Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown and his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren engaged in a fiery debate Monday night as Brown insisted that he has a history of working across the aisle while Warren said his attempt to appear moderate was at odds with what he says while fundraising.
NBC's David Gregory moderates the Massachusetts Senate debate between U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren.
“He stands with the millionaires. He stands with the billionaires. He’s not there for people who are out of work,” said Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, according to the Boston Globe.
Brown, meanwhile, pushed Warren to name a single Republican she could work with in the Senate.
She finally named Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, who lost his primary fight in the spring to a more conservative Republican.
The candidates also debated Warren’s Native American heritage. Brown asked her to release her personnel records, the Globe reported; Warren rebutted that she had learned about her heritage from her mother and that she hadn’t received advantages.
“To try to turn it into something bigger is just wrong,” she said, according to the Globe. Brown, 53, has suggested in the past that Warren has exploited her background to get jobs or get into schools.
The televised debate was held at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, co-sponsored by the Boston Herald – which described the debate as a slugfest – and moderated by NBC’s David Gregory before a raucous crowd of more than 5,000. Scott and Warren will face off again on Oct. 10 in Springfield and Oct. 30 in Boston.
When Warren listed job bills, saying that Brown had voted against them in step with the GOP, Brown countered that she had misstated the facts. When Warren tried to interrupt him, he testily replied, “I’m not a student in your classroom, please let me respond.”
(Brown has referred to her as “Professor Warren” in debates, which Warren says she doesn’t mind, according to The Associated Press.)
The candidates disagreed about Afghanistan, although both strayed from party lines. Warren said she would withdraw U.S. troops before the 2014 deadline set by the president; Brown said he wouldn’t want to cross the president, the AP reported.
They even debated whether the Red Sox manager should be given another year, the Boston Herald reported. Warren said Bobby Valentine should be given another year; Brown recalled that Warren had previously predicted that Red Sox would win 90 games.
Recent polls show Warren, 63, a Harvard Law School professor and former official in President Barack Obama's administration, maintains a slim lead over Brown, who swept into the Senate in a special election in 2010 after the death of revered Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy.
Christopher Evans / AP
Republican Sen. Scott Brown, left, answers a question during a debate against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, center, sponsored by the Boston Herald at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, Mass., Monday, Oct. 1, 2012.
Democrats have a 51-47 advantage over Republicans in the 100-seat U.S. Senate, with two independents. However, they are defending more than 20 seats against Republican challengers, while Republicans are defending only half that many.
Reuters contributed to this report.