Chris Coons on Principles & Values



Holds divinity degree; preaches at church monthly

Three deeply religious senators spoke about the interplay between religion and politics, and how their faith shaped their personal and political lives. Chris Coons has a master's in ethics from Yale Divinity School, which he acquired while earning a law degree from Yale Law School in 1992. The Delaware Democrat takes time to preach about once a month at different churches around his home state. "I'm encouraged that literally the most popular person on earth right now is Pope Francis," he said.
Source: Rollcall.com, "How Religion Shaped 3 Senators" , Oct 18, 2012

Collaborated with Sen. Rubio on pro-small-business AGREE Act

Chris Coons had been hoping to meet up with Rubio for some time. The conversations built to the point that they decided to collaborate on a bill that ended up having more symbolic value in the divided capitol than legislative success. They called it the AGREE Act, choosing an acronym that left little doubt about the statement they wanted to make about what was happening in Washington. Politico Playbook said, "Do you know what AGREE stands for?" "No," Rubio said. "The actual acronym? No, I don't."

He described what really mattered--not an acronym in a city awash with them, but a concept: bipartisan cooperation.

Rubio didn't just say he knew what was in the bill, he got into the details, rattling off something called "the 179 provision", which he explained would extend the ability of small businesses to write off the costs of capital purchases.

Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.190-192 , Jun 19, 2012

I am not a bearded Marxist; but a clean-shaven capitalist

O'DONNELL: My opponent has recently said that it was studying under a Marxist professor that made him become a Democrat. So when you look at his position on things like not eliminating death tax, which is a tenet of Marxism...

Q: You did once describe yourself when you were in college a long time ago as a bearded Marxist?

COONS: [That was in] an article that I wrote the day of our commencement, and the title and the content of that clearly makes it obvious that it was a joke. My roommates in the Young Republican Club thought when I returned from Kenya and registered as a Democrat that doing so was proof that I had gone all the way over to the far left end, and so they jokingly called me a bearded Marxist. It was a joke. I am not now, nor have I ever been, anything but a clean-shaven capitalist.

O'DONNELL: You wrote that you learned your beliefs from a Marxist professor; that should send chills up the spine of every voter.

COONS: If it were true, I'd agree. But it's not true.

Source: CNN's Wolf Blitzer moderating 2010 Delaware Senate debate , Oct 13, 2010

Described himself in college as a "bearded Marxist"

O'Donnell is facing allegations she used her campaign cash in 2009-2010 as her personal piggy bank, spending more than $20,000 when she was no longer a candidate.

O'Donnell denies doing anything wrong, saying there is, "No truth to it."

To be fair, O'Donnell's opponent is also facing scrutiny. Chris Coons finds himself having to answer questions about an article he wrote in college, where he described himself as a "bearded Marxist." He talked about it earlier tonight on CNN.

Source: Anderson Cooper 360 coverage of 2010 Delaware Senate debate , Sep 21, 2010

Focuses on his experience; will fight on Delaware issues

Coons appeared steady, if not a bit boring--something that could actually prove an asset in this general election contest. He emphasized his experience as county executive while drawing contrasts between himself and O'Donnell without truly going on the attack. "This race is not about ideology, but about ideas," he said. "Not about a narrow social agenda, but about who is going to fight to get this country back on track."

Coons noted the state's long tradition of "constructive and civil debate," emphasizing, "I have not been worried about who would come in from out of state to endorse me or not."

Borrowing a line from Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Coons suggested the race would be fought on issues important to Delaware voters, rather than in the national media spotlight. "It's often said that this is Joe Biden's seat," Coons said. "It's not. It's Delaware's seat."

Source: The Hill coverage of 2010 Delaware Senate debate , Sep 16, 2010

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