Senate Candidates Trade Shots in First Debate

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Richard Blumenthal led the race for U-S Senate for months, but now he finds himself fighting for his political life against millionaire and former WWE executive Linda McMahon.

The two faced off in a televised debate that brought out hundreds of voters hour before it got underway.
Supporters of both Blumenthal and McMahon filled the sidewalk outside the Hartford Bushnell debating the candidates.  They, though, weren’t the only ones ready for a heated exchange. 

The McMahon camp set the stage earlier in the day releasing a new TV ad that again attacked Blumenthal’s military misspeak.

“There is nothing new in this ad, nothing new about McMahon’s attack on me,” said Blumenthal during the debate.  Blumenthal’s TV as attack on McMahon accuses her of putting profits before people, saying the WWE used millions of dollars in state tax credits while laying off employees.  It also says she supports reducing the minimum wage.

“First thing that’s wrong, that’s absolutely false is that I would consider reducing the minimum wage.  That’s a lie.  I never said it.  It’s in your ad and boy that’s just wrong,” said McMahon.

Minimum wage was a contentious issue throughout the debate.  Blumenthal insists he would not reduce it.
Both candidates supported the death penalty and reaching across party lines to get things done in Washington. 

The hour long debate, though, wasn’t without a few verbal jabs.  “I won’t let you count my money and I won’t talk about the fact your family owns the empire state building,” said McMahon.

During the debate, the candidates were allowed to question each other.

Blumenthal asked McMahon about the WWE’s buying practices.  Specifically, he questioned the buying of action figures from China and Pakistan.  Meanwhile, McMahon asked Blumenthal how you create a job.  When Blumenthal mentioned his role fighting for jobs as Attorney General, McMahon scoffed.

“Government, government, government.  Government does not create jobs.  It’s the entrepreneurs who take risks.  They are the ones who create jobs,” said McMahon.  Blumenthal’s quick rebuttal ended in applause.  “I’m not going to be an entrepreneur in Washington.  I’m going to be a Senator,” Blumenthal said.  Both candidates felt confident about the debates.

The gubernatorial candidates face off in a televised debate on Tuesday at 7pm.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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