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US Senate Debate: Warren Attacks Brown's Record, Brown Touts Bipartisanship

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 they 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."

"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."

The 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.

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. 

Danielle Lizotte September 22, 2012 at 12:33 PM
FindBalance, thank you so much for manspaining to me that Scott Brown was actually using professor as a term of respect and not as a descriptor of an ivy tower liberal who is out of touch with the common person. I mistakely assumed he was trying to turn her strengths and achievements into a liability as Weld had done to Silber in 1990. Doh! I guess I'm just not as capable of critical thinking and being fair and balanced as you are...
Proud Resident of Northborough September 22, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Couple of points: 1) Addressing Warren as “professor” is proper. She is a professor. If you find being a professor offensive, then support someone else. 2) Mentioning Warren’s salary of $340K and the fact that she only teaches ONE class for that money is fair game. Particularly when she decries the cost of higher education. 3) Warren claims to be for the little guy. She made much of her money by flipping foreclosed houses, and another chunk by litigating against asbestos victims. Hypocritical? 4) Lastly, no one is attacking her heritage. They are attacking the fact that everything to date points to her LYING about her heritage. If she didn’t game the system it would be extremely easy for her to release her job applications and put this to rest. The fact that she refuses, speaks volumes. 5) There is a reason her handlers no longer let her speak on her ads. She is a fake and it comes across every time she opens her mouth.
Scum Of The Earth November 04, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I am voting for Elizabeth Warren. I am a big time Three Stooges fan, and anyone who is rocking the Shemp Howard hairdo is ok in my book...
Linda Worthy November 04, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Continuing to whine about Warren's salary simply reveals that one has no understanding of what professors at top universities do for those universities. Complaining about Warren's success seems to suggest that climbing to the top of one chosen field is somehow un-American. Complaining about flipping houses? Adding value to a foreclosed home put some tradesmen to work, purchased materials and appliances and, when sold, added to the local tax rolls. And it did that thing Romney loves so much -- turned a profit for the risk takers. Whining about someone making $350k in higher ed but giving a pass to someone who won't release as many tax returns as his father is pretty limited thinking. Warren claimed her heritage out of pride, just like almost everyone else in the world. The posts some people make simply reveal that they get all their information from attack ads. By Wednesday, Brown will be a lame duck. By January, he'll be fetchin' coffee for Wall Streeters. I hope Kerry turns down any offer to become Secretary of State. My biggest fear that that we'll end up with four more years of Romney running for President. Hillary will bury him.
Linda Worthy November 04, 2012 at 03:22 PM
In 2010, Mitch McConnell said the Republican goal was to make Obama a one term president. He used filibusters to prevent legislation for coming to the floor of the Senate for a vote. In more than 50 cases, Brown voted with the Republicans to prevent legislation from being voted on. If Brown really was was independent, he would have voted to bring those bills up for a vote. It doesn't matter if his votes would have made the difference or not; his vote to allow those bills to move forward would have proven his supposed independent status. There was no 'people before party' on Brown's 50+ votes to prevent the business of the American people from moving forward. If Brown has so many problems with the national Republican platform, maybe he should leave the party.

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