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 two percent and the top three 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 it 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," he said. 

"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. 

Steevo September 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM
I think so much is implied just from the Cherokee issue. "This is my family, this is who I am … I can’t and won’t change who I am, I am who I am." It's all been debunked and yet behold, candidate Warren.
Kathleen Brothers September 21, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I liked Brown. I think Warren came across as whiny, not the strong person I would want as Senator.
Mary September 21, 2012 at 01:36 PM
The Cherokee issue is an important one. Professor Warren said that the fact that she was a minority when she attended school did not do anything to get her the jobs that she got. Wrong! Any employer that looks at a resume and sees that you graduated from Harvard would think more favorably on hiring you then any other college. She checked the minority box to get into Harvard and that was one big lie. Anyone can say that their parents talked about their family being from an American Indian decent and get a free boat into college. I don't buy her story. I like Senator Brown. He was a lot more polished when it came to government issues. Yes Kathleen, I agree, she did come across whiny. She also repeated herself throughout the entire debate. She sounded like all of her campaign ads on the TV.
Bill Gilman (Editor) September 21, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Whoa Mary ... jumping to a few conclusions here. there is no evidence that Professor Warren was admitted to Harvard BECAUSE she claimed native American heritage. And as far as I know, she did not a get free college tuition. Moreover, are we really going to start electing people to office or not based on a decision they made when they were 18. Personally, I made TONS of bad decisions when I was 18. Qualifications and policy are excellent topics to debate. Let's try to keep to that.
TMHSGrad September 21, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Professor Warren did not use her "native American heritage" to get into Harvard, but she did use it to get a job there.
Joe L September 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM
FYI - It's a Federal Offense to claim minority status when you are not. But let's stick to the issues. Prof. Warren banged on Senator Brown for not signing a bill to raise taxes on small businesses (S-Corps). I'm not sure how that hurts Brown. She keeps saying how Brown is in the palms of the big corporations and Wall Street. But where does a lot of her money come from? Wait for it...WALL STREET. Both Democrats and Republicans get money from Wall Street and from big corporations. So for either one to bang on the other for this is preposterous. And if Scott Brown was in the pockets of the big corporations why would he have signed on to the Dodd-Frank bill that is a huge hindrance to business in general let alone big business. I'm not the biggest fan of Senator Brown, but in my opinion his short comings are nothing compared to the policies Prof. Warren would like to implement.
Bob September 21, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Bill, I disagree! This wasn't when she was 18! This was into the 90's as a faculty member at Harvard! She got the job at Harvard, it could be argued, because she checked the "non-white" box on the application which they and she will not release! I say that because Harvard listed her on their diversity in faculty section as non-white. She was in her 40's! This points directly to character and I for one take that seriously in my elected representatives!
Steevo September 21, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Indeed Bob. Don't understand what you're on about Bill?
Bill Gilman (Editor) September 21, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Mea Culpa. I misunderstood Mary's point. I read it to mean getting into college as a student and getting free tuition as a minority. I see now the point was related to getting a job. Thanks for the clarification.
Douglas W. Sears September 21, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Prof Warren teacher at Harvard Law School but she graduated from Rutgers Law School. Barak Obama and Mitt Romney are both graduates of Harvard Law School.
derf September 21, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Scott Brown is in independent thinker, he has not towed the party line and I think tried to do whatever is best for the people, and has taken heat from the Republican party. Mrs. Warren totally supports Pres. Obama and will always vote her party, no matter what. We need more people like Scott Brown, people who work for the people and not just their party. It looks to me like Mrs. Warren is a tax and spend liberal, and do whatever the party tells me to do.
Michael Quinlan September 22, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Warren is further to the left than is Obama. That may not seem possible but is yet true. Imagine a 100 Professor Warrens in the United States Senate. [Shudder.]


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