by KYW’s David Madden

One of the nation’s prime congressional races took center stage on Wednesday morning on the radio, as WPHT — KYW’s sister station — hosted a debate between incumbent South Jersey Democrat John Adler and Republican opponent Jon Runyan.

The free-form, hour-long discussion with host Michael Smerconish centered on national issues for the most part, the show is syndicated across the country. The two candidates agreed on most issues, like health care. Both believe the plan lacks adequate cost containment provisions.

But Runyan questioned the timing of Alder’s no vote:

“It’s convenient that the first vote came down three days after Republican Chris Christie took this district by 17-percent.”

Adler accused Runyan of pulling out “attack points” given him by political coaches.

“When the Democrats announced their bill on health care back in June 2009 — that day — I announced it wasn’t good enough.”

Both men differed on abolishing the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays, the effectiveness of the Obama stimulus plan, and elimination of the federal estate tax.