Topeka — U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun and challenger Nancy Boyda argued today over the war in Iraq, energy policy, immigration and numerous other issues during a radio call-in show.
Ryun, a Republican from Lawrence, and Boyda, a Democrat from Topeka, face off in the Nov. 7 election for the 2nd congressional district, which includes the western portion of Lawrence.
More about the 2nd District race
On the Jim Cates show on 1440-AM, the candidates took callers' questions for about 40 minutes.
Boyda blasted Ryun saying he has been part of a congressional majority that has "fumbled the ball over and over."
She added: "The good news is the American people get to play coach. We get the chance to put new players on the field."
But Ryun, one of the most conservative members of Congress, said his positions of lower taxes and less government regulation were in synch with the district.
Ryun accused Boyda of supporting universal health care "where a bureaucrat in Washington" will decide on treatment. Boyda said she was willing to look at a number of proposals to get control of rising health care costs.
Ryun said Boyda supported amnesty for illegal immigrants, which Boyda said was a misrepresentation of her position.
"I have never stood for amnesty," Boyda said. "This just burns the living daylights out of me," she said.
Boyda accused Ryun of being in the pocket of large oil and gas interests, while he blamed liberals for blocking needed energy policy. Ryun said liberals and moderates have stood in the way of exploration for oil and gas.
Asked by a caller what the candidates would do about global warming, Ryun said: "Much of the global warming issue has been overplayed. We need to work with sound science," he said.
Boyda responded: "If you're going to say global warming is a myth, then everything is going well in Iraq. We need to deal with reality."
On the war, Ryun said progress was being made, while Boyda said the situation was worsening.
Ryun said Boyda would raise taxes, a claim that Boyda denounced as another misrepresentation.
The two also argued over plans to expand highways in Texas aimed at moving more trade from Mexico. Boyda said the proposal is a precursor to building a NAFTA super highway through Kansas, too.
Ryun said those plans don't exist and that Boyda was trying to frighten voters.