough to understand anything...and being a business person certainly has been proven to not be all that great a qualification (See Bush, George W - record of failure) - Swing and a miss on that!
Emcee of Seekonk September 30, 2012 at 04:10 PM
@Darren... I watched a segment of the debate. Everyone seemed to talk too fast and be nervous including the moderators. And especially Joe Kennedy. Sometimes debates appear to be rehearsed... the nominees receive the questions ahead of time and they practice their lines. I'm not sure if there were any rebuttals or spontaneous questions from either one of them. It might not have been allowed, not sure. ABC and the Boston Globe are known to be left leaning, how could they not be... Massachusetts is badly skewed to the left. I can guarantee you that Joe Kennedy will never get a bad report from any of the media in Massachusetts. Remember, money buys a lot and it buys a lot in Massachusetts.
Emcee of Seekonk September 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Sean Bielat's moving from area to area has been discussed on Patch ad nauseum. The question has not been answered because it's a shrug, like who cares. There are many politicians who move to better position themselves for an election. The Kennedys do it a lot, not to mention Hillary Clinton.
Emcee of Seekonk September 30, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Nice to see you, Paul. I will indeed be voting for Sean Bielat in November... and Scott Brown.
Darren Major September 30, 2012 at 04:23 PM
The comments about the debate by Emcee are conjecture and beyond his knowledge and span of understanding - therefore his entire line of comment is fact-free and unworthy of reply
Darren Major September 30, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Military/business experience as you claim are the answer but fortunately the people of the district have already rejected Bielat once in a GOP wave election - so we know as a candidate Bielat is left wanting - nothing has changed except he ran away to PA the he came back to run - It's obvious that he just wants to wi and he has SuperPAC support - I suspect his declaring as GOP already locked your vote in - nothing else mattered - but I think people are tired of a do-nothing house and with a lot of luck the Dems can get it back or at least reduce the gap. If you vote Kennedy, you won't get a back-bencher like every Republican voted in has been for this state - who needs another ZERO
Darren Major September 30, 2012 at 04:33 PM
People here favoring anything GOP hold Kennedy instead of bielat as the travel problem - Bielat has no ideabot the state due to NOT BEING HERE - just a candidate and a bad one too
Richard W. Lunt September 30, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Ok folks, let us compare the resumes of Sean Bielat and Joe Kennedy III. Sean Bielat currently serves as a Major in the Marine Reserves, thank you for your service Sean! Mr. Bielat is also a CEO of One Click Politics, he was also a Program Manager for iRobot, and he also worked as a Management Consultant for McKinsey and Company. Joe Kennedy III, what is on his resume??? His family name and a year working in the legal profession, so basically Mr. Kennedy lacks real world business experience. The 4th congressional seat doesn't belong to the Kennedy's, it's not their seat by birthright!! The 4th congressional seat belongs to the people!! Sean Bielat has the right qualifications to be our next congressman from the 4th district because he understands how to create the economic conditions that will enable small, medium, and large business to expand and create jobs and put people back to work in various career paths instead of letting them suffer in the unemployment line. Sean Bielat has my vote!
Darren Major September 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Another low-info voter - bleating - yawn! - a bunch of tea party blather - no one said the Kennedy's own the seat!

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