We have the good fortune to watch the first Brown / Warren debate on TV and its just starting. For those watching along (or who wish they could be) thought I'd start this thread.
IN SUMMARY - Good debate. Good questions. The format allowed for back and forth. Brown did better than I expected, given my low expectations, but boy did all the catty comments only come from one side! Warren did fantastic for her first debate ever. Both were well-prepped but Warren knew Brown's record and hit him over the head with it again and again.
Brown would side-step by going after her and obfuscating on his record. He tried to appear as bipartisan as possible. Warren had a great close - she just kept going back to that this was a critical election for the direction of the Senate. She was solid and absolutely terrific.
Details of the live debate are below the fold.
7:52 - Global warming. Brown believes in it, but there is "also man-made" global warming vs. natural.
Warren - energy industry here in Mass has to fight against the oil subsidies. Clean energy produces real jobs in Massachusetts. Brown has been going around the country raising money by saying our race might be for control of the Senate. He's right. If they win, Inhofe will be in charge of the Senate oversight of the EPA, and he has called Global Warming a HOAX! A man like that should not be overseeing the EPA.
Brown - You're running against me, not Inhofe and I sponsored green energy bills. I support wind, solar, nuclear, all of the above approach. You don't do that. We can't owe money to people who want to kill us.
Warren looks skeptical :)
Warren - Brown is making clean energy fight against an industry with loopholes and etc. to give them an unfair playing field. It's not a fair fight. Inhofe says global warming is a hoax. This race matters.
Brown - I'm one of the most bipartisan senators. Can you imaging 100 Warrens down there? With the Occupiers and the folks with the funny signs and the pudding? Can you imagine them trying to work together? She won't be bipartisan. She doesn't disagree with her party on anything.
Warren - this race is about whose side you stand on. Brown's made his side clear. This race may be for control of the Senate. Brown can't have it both ways. He raises money from GOP all over the country.
We are out of time.
7:43 - What about higher education? How do we reform? Should everyone get a college degree? There are lots of janitors with college degrees.
Warren - I've talked to a lot of students in Mass. We need to train workers of the future. Education costs too much. We need to invest in education.
Brown - Warren and her husband make almost 3/4 of a million dollars. She has a zero-interest loan from Harvard and other perks. No wonder education costs are so high.
Warren - My first teaching job I made $18K per year, and I'm proud of the hard work I've done to work my way up. This question is really about state colleges. Back then you could go to public colleges for little cost. I've lived the American dream and I'm running because I want other people to have the American Dream too. We should close a loophole to keep interest rates low for students. Brown said no to that.
Brown - she is mis-representing a vote again. This was going to hurt small business owners. We drew a line in the sand.
Warren - Brown did draw a line in the sand: to protect what was called a giant loophole by the IRS. This is again the same basic question: whose side do you stand on? When you look at his votes, he is always standing on the side of special breaks for big companies, etc.
Brown - I'm on the taxpayers side. Warren had an opportunity to stand up for workers and she didn't. She made $250K protecting big corporations like Traveler's Insurance against asbestos prosecution.
Warren - I've been out there for working families and people injured by asbestos. (Did Brown just audibly SCOFF at her right there?)
Brown - you fought for the corporations, not the people. They paid you a lot and you denied people with asbestos poisoning help through your efforts.
Warren - That's just not true. Boston Globe has written about this. I'm not a professional politician - I'm working for regular people. Brown doesn't want to talk about his votes.
Moderator - time's a-wasting. (haha!)
7:37 - Question: under what circumstance would you vote to authorize war? What about Afghanistan?
Brown - I've served in the military for years. Armed Services Committee. Don't like a date for withdrawal in Afghanistan. Anytime we vote to send people off to war, a lot taking place. Lot of trouble in the world, we should be involved in the process in Congress, so we have full understanding. Need to unify the country, lot of troubling things overseas.
Warren - All 3 of my brothers served in the military. I know what families do when someone is deployed overseas. We must be careful when we ask the military to go overseas for us. Must be a plan to go in, and exit strategy to get out.
Gives props to Hillary: Secretary Clinton has advanced the use of smart power, I want to give her a plug. I support Pres. Obama and Sec. Clinton.
Brown - I want to thank Warren's brothers for their service. I'd like to talk to your brother who was career service, we may have a lot in common. President Obama has drawn a harder line overseas and that's good. Israel's our friend we need to worry about Iran, blah blah blah
Warren - It's very clear we cannot have a nuclear Iran. Obama's done a great job on this. He's taken nothing off the table and that is the best way to protect our ally Israel. Obama should be the commander in chief, not Romney.
Brown - Secretary Clinton is like totally ah-mazing. That being said, Israel is our greatest ally. (huh?) I've visited Israel. We need to make Iran-no-nukes a top priority
Warren - Israel important ally. Port of democracy in Middle East. I want to re-elect Pres. Obama.
7:29 - Next question: Abortion rights and Supreme Court. Would you apply litmus test to nominees?
Warren - No litmus test. This is a settled issue. I'm concerned with how Brown has handled this already. When Justice Kagan was nominated (she's from Mass.) I'm surprised Brown voted against her.
