Sparks Fly in Brown-Mandel Debate

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COLUMBUS — The U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and his challenger, Republican State Treasurer Josh Mandel, grew increasingly testy Thursday night.

They debated in Columbus and started trading barbs almost from the very beginning.  While there are clear differences on many issues, such as Brown’s support of Obamacare and Mandel’s criticism of it, this debate had a highly personal tone.

Brown accused Mandel of being more concerned about his next job, than about his current job. 

Mandel said, “I take personal offense to that.  And you are dead wrong.  It is why the Plain Dealer called your attacks on me false, deceiving, dishonest, incorrect, quote, unquote.  Lie of the year.  Senator, you are a liar.  You will lie to the people of Ohio.  You falsely attack me and I won’t stand for it.  You may want to push people around in Washington, but you’re not going to push me around.”

Brown replied quickly and forcefully, saying, “Being called a liar by the winner of the pants on fire crown is a pretty remarkable thing for a young man to say, or for that matter, anyone to say.  The Akron Beacon Journal wrote an editorial, how low can you go, Josh Mandel.  They misjudged. They didn’t know he could go lower than he did two months ago.”

The latest Real Clear Politics average of polling data indicates that Brown leads the race, but an analysis says the contest can go either way.