The reviews for Gabriel Gomez's first debate performance against Ed Markey are in, and they are not kind. Gomez had a big task ahead of him, proving that Massachusetts voters should take him seriously. He didn't do so well. For example, on abortion:
But where he totally embarrassed himself is with his ongoing insistence—debunked repeatedly—that Markey has never had a bill passed into law. This exchange after the debate with Boston Daily's David Bernstein shows that Gomez either has a very limited knowledge of how a bill becomes a law, or he's a disingenuous hack. Of course, those aren't mutually exclusive options.
Bernstein: You keep going after Markey saying he has not gotten any bills passed that he sponsored, that he’s written; and he responded by talking about bills he has written that became law by getting pulled into other legislation and they became law that way. Do those not count for some reason?
Gomez: You know, he can give a lawyerly explanation, he can go through the political kind of doublespeak and all that, but the bottom line is that in the last 20 years there isn’t a single piece of legislation that has been signed by the President—
Bernstein: I don’t understand—can you explain why is that a “lawyerly explanation”?
Gomez: Because you can sit there and you can co-sponsor a bill, and you can put your name at the end and all that, I’m just saying, he’s been down there for 40 years, he can come up with the doublespeak and all that, he can defend himself. I tell you, in the private sector somebody does that? They don’t get a raise, they don’t get a promotion. It’s as simple as that. That’s why we should have, if you don’t pass a budget you don’t get paid, down in Congress. You don’t do your job, the last thing you should do is get a pay raise or a promotion or ask the people, to have the nerve to ask the people to get a pay raise or a promotion.
The good thing about Gomez repeating this ridiculous claim in the debate is that it gave Markey the opportunity to rattle off a few of his long lists of legislative achievements, and make Gomez continue to look foolish. Not that Markey managed that single-handedly; he had a lot of help from Gomez himself.
Gomez didn't get any of the traction he needed in this debate. In fact, he showed that he's on the wrong side of many issues in Massachusetts: gun safety, abortion, health care. What's going to matter in this special election is turn-out, and Markey needs to make it happen.