The six candidates for the Iowa Republican Party's 2014 U.S. Senate nomination gathered Wednesday night in Des Moines for a debate.
It was the first time the candidates have stood together on the same stage and faced questions.
When asked if the recent federal government shut-down was a smart strategy for Republicans, David Young was the only candidate to directly defend it.
Matt Whitaker said he was disappointed in the solution.
Sam Clovis criticized Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's role in brokering the deal that ended the shutdown and blasted what he called a "carve-out" of two-billion dollars for a project in McConnell's home state of Kentucky that was put into the final compromise.
Joni Ernst said politicians need to "stand on principles," but they also need to "work together."
Each of the candidates comdemned the Affordable Care Act. Scott Schaben argued advocates of ObamaCare have a "hard time selling their product."
Paul Lunde, the other candidate on the stage, frequently used the forum to tout some of the books he's written.
The forum was sponsored by Americans For Prosperity and the National Review.