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GOP Congressmen Spar As They Compete For Same District

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Two Illinois Republicans already in Congress find themselves running for the same seat.

As WBBM Newsradio's Brandis Friedman reports, U.S. Reps. Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) talked about the race with Carol Marin on WTTW-Channel 11's "Chicago Tonight" program Monday evening.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Brandis Friedman reports


The two candidates live 130 miles away from each other in the newly-redrawn 16th Congressional District. But Manzullo and Kinzinger are much farther apart over defense spending.

Manzullo favors leaving Afghanistan soon.

"We should've been out of Afghanistan a long time ago," he said. "Does the U.S. really belong in Afghanistan? Now this war's gone on for 10 years. And we need to get out."

But Kinzinger argued that leaving Afghanistan poses inherent risks to American security.

"I think it's important to make sure that we don't let the Taliban come back, that we keep them on their heels we keep them devastated," Kinzinger said. "One thing I don't want is to wake up in five years or two years and find out that we were attacked on our soil again, and we could've done something about it."

Manzullo says two years ago, he helped the freshman, Tea Party Rep. Kinzinger get elected. But now, Kinzinger is on the attack.

"Frankly, Congressman Manzullo's attempt(ing) to not talk about his 20-year record," Kinzinger said.

And Manzullo is defending his record.

"You should envy the record that I have, I worked across the aisle," Manzullo said.

Each candidate saying he has the conservative endorsements that matter.

"I've gotten the endorsement of 11 conservative organizations," Manzullo said. "Starting with the Eagle Forum, Illinois Tea Party, Red State Editor..."

"I have the endorsement of over 70 elected officials in all 14 counties, including the congressman's home county, and that's just the difference," Kinzinger said.

Where might they agree? They both favor appealing President Obama's health care plan, and not requiring employers to provide contraceptive insurance coverage.

Because there is no Democrat running for the office, whoever wins the GOP primary goes back to Washington.

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