When Fitzpatrick said that he wants to extend all those soon-to-expire income-tax cuts, Boockvar, like most Democrats, said that she would extend them on poor and middle-class taxpayers but allow them to expire for the wealthy. She would not, however, commit to the specifics of President Obama's proposal for the cutoff point: individuals making $200,000 or more and families making $250,000.
"She's running for the United States Congress; now is the time to commit," Fitzpatrick said. "You gotta tell people what you're for. I'm saying what I'm for. I'm not raising taxes on anybody."
Boockvar shot back, saying that Fitzpatrick's categorical approach was counterproductive.
"The congressman can't raise taxes because he signed a Grover Norquist no-tax pledge, so his hands are tied," she said. "I, on the other hand, go into this completely open to both sides: both the revenue side and the cuts."
On health care, both tried to hedge their support for their parties' positions.
Fitzpatrick said that he wants the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," repealed - except for popular provisions, like the ban on insurance companies denying patients with pre-existing conditions.
"You keep the consumer protections that are in the beginning of the bill, which are good, and you repeal the balance and you go with free-market reforms," he said of his plan. "Most of what is in that bill is harmful to the economy."
Conversely, Boockvar said that she would not vote to repeal the law, but supports amending it.
"This is not the bill I would have drawn; there's a lot of it we need to fix," she said.
Still, she defended the "individual mandate" that will require almost all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014.
"You can't have all those [protections] without a system in place that encourages healthy people to get coverage as well as sick people," she said. "The insurance companies couldn't shoulder the burden if only sick people were getting coverage."
The next debate in the race is at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Lower Bucks campus of Bucks County Community College, in Bristol.
Contact Sean Collins Walsh at email@example.com or 215-854-5745.