While the campaigns ads for incumbent Fifth District Congressman Chris Murphy and State Senator Sam Caligiuri have been biting and vicious, the atmosphere at their latest debate in Farmington was peaceful and respectful.
"I think people are sick and tired of candidates griping at each other and trying to talk about what the other person is for, or what the other person stands for, what I want to talk to you about today is about my vision moving forward for this country," said Murphy, the Democratic candidate for congress.
"I'm running for Congress because I am absolutely convince that our country is heading in the wrong direction, and we need to get it back on track as soon as humanly possible," said Caligiuri, the Republican candidate.
NBC Connecticut's Tom Monahan moderated the debate. Topics on the table were defense spending, transportation, and the country's dependence on fossil fuels. One notable difference between the candidates was their takes on health care.
"Moving forward as a state, I think it's important to invest in universal healthcare, not because I think it's the right thing to do as a compassionate nation, I think it will address one of the fundamental liabilities to our economy," said Murphy.
"In a society like ours, every American should have access to affordable quality care, but this legislation will ultimately do more harm than good, and that's why I will vote to repeal it if I get elected or de-fund it," said Caligiuri.
Another sticking point was the stimulus bill. Caligiuri thinks it's a failure, saying it didn't create jobs and failed to keep tax rates low and spending down. Murphy thinks it has been successful stabilizing the economy through tax cuts and investments. With one week till Election Day, it's a lot for voters to take in.
"He sees the big picture. He sees that raising taxes is not going to create jobs. It's going to close businesses down. It's not going to be productive," said Kimberly Anderson, who supports Caligiuri.
"We need someone who'll talk with us, and here what our concerns are and take them into consideration when he deals with it," said Gill Small, who supports Murphy.