Nazis, Pollution and POTUS: Roskam, Casten Face Off in Daily Herald Debate - NBC Chicago
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Nazis, Pollution and POTUS: Roskam, Casten Face Off in Daily Herald Debate

The 6th District extends from the far northwest suburbs all the way through DuPage County.

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    Roskam, Casten Face Off in Daily Herald Debate

    In one of the most closely watched congressional races in the country -- Illinois Republican incumbent Rep. Peter Roskam and Democrat Sean Casten clashed over President Donald Trump in their debate Monday. They also differed over what to do about environmental concerns at the Willowbrook plant in the 6th Congressional District. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018)

    In one of the most closely watched congressional races in the country -- Republican incumbent Peter Roskam and Democrat Sean Casten clashed over President Donald Trump in their debate at the Daily Herald Monday. They also differed over what to do about environmental concerns at the Willowbrook plant in the 6th Congressional District.

    The opening remarks saw Roskam criticizing Casten for putting people down.

    "He's compared the president of the United States to Osama bin Laden, he said there's Nazis that are working in the White House," Roskam said.

    "Peter has taken a number of things out of context and I don't claim to remember everything that I've ever tweeted," Casten responded.

    That disagreement continued post debate as well.

    "If I tell people what I believe and what matters to me and this is not about right and left it's about right and wrong," Casten said. "I'm gonna win this election by a lot."

    But Roskam disagreed.

    "This is a time in our public life, don't we know, that we need bipartisanship, we need people that can get together and lead and find common ground," he said.

    Trump was one of the central issues as well.

    "If you don't have the courage to stand up to the president of the United States and call that out--that's a slippery slope," Casten said.

    Roskam touched on the Mueller probe.

    "The Mueller investigation needs to come to fruiting," he said. "It needs to be given the freedom that it has to move forward, and it has had freedom."

    Casten and Roskam also weighed in on what to do next at the Willowbrook Sterigenics plant, as pollution emissions are studied that may be harmful to residents.

    "The Sterigenics have said that they put controls on that dropped pollution down to undetectable levels," Casten said. "If that's true, that's terrific--we should shut down until we can verify that's the case."

    Roskam called and the state and federal Environmental Protection Agency to do "everything they can" to bring "clarity" to the community.

    Asked if he thought the plant should be shut down too, Roskam responded more directly.

    "Look, if there's a hint of any problem, then, by all means, public safety comes first," he said.

    The 6th District extends from the far northwest suburbs all the way through DuPage County. Roskam and Casten will meet in one more side-by-side comparison next month.

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