It may have been cold outside Monday night, but temperatures were running high in the Bushnell Theatre. Dick Blumenthal and Linda McMahon attacked each other’s previous work experience and campaign tactics at every opportunity during Monday’s debate. Linda McMahon threw the first punch, saying that Blumenthal’s attack on her wanting to lower the minimum wage was untrue.
“The first thing, let me say, categorically that is wrong with that and is absolutely false and incorrect in this add is that I would consider lowering the minimum wage. That’s a lie,you know that’s a lie, I never said it and it’s in your ad so that’s just wrong. So, let’s take that off the table.”
Blumenthal went on the defensive when he was shown a new campaign ad that shed light upon his whether he served in the war or not. “I’m proud of my military service. On a few occasions, out of hundreds, when I commented on it, I described it inaccurately, and I regret it. I take full responsibility for it, it was not intentional.”
Laurie Perez, one of the panelists, said she would have liked a better followup. “I had also asked him why didn’t you serve in Vietnam and he did not answer that question.
With the economy still struggling, the next questions focused on how they each would fix it. Blumenthal took the opportunity to attack McMahon on the 10 percent layoffs as well as the 10 percent pay increase she took home. McMahon defended herself by asking Blumenthal not to count her money, if she doesn’t discuss his family owning the Empire State Building. However, both candidates offered some mutual agreements on the stimulus, as Blumenthal disagreed with it.
“I see great merit in the opposition of many Republicans to the bailout, as it was structured then, as it was inadequately designed, as it did too much for Wall Street and not enough for Main Street,” said Blumenthal.
Perez would have also liked to have seen more questions regarding foreign policy: “I think we needed to hear more about their thoughts about Afghanistan, about sending more troops overseas, about keeping more troops overseas.”
The debate finished with a lighthearted lightning round, where the candidates were asked whether they preferred the Red Sox or Yankees, and thin or thick crust pizza. Both candidates prefer the Yankees and thin crust pizza.”