By Cheri Lawson, Kentucky Public Radio

The candidates for Kentucky’s open U.S. Senate seat met in their second debate of five Monday night.

Jack Conway and Rand Paul debated before an audience on the campus of Northern Kentucky University and TV viewers in the Northern Kentucky area and Louisville.

The candidates responded to questions from reporters and viewers, including one about the importance of either retiring the federal debt or keeping taxes low. Paul said he’d like to do both.

“We as Republicans didn’t do a good enough job. The Democrats are doing worse but we as Republicans didn’t do a good enough job to cut spending,” he said.

Conway said he would like to see a return to the policies of the Clinton Administration that created jobs and left the federal budget with a surplus.

Other during the hour-long debate included crime and drugs in Kentucky, funding for education, national health care policy and the war in Afghanistan. The candidates will debate again Sunday at the University of Louisville.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."