Incumbent U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL,10) and his GOP challenger Bob Dold faced off during a heated candidate forum Wednesday evening hosted by Chicago Tonight.
Dold is the 10th congressional district's former one-term congressman who Schneider unseated back in 2012. The Schneider-Dold rematch is one of the most competitive 2014 U.S. House races in Illinois and across the country.
During the forum, Schneider slammed Dold for his voting record against the Affordable Care Act, the environment and women's health. For his part, Dold criticized Schneider for having what he called an anti-business voting record.
Schneider blasted Dold for voting "28 times to defund, dismantle or repeal the Affordable Care Act," President Barack Obama's signature health reform law.
Dold responded, "That's just not accurate when you look at those things," adding that he thinks the Affordable Care Act "has to be fixed."
"When my opponent says that you voted 28 times to do so, many of those things passed the Senate and went to the president's desk, or signed into law," Dold stressed. "When he does one of those things, it's fixing it. When I do it, it's defunding it."
Both 10th congressional district candidates identify as pro-choice. Chicago Tonight interviewer Carol Marin asked Dold and Schneider to detail their respective voting records to support that position.
Schneider noted that he has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. Dold, he added, voted at least seven times against women's choice, including a budget measure that would have prevented Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding.
Dold countered that "the vote was to keep the government open," adding that he "was the only Republican to speak out on the floor against defunding Planned Parenthood."
The two candidates also bickered over the minimum wage.
Schneider said he supports a federal minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour, with future increases tied to inflation.
Dold said the minimum wage "does need to be raised," however he would not specify to what level when pressed by Marin.
"The Congressional Budget Office came out and said at $10.10, it's going to cost between 500, and a million jobs," Dold said. "We need to raise the minimum wage, but we need to make sure it's done in a bipartisan way so that it's not a political football."
"So $10.10 would not be your number," Marin asked Dold.
"I don't know what the number would be," Dold responded. "But what I can tell you is it needs to be a bipartisan solution that minimizes the job loss."
Schneider interjected, saying that "this is one of the differences in the race -- the refusal to say what a number would be."
Watch the full conversation here.