Overall a solid debate that was worth watching. Senator Brown came out swinging on multiple issues, from affirmative action to who's going to raise taxes and by how much. Elizabeth Warren maintained her focus on Brown's voting record that demonstrated continued financial support for large oil companies, and for the top 2% of income earners at the expense of everyone else. Simply put, her argument is best summed up in her words, "that's not where taxpayer money should go."
This is what fundamentally separates these two candidates: how will they choose to spend our tax dollars and what are their priorities. As Warren pointed to Brown's voting record, Brown worked hard to paint himself as a bipartisan legislator, even though he voted with his party 80% of the time before Warren entered the race, and nearly 60% of the time after she entered.
If you're in the middle class or if you're a woman, Warren clearly comes out on top in this one. She's demonstrated her dedication to the principles that matter to both groups. If you care about national security, Warren wins again as Brown is wholly tied by his party to Romney's reckless foreign policies. If you're wealthy and believe that social services and nation building at home creates an environment for you to succeed, as it has for the last 70 years, then Warren also wins. If you're in the top 2% of income earners, believe that you owe nothing back to your community, that our nation can succeed with decreased investment in education and infrastructure, and if you're a man that believes women deserve less pay for equal work, then Scott Brown's your man.
Question 7: Climate change, real? What should gov't do about it?
"By not supporting the keystone pipeline, she's killing union jobs." Brown
"Clean energy, that's where you produce real jobs and that's where Massachusetts has a real advantage." Warren
Warren highlights potential Senate Environmental Energy Leader, SEN Inhofe, who calls climate change "A Hoax."
"Senator Brown is for rigging the playing field." Warren
Scott Brown clings hard to "second most bipartisan Senator." Never... let... go... Scott...
Question 6 on college diplomas and investment in education.
"We need a better educated workforce." Elizabeth Warren
"Instead of investing in billions of dollars of oil subsidies, let's invest in education." Warren
Brown looking to scare voters on taxes, looking defensive. Warren talks with facts, connects with viewers.
"I'm in this race because I want other kids to have the chance to live the American dream." Warren
Brown continues to accuse Warren of misleading on the facts, wanting to take your money in her piggy bank to DC.
Scott Brown turning red. "He's right, he drew a line in the sand to protect millionaires and billionaires." -Warren
"I hope all the asbestos union employees are watching right now." Brown
"Senator Brown just doesn't want to talk about his votes." Warren
Question 5: When do we go to war in another country? What about Afghanistan?
Brown looks very stressed, Warren looks relaxed.
I know what families do when someone is deployed overseas.
"Our military gets anything done that we ask them to do, but that means we have to be very careful when we ask them." -Warren
"Defense, development, diplomacy. That's how we keep America safe." Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren clearly articulates her support for Obama's foreign policy. Brown tiptoes, working very hard not to show support for Romney.
"What this is really about is who you think should be Commander in Chief." -Warren
Question 4: Abortion - would you vote for a Supreme Court nominee who would vote against Roe v. Wade?
Warren: Roe v. Wade is settled law, no I would not.
Brown voted against Elena Kagan nomination.
Brown, "I'm sorry I didn't vote for your boss." Snarky snarky
Brown claims to be fighting for women, voted against equal pay for women.
"The women of Massachusetts deserve a senator they can count on not just some of the time, but all of the time." Warren
Brown continues to use "Professor" as a disparaging title.
Brown: "Equal pay for women would kill jobs." Really?
Question 3: Fiscal cliff will cost 40k jobs in MA in defense alone. What more than tax policy will help avoid the fiscal cliff?
Need to make cuts in Afghanistan, agriculture subsidies, big oil subsidies. Oil companies made $137B in profits last year. -Warren
"I'm not a friend of big oil. I'm a friend of the motorists." Scott Brown
Warren rightly explains how Brown has protected millionaires, worked against the 'Buffet Rule'.
"She's obsessed with raising taxes." Brown, attempting to escape his Senate votes.
"I'm out here for small businesses and families." Elizabeth Warren
"We waste hundreds of billions of your tax money." Scott Brown
"Protect breaks for those at the top, leave it to working families to pick up the pieces." Brown's strategy in DC
Question 2: Where and how do we create more jobs in Massachusetts?
"SEN Brown voted against 3 jobs bills in a row that would've provided 20,000 jobs here in Massachusetts." -Warren
SEN Brown responds, claims new jobs are too costly. SEN Brown claims all passed jobs bills this year as his own.
Warren: These jobs bills would've been paid for were it not for the millionaire tax breaks SEN Brown has supported.
"The tax number he's talking about, it's just not real." Elizabeth Warren
SEN Brown claims Warren wants to tax the middle class.
Extend tax breaks so taxes don't go up, SEN Brown said, "crystal clear, I'll vote to let taxes go up for everyone."
SEN Brown will protect top 2% and 3% at the expense of everyone else, will cost American families $2.1 trillion.
Question 1: Is your opponent's character an issue in this race?
Scott Brown comes out of the gate hard, challenging Warren's character on her ethnicity.
"It's about how you vote all of the time, not what you say some of the time." Elizabeth Warren
"You're a nice woman too." SEN Scott Brown presses hard again on affirmative action.
SEN Brown pins his hopes on big negative attack to start the debate.
For the most up-to-the-second updates, follow #MASen #wbzdebate; I'm @danfutrell w/ PolicyMic colleague @caitlinhowarth following tonight's debate.
After SEN Brown nearly canceled the debate due to vote scheduling in DC, we're on. Expected start shortly. Stay tuned...
In what's proven to be one of the big congressional races of the year, incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown faces Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren tonight in the first of four debates.
With national attention focused squarely this race, which has the potential to tip the Senate in favor of Republicans, Scott Brown will look to double down on his “likable guy” image. With the Republican Party earning negative attention the last couple weeks, from Romney's 47% comments, his reaction to activity in the Middle East, or Senate Republicans killing the Veterans Job Corps Act, Scott Brown will want to distance himself as much as possible from the policies of his party. Additionally, in the blue-heavy state of Massachusetts, he will have to reconcile his vote against the Affordable Care Act – modeled off of his own state's health care system – with Massachusetts residents' high approval of their system. He'll likely also have to defend his support for the Keystone Oil Pipeline, which facilitates continued dependence on fossil fuel, in light of Massachusetts' citizens' support for other alternative and sustainable energy options.
In contrast, Elizabeth Warren, who holds a lead over Brown in four out of five polls this week, will likely focus on her work and her commitment to protecting middle class America from increasing corporate interests. She stands on firm ground with regard to financial support from the average Massachusetts residents; over 80% of her donors the last quarter gave $50 or less, and yet she's still strongly outraised Brown since she launched her campaign last year.
Tonight is the first of four debates between the two, and will likely garner the highest viewership. These are high stakes for both candidates going into the final six weeks of the election. The debate will be carried live on WBZ, Boston's CBS affiliate, starting at 7pm.