Kirk and Giannoulias Debate in D.C., Jones and Labno in Chicago | WBEZ
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Kirk and Giannoulias Debate in D.C., Jones and Labno in Chicago

Candidates for Illinois' U.S. Senate seat stressed their differences and highlighted each other's flaws during their first televised debate. 

WATCH: Kirk v. Giannoulias on NBC
LISTEN: Jones v. Labno on WBEZ blog

On NBC's Meet the Press, the first question to the candidates asked them to describe how America has changed during the Obama presidency. Republican Mark Kirk:

KIRK: A tremendous amount of debt. 

Democrat Alexi Giannoulias defended the president's record, given the problems when he took office. 

GIANNOULIAS: I think he's done everything he can to help turn this economy around. The question is, going forward, 'What more can we do?' 

The two other Senate candidates were not invited to the debate, but we asked them to answer the questions anyway. Libertarian Mike Labno doesn't see any substantial change in an Obama Administration. 

LABNO: I can't find much difference between the Republican nor the Democratic Party. 

The Green Party's LeAlan Jones says the president's grassroots organizing skills... 

JONES: ...may very well have been lost to the corporate interests that are going to have to support him staying there. 

Two more televised Senate debates are planned in the coming weeks.

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