In it, but not of it. TPM DC

MA Senate Debate Underscores Vulnerability Of Health Care Reform


Brown also took a hard line against the coming terrorism trials in New York City, lambasting Attorney General Eric Holder by saying, "It's time we stopped acting like lawyers and started acting like patriots." He also defended the use of waterboarding, disagreeing with Sen. John McCain (who endorsed him recently): "I do not believe it is torture. America does not torture, and we used aggressive, enhanced interrogation techniques."

Brown defended his use of a 1962 video of President John F. Kennedy in a new campaign ad, promoting a platform of tax cuts. "Let's talk about the ad real quick," said Brown. "Different people, different party, different era, same message -- lower taxes create jobs." He later added, "JFK was right, I agree with him, so I'm similar with him in that regard. Martha and the Democrat Party are not in line with JFK in that regard anymore."

Coakley responded that when Kennedy was proposing tax cuts in 1962, the top marginal rate was 91% -- a completely different circumstance from now. She also later said of the ad, "I think he's got the wrong president in the ad. I think it should be Scott Brown and George Bush."

There was also that third candidate at the debate. Software developer Joe Kennedy (who is not related to the famous Kennedy family, but simply shares their common Irish name) could potentially siphon votes from Brown with his staunch libertarianism, an important point if the race gets close. Brown is for blocking the health care bill; Kennedy is for repealing every single line of it after it passes. Brown is for cutting taxes and shrinking government; Kennedy is for eliminating the Department of Education. Even on tax cuts, Brown claims the legacies of Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy; Joe Kennedy hearkens back all the way to Warren Harding.

Interestingly, it was noted that Coakley was in favor of Kennedy's inclusion in the debate.