POSTED: Monday, July 30, 2012 --- 10:05 a.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate agree that balancing the federal budget must be a priority for the next Congress.
The candidates met Monday in a debate that comes just two weeks before the Aug. 14 primary vote.
State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald says he has shown through his work in the state Legislature that he has the political courage needed to take on tough budget issues. Fitzgerald helped pass Gov. Scott Walker's controversial plan curbing collective bargaining rights for public workers.
Former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann says he has the experience during his four years in Congress balancing a budget through cutting spending.
Hedge fund manager Eric Hovde says the country faces an economic disaster that must be addressed immediately.
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson says strong leaders are needed.
Copyright 2012: Associated Press