This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Contempt between Rep. Chris Cannon and Jason Chaffetz spilled out of a debate Friday, with Cannon accusing his challenger of distorting his record.
"Everything you say is a distortion," Cannon snapped as he left the stage of their televised debate for KUED's "Utah Now."
"Name one thing," challenged Chaffetz, pursuing Cannon, who turned his back and stalked off. "I do not want to distort your record, but you tell me a specific and I'll stop saying it's true."
The exchange was reflective of the bickering during the first head-to-head debate, as the two 3rd District candidates, did little to hide the mutual distaste that has grown from more than a year of withering criticism from Chaffetz, the former chief of staff to Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.
The candidates interrupted and talked over each other, usually with Chaffetz on the attack and Cannon defending his voting record. The two will be on the June 24 GOP primary ballot.
Cannon said Chaffetz really should be running against Rep. Jim Matheson, Utah's only Democrat in Washington, who represents the 2nd District where Chaffetz lives. The Constitution does not require members of Congress to live in the district they represent.
"If Jason really wanted the country to move in the right direction, he would have taken on Jim Matheson in his own district," said Cannon.
"I'd like to get rid of both of you if I could," Chaffetz shot back.
"You should start with him," Cannon said.
Cannon said voters are frustrated with $4-per-gallon gasoline, and he believes the solution is to develop the oil shale resources in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming, as well as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Chaffetz agreed, but said Cannon should have introduced legislation more recently than this week, 15 days before the primary election.
"The time to act was years ago before it was a problem, when [Republicans] had the House, the Senate and the Presidency," Chaffetz said.
Cannon said he has been working on oil shale development for years. "If I'd only introduced this bill and never done anything else in my life, that would reasonably be called a [public relations] stunt," he said.
Chaffetz also took aim at Cannon's votes for the No Child Left Behind Act, increased federal budgets and his record on illegal immigration.
"What he has sponsored, cosponsored and voted for, I believe, is amnesty," Chaffetz said.
Challenged to be specific, Chaffetz cited the Andean Adjustment Act and Student Adjustment Act - which would have allowed illegal immigrants from Colombia and Peru, and students, to apply for residency status - and Cannon's Agricultural Jobs bill, which would have enabled the agricultural industry to get visas for foreign workers. None of the bills passed.
"I think the point is, here, if you look at my position, my votes on immigration, I have voted consistently and many times for a fence along the border . . . for funding more border control people, for using the military along the border. That's all a perfect record I'm doing," Cannon said.