Although most local media were reluctant to say who had won Wednesday’s debate between vicepresidential contenders Agustín Rossi (Unión por la Patria – current Cabinet Chief) and Victoria Villarruel (La Libertad Avanza – current Congresswoman), it could be determined by neutral observers that Economy Minister Sergio Massa’s running mate was somewhat uncomfortable with the situation.
Unlike the Nov. 12 debate pitting Massa against Libertarian Congressman Javier Milei – which is mandatory under the Constitution – Wednesday’s event was hosted by TV broadcasters TN with no official bearing towards the Nov. 19 runoff.
From now on everything you are going to hear from Rossi is a lie, each of the things that he and Massa propose could have simply been done in the last four years. We have 100,000 new poor people per month since Massa has been Economy Minister,” Villarruel fired. If Milei wins, monetary emission will be stopped forever, she added.
Rossi replied that Massa's goal is to maintain and expand the jobs that exist in Argentina and to increase the purchasing power of Argentines.
More than one million Argentines have received their salary without income tax deduction, and we did it by law. More than 17 million Argentines have received the VAT refund of the products of the basic basket that they have bought and we have also presented in Congress a plan to promote new employment, Rossi also contended.
Regarding Security and Defense, Villarruel asked Rossi: Where do you want the delinquents: in jail or free?
The Cabinet Chief replied: You spoke for two minutes and did not say a single proposal. We are going to go two ways: prevention, we have already launched the safe-cities plan. We are going to install the CIM, Intelligent Monitoring Centers, in all the cities with more than 50 thousand inhabitants, a place where, with technology and all the advanced technological developments, what is happening can be visualized. We are going to finance it from the State.” He also underlined LLA’s plan to appoint a foreign minister “who says that it is necessary to dialogue with the [Falkland] Islanders.
Rossi also said women would lose more under Milei because LLA does not “believe in the gender gap and in the wage gap that exists.
Rossi and Kirchnerism believe a lot in revaluing women but it is just a declamation, violence does not stop despite the ministry but the only woman who is doing well is [Vicepresident Cristina Fernández de Kirchner] CFK who collects AR$ 14 million (around US$ 15,000 at the unofficial exchange rate) between pensions and retirements; she can say that you have privileged and helped her, Villarruel argued.
She also said UxP was out for the endorsement of people who would vote for them “for a bag of food, she stressed.
There was also a bitter moment when Villarruel, the daughter of an Army officer, was targeted for questioning the figure of 30,000 people having disappeared during the last military dictatorship (1976-1983) which was in Rossi’s words tantamount to ”breaking the democratic pact.”