Sen. Norm Coleman, Republican Incumbent U.S. Senate

In light of the current economic crisis, what needs to happen to ensure American economic stability in the future? We need to get tighter control over the federal budget. We can do that by setting spending caps, we can do it by balancing the budget in five years, we can do it by giving the president the line-item veto. We can move very aggressively to stabilize our energy situation. IâÄôm very optimistic we can provide greater fiscal responsibility on the federal level, and move forward on health care and energy. Can the United States achieve energy independence? If so, what steps do we need to take for that to happen and how long do you think it will take? The answer is yes we can do it, but you canâÄôt have a half-hearted approach. You canâÄôt say, âÄúIâÄôm for more nuclear, but wait to figure out what to do with the wasteâĦâÄù You canâÄôt say, âÄúwe should drill more but not in any new areas,âÄù because there is oil in those areas and we should tap into it. I think there is a revolution of green jobs out there thatâÄôs waiting to happen, but only if you make a real commitment to it. With tuition costs rising, what, if anything, would you do to make college more affordable? IâÄôve been a champion of increasing Pell Grants. IâÄôve been a champion of funding for TRIO grants and Perkins loans. IâÄôm a co-author of a bill which passed in the Higher Education Act … to lessen the costs of textbooks. I believe that we need to put pressure on institutions that are generating billions in tax-free endowments, we need to put more pressure on them to use a greater percentage to lower tuition costs at their respective institutions. What is your stance on gay marriage? I believe that marriage should be a union between one man and one woman. What is your stance on abortion? I am pro-life. I believe that every child is a gift from God. But I also believe on issues like abortion we can find common ground, and weâÄôve done that with bans on partial-birth abortion âĦ also things like parental notifications. What, if anything, would you change about the health care system? The system needs to change. I believe we need to change the system, focusing more on prevention. We do Medicaid for the poor, we do Medicare for the elderly, we do what they call SCHIP for kids; I think we can get there, but without the government running the whole thing. How should the United States address the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? We have achieved great things in Iraq. The surge has changed the dynamic. I think the lessons that we learned from the surge in Iraq âĦ can help us forge a strategy in Afghanistan. The battle in the Middle East is a battle of moderation versus extremism and we have to be there to support forces in moderation. What is the most important issue our country must deal with today and how do you plan to address it? The single issues of the economy or energy or health care, they all suffer from the same challenge and that is the … deep partisan divide that is tearing our country apart. I have a record of working with folks on the other side of the isle to answer those questions.