Honda has roundly been criticized for refusing to debate his challengers before the primary for the seat in California’s Silicon Valley.
The incumbent did appear at a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters with other candidates Saturday night that included Khanna and Republican Joel Vanlandingham, 47.
Honda stressed his experience and familiarity with Washington noting he just met with President Obama to discuss the immigration reform bill.
“From my earliest memories in an internment camp to the two years I spent in the Peace Corps in El Salvador, I have not lost faith in our government,” Honda said. “I am continuously trying to provide a voice for those people who don’t have a voice.”
Khanna emphasized that its time for a fresh face with new ideas (photo by Ro for Congress).
“There are a lot of good people in Washington,” he said, “but the system is broken and we need new ideas and new energy to move this nation forward.”
Vanlandingham said he opposes abortion unlike the two Democrats, but agreed with them on calls for a carbon tax to reduce global warming emissions and a reduction in military spending.
“If you are going to send me a check, send it to a charity. I don’t want your money,” he said. “I want you to sit down and evaluate the candidates and see who is going to represent you the best.”
Under California’s open primary system, the top two candidates advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation.
You can read reaction to Honda’s agreement to debate his challenger in the general election in the Mercury News