Brown - "I'm sorry I didn't vote for your boss. I know you two are really close." (Oh no he didn't! I do not like to use the word "catty" but there is no better explanation for his temperament in this debate. It's not a look that he wears well.)
I've been fighting for women's rights since I was a kid, fighting for my abused mother.
I will oppose a judge who wants to change Roe v Wade. I'm pro-choice, pro-women in military. We agree on the issues. I like the womynz.
Warren - Its important to talk about Brown's record. He's made some good votes, but he voted against Equal Pay. He co-sponsored bill to block coverage for b.c. He voted the only chance he had against pro-choice woman (i.e. Kagan). He's been endorsed by ant-choice groups. Women in Mass deserve a senator they can count on ALL the time, not just some of the time.
Brown - you should stop trying to scare women, PROFEZZOR. (Good Lord he has some very dramatic attack lines ready.) I have a house full of women. Been fighting for women since the state Congress. I will fight for Catholics. Wow, then he invokes Senator Kennedy.
Warren - I didn't hear Brown say why he voted for Equal Pay in his answer. (Atta girl.) He co-sponsored the bill saying employers can refuse to pay for B.C. Open invitation to employers to knock out coverage for women.
Brown - stop scaring women. (Wow. How patronizing). That's not the Blunt amendment. (He then goes on to mis-represent Blunt.) I have a house full of women. Won't give early Christmas to plaintiff's lawyers on Equal Pay.
Warren - You are no Sen. Kennedy, my good sir! That is not what Kennedy stood for.
7:18 - Fiscal cliff. They both say they take it seriously.
Warren- we have other places to save money. Afghanistan, for starters. Also, everyone needs to pay their fair share, like oil companies.
Brown - There is a check box on Massachusetts forms to pay more taxes and WARREN DIDN'T DO IT. (Is he frickin' serious?) "I was filling up the truck the other day, you want to talk about loopholes?" (Again, is he serious?)
Warren, this is typical of Brown. There are too many tax loopholes. Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. This is how Brown votes in the Senate.
Brown - What she fails to point out: the oil votes and others were rejected by a bi-partisan manner. We're in a recession, high cost of energy, people are hurting and Congress is trying to help them now. Let's have a comprehensive discussion. We're in an energy crisis, let's talk about an "everything approach" instead of just one way.
Warren - Let's be clear about our economic proposals. We both submitted to Boston Globe. Globe said my approach is 67% more effective at cutting the deficit. We can't get there using Brown's approach: he'll leave it to working families to pick up the pieces. We can't do that in the state and can't do in the country.
Brown - I'm trying to protect your pocketbooks and wallets and she's not.
Warren - I'm looking at independant analysis i.e. The Globe, and I'm better at cutting the deficit.
WATER BREAK announced, followed by awkward eye contact between the candidates from their podiums.
They are both warming up now and don't seem so uncomfortable. Starting to use their hands a little more instead of standing at attention. Brown looks very tan and Warren's eyebrows look like they might freeze raised. Overall she's doing a great job for her first debate. She was well prepped.
7:11 - Moderator: Jobs.
Scott Brown: Innovation.
Elizabeth Warren: Innovation is great, but Scott Brown voted against many jobs bills.
Brown: Businesses aren't hiring because of uncertainty in regulations.
Warren: The Senator has voted to let taxes go up on hard working families. He voted no on these jobs bills because they didn't give enough tax breaks to the top 2%.
Brown: Warren wouldn't have voted for Obama's compromise bill because of the fact we didn't tax the high income earners.
Warren looks uncomfortable, and she wants to shake her head while he's talking. In her rebuttal. He does a better job of speaking directly into the camera and she looks off to the side quite a bit.
Warren - sorry, but these are made up numbers by Brown. He's not admitting he'll vote for taxes to go up on most Massachusetts residents. In a recent radio interview he admitted that he would do this if the bill doesn't contain enough tax breaks for the top 2%. I will not vote to increase taxes on working families.
More back and forth.
7:10 - Haha. All the back and forth on the Native American comment made the moderator step in and remind the candidates that they want to cover other issues. Moving on to jobs.
7:08 - Wow. Brown goes right back to the well. He is hitting her hard on this again. As Mr. Sarea just said "he must be desperate." Haha! Brown also concedes he thinks Warren "is a nice person too." Awwwwkward. Then he goes back to the attack. That was awesome.
7:06 - Ouch. Warren off to a nice start, reminding everyone this is her first debate. She then moves right on to take Brown's bait, and spends the rest of the time of her opening statement answering his shot across the bow, and saying she never asked for proof of her heritage because well people just don't do that when their families tell them stories about their heritage, but that she didn't try to use it unfairly to benefit herself. She also said Brown seems like a "nice guy" and that she wants the debate to be about the issues.
7:05 - Scott Brown opening statement. WOW. Right out of the gate, Brown thanks the crowd, thanks the station, and then IMMEDIATELY goes for the throat, and brings up the Elizabeth Warren / Native American controversy. In his opening statement.
7:00 p.m. - Debate start on local PBS station WBZ. I'm disappointed that they started with both candidates behind the podium, rather than having them start with a grip-and-grin.