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Utah Debate Commission

Ghorbani suggests Trump is biggest threat to national security, Stewart says it's China

By Dennis Romboy, KSL | Updated - Sep 17th, 2018 @ 10:38pm | Posted - Sep 17th, 2018 @ 8:29pm

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ST. GEORGE — Democrat Shireen Ghorbani suggested that the "person in our White House" is the biggest threat to the nation's security during a rowdy 2nd Congressional District debate Monday filled with a host of cheers and jeers.

Though she didn't mention President Donald Trump by name, Ghorbani said she is concerned about "our overall ability to lead this nation with a level-headed and stable president" in a way that makes all Americans proud.

In response, Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, countered, "First I'd like to say, I can assure you, President Trump is not the greatest threat to our national security," causing a stir among the more vocal Ghorbani crowd.

Stewart called China the biggest threat to the United States.

More than 480 people crammed into the Eccles Fine Arts Center at Dixie State University for the hourlong televised debate, which as marred by a man grabbing Stewart's microphone during his closing statement.

"Vaccines cause autism. Autism is caused by vaccines," the man said before two police officers escorted him out of the auditorium.

Stewart said afterward he thought the man came to the stage to adjust his mic.

"I didn't know what to think," the congressman said of the interruption.

A first-time candidate, Ghorbani held her own against the three-term congressman in her first political debate.

"This is a wild experience," she said.

Although each candidate was alloted the same number of tickets, the Ghorbani supporters reacted loudly to some of Stewart's answers, prompting moderator Doug Wilks, editor of the Deseret News, to ask them to keep it down.

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