By Kevin Yamamura
Published: Wednesday, Jul. 7, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

SAN FRANCISCO – Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer kicked off a two-day, nine-city campaign tour Tuesday to assert that her support of an $862 billion stimulus package has led to job creation in California.

Boxer traveled with a handful of reporters after a campaign stop in San Francisco, where stimulus dollars are helping fund a $1 billion seismic retrofit project on the approach to the Golden Gate Bridge. Here’s a portion of her question-and-answer session.

>How do you pay for these stimulus-related jobs and still reduce the deficit?

No. 1, pay as you go, except for emergencies. Also, you have to pick your priorities very clearly. Which are the ones that are going to create jobs? The ones that don’t, you reject. >Won’t there inevitably be tax increases?

I support President Obama, which is to keep the middle-class tax cuts that were passed by George Bush and not keep the tax cuts for people earning over $250,000. … And also, take away the tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas.

>Are the administration’s current war withdrawal dates the ones you would support?

I support the withdrawal dates. They’re in 2011, that’s next year, and I want to continue that because the most important thing is for the Iraqis and the Afghans to stand and protect their own countries.

>What’s going through your head as you start this campaign?

I’m very energized because this is the clearest choice in the nation. It’s so clear. Not only the issue of jobs, but also the issue of a woman’s right to choose. Protecting our people from terrorism by making sure terrorists don’t get guns. The issue of “drill, baby, drill.” It’s about all these issues, and we come down on opposite sides.

>What is your position on the initiative to legalize marijuana in California?

I share a law enforcement position that we shouldn’t do it. … The state needs revenue, but to me the question is, is this going to be safer for our families, safer for our children? Is it going to lead to more fatalities on the road? Is it going to lead to more crime? And that’s what I’ve been told by people I trust.

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