US Senate Debate: Warren Attacks Brown's Record, Brown Touts Bipartisanship, Tsongas Praises Warren
The two candidates for the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts faced off in their first live debate on Thursday night.
Stark differences came out early and often between U.S. Senate candidates Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown in their first debate, with disagreements on everything from tax policy, to job creation to women's rights.
Over and over during the Thursday debate, Warren chose to bring up Sen. Brown's voting record, and Brown chose to point out that Warren's plan would raise taxes on everyone and stifle job creation.
"He has said he will defend the top 2 percent and the top 3 percent...and will hold the other 98 percent of families hostage," Warren said, referencing Brown's position against extending the Bush-era tax cuts unless it also contained cuts for the country's top earners.
Brown countered by noting that Warren's policies would raise taxes on everyone, in fact, saying it's the "first thing she looks to do," he said.
"And the criticism is that I don't want to raise taxes," he said. "Guilty as charged. I'm not going to raise taxes. I'm going to protect taxpayers' pocketbooks and wallets."
On the issue of jobs, Warren noted that Brown voted against three separate jobs bills during his tenure. But Brown fired back that she was "misrepresenting his record."
"That bill would have raised your taxes $450 billion, and it was a bipartisan rejection," he said. "They were rejected by both Democrats and Republicans for taking money out of hardworking businesses and giving it to the federal government."
Brown went on the offensive several times, referencing himself as the "second-most bi-partisan member of the senate."
"The only way we're going to get this done is to work together in a bipartisan manner," he said. "And only one of us in this room is going to get there."
But Warren said his voting record showed he aligned himself with the big corporations to protect loopholes for the wealthy.
"This is how Senator Brown has already voted," she said. "Senator Brown voted that tax payers would continue to subsidize them to the tune of billions of dollars a year, and I just think that's wrong. Billionaires are paying tax rates lower than their secretaries, and and he protects every one of those loopholes and would let taxes go up for our families."
Both candidates also touched on other issues during the course of the debate, including women's health rights, the cost of higher education, Warren's heritage, authorization for military activity overseas and climate change.
The Democratic candidate for Chelmsford's congressional seat, incumbent Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell), saw the debate as a victory for Warren.
“Tonight’s debate sharpened the contrast between Elizabeth Warren and Senator Scott Brown. Elizabeth Warren will be a Senator that understands the challenges too many Massachusetts families face. She made a strong case that on issues that really matter, from tax fairness to equal pay for equal work, she's on the side of the middle class," said Tsongas. "She'll be a Senator that stands up to Big Oil and Wall Street, and puts people who are in too many cases struggling to find a good job and put food on their tables, first, all of the time. Tonight Elizabeth Warren exhibited the values and conviction that Massachusetts needs in the U.S. Senate."
You can watch the full debate online here.
Who do you think won the debate? Which issues hit home the most? Which issues do you wish they addressed? Tell us in the comments.