Instead they showcased their very different views on what Washington should be doing. Harmer said he would "respectfully challenge" President Obama to beef up the war effort in Afghanistan, as promised during the campaign. Garamendi contends, "We will not win this war militarily."
Garamendi supports the public option. Harmer supports more competition in the private market. Garamendi wants to push Obama's domestic agenda; Harmer wants to slow it down.
"It's a good time for America because we finally have a president who wants to get things done in the right way," said Garamendi.
In the other corner, Harmer wants to combat a trend he has seen in education -- "the rise of centralization and the fall of everything else."