The second and final debate took place tonight between all three candidates in the MA Senate race, Scott Brown R, Martha Coakley D, and Joseph L. Kennedy (no relation). Brown and Coakley jousted intensely throughout the debate:
Brown promised to be the 41st vote against the health care reform bill pending in Washington, saying the proposed legislation was “broken” and “we need to start over.”
But Coakley said, “I’d be proud to be the 60th vote to make sure we get health care reform that we so badly need. ... The status quo is simply unsustainable.”
They should have ended the debate, right there…that’s all people need to know.
The debate comes as the race is beginning to draw national attention, with some polls showing Brown drawing unexpectedly close to Coakley in a race for a seat long held by a Democratic icon, the late Edward M. Kennedy, in a Democratic-leaning state.
The fireworks in the debate came between Coakley and Brown, while independent candidate Joseph L. Kennedy, who is not related to the legendary Massachusetts political family, remained on the sidelines.
Some of the sharpest exchanges occurred between the two candidates when they were allowed to ask each other questions, with Brown at one point telling the veteran prosecutor as she pressed a question, “I am not in your courtroom. I’m not a defendant.”
Brown called some of Coakley’s statements “outrageous,” while Coakley told Brown, “You cant distort my record and not be accurate about your own.”
Coakley criticized Brown for supporting Bush-era tax cuts for higher-income people, saying, “He wants to go back to those Bush-Cheney policies that provide for the very wealthiest.”
Brown retorted, “You can run against Bush-Cheney, but I’m Scott Brown. I live in Wrentham. I drive a truck. And, yes, it’s 200,000 miles on it now. You’re not running against them. You’re running against me.”
He reiterated his previous claim that Coakley’s support for health care reform, among other positions, meant she would saddle taxpayers with tax increases of $2.1 trilllion.
But Coakley shot back, “It doesn’t matter how many times you say ‘$2.1 trillion,’ it doesn’t make it accurate, or even close to being accurate.”
“What I support are, in fact, relief for the middle class, a health care plan that will be self-supporting,” she said.
The two candidates also disagreed on how to fight terrorists and President Obama’s recent decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. Brown said he supported the decision.
“I agree with the president,” the Republican said. “I support his effort to finish the job in Afghanistan.”
But Coakley said she felt the United States should “plan an exit strategy” because terrorists are no longer in the country and the US should focus on getting “appropriate” intelligence information and using the “force necessary” to go after terrorists.
Brown said he felt it was “naive” not to address the “very real concern” of terrorists in Afghanistan.
But Coakley said, “I think it’s naive to think that we have the troops to send everywhere and they are the best way to go after people who are terrorists who disappear into the night who do trainings and who get on planes, frankly, with bombs in their shoes and other pieces of clothing.”
I’m waiting for tonight’s debate to appear on YouTube. In the mean time, you can watch Friday night’s debate, here.
The Money Bomb fundraising campaign is still ongoing until midnight. They reached their goal of $500,000 early on, have surpassed $750,000, and are now going for a cool mil. You can help them reach that goal, here.
local coverage of the campaigns prepping for tonight’s debate:
William A. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection spent some time at the Wrentham (Brown’s hometown) local campaign “office”, and has an encouraging report based on first hand observations.
…Annnnnd Ace has the double flaming skull up – Brown made his $1 million!
“Brown was obviously laying in wait for Gergen to serve that up so he could crush it like so many dynastic dreams”.
See what Smitty is referring to at The Other McCain.
Neo Neocon has more on the debate YouTube moment everyone will be talking about, tomorrow.
And I love this comment at Ann Althouse’s:
Gergan [sic], who could hardly conceal his bias, called it “Teddy Kennedy’s seat.”
Brown to Gergan [sic]: Thanks for the opening I could drive my truck through, you Kennedy School of Government at Harvard meathead.
Scott Brown’s campaign is claiming that he won the debate against Martha Coakley.