U.S. Sen. John Walsh and U.S. Rep. Steve Daines have debated for the first time as the general election campaign season gets underway.

Walsh, the Democratic incumbent, is seeking to retain the seat he was appointed to in February.

Daines, a first-term Republican congressman, and Libertarian Roger Roots are seeking to unseat Walsh.

The three debated topics Saturday including government spending, natural-resource development and problems at Veterans Affairs hospitals.

Daines stuck to his campaign theme that he would work to increase jobs and reduce government interference, and said Walsh is for growing government.

Walsh responded that Daines' message is an easy one to give, but Walsh actually did something about it after being elected Montana's lieutenant governor. He called Daines an obstructionist.

Roots says the others have both voted to grow government.