Despite their sharp differences, the candidates for U.S. Senate agree on one point: Thursday night’s debate showcased two competing visions for the nation.
To Republican Linda McMahon, the debate provided “a very clear difference…between a person who has a plan…and someone who clearly has no plan.”
To Democrat Chris Murphy, it offered up a candidate who is “addicted to personal attacks” against one who is focused on “the issues that matter to Connecticut voters.”
Both candidates seemed pleased with their performances. “I tried to continue to come back to the issues…the differences on tax policy, women’s health care and manufacturing,” Murphy said.
“Linda McMahon continued to try to bring this race back to personal character assassination and…it’s no surprise: this is how she tried to beat Dick Blumenthal two years ago, and it’s how she’s trying to win this race this year.”
McMahon rejected the notion that she has built her campaign around personal attacks. “I think this campaign has it’s share on both sides,” she said, “but I’ve been talking since I got into this race over the last 12 months about jobs and the economy. I’ve put together a plan to put people back to work.”
In an effort to counter Murphy’s assertion that he’s hewing to the issues while McMahon wallows in attacks, her campaign issued a press release Friday morning claiming he spent far more time during the debate attacking her.
“It seems there is no limit to Congressman Murphy’s hypocrisy,” McMahon campaign manager Corry Bliss said in the release. “Only a career politician like Chris Murphy would try to spin his opponent as a negative campaigner while spending over 75% of last night’s debate on personal attacks. Apparently Chris Murphy thinks he gets to decide which issues are appropriate to discuss and which issues are simply negative attacks.”
Murphy spokesman Eli Zupnick issued the following response: “Apparently Linda McMahon is so worried that voters will learn more about her plan to cut taxes for millionaires and her support for the right-wing plan to deny women health care options that she is now labeling conversations about these issues as ‘attacks.’”