Brown, Mandel focus on attacking each other
October 22, 2012
Akron (OH) Beacon Journal
COLUMBUS: Thursday night’s debate between U.S. Senate candidates Sherrod Brown and Josh Mandel offered a chance to hear the candidates repeat their stump speeches. And also the chance to hear the candidates repeatedly call each other a liar.
Mandel, Ohio’s treasurer, hammered away at Brown for permitting “Wall Street bailouts” and contributing to Obama’s attempts to revive the economy.
“Sherrod Brown has had his chance,” Mandel said at the debate in Columbus sponsored by Ohio’s eight largest newspapers including the Akron Beacon Journal and a Columbus TV station. “He’s been there for 20 years.”
Brown responded saying he worked with Democrats and Republicans to form the bailouts because the country was losing “400,000 jobs a month.”
And Brown said his policies have been good business.
“There’s a new steel mill in Youngstown, Ohio, because we enforced trade laws,” the Democrat said.
Mandel countered by listing his endorsements from business-oriented groups and complained that Brown’s voting record consistently ran counter to groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Brown responded with criticism of Mandel’s record of attending the state’s committee that oversees investments while attending trips to raise money for the Senate race.
Mandel fought back by directly calling Brown a liar for misrepresenting his record.
Brown returned citing Mandel’s record of being labeled a “Pants on Fire Liar” by Politifact.
Mandel then accused Brown of concentrating on the attack rather than answering a question about working for bipartisan agreements. He went on to endorse term limits and a proposal not to pay legislators if they don’t meet budget goals.
Asked about trade laws designed to protect Ohio Jobs, Brown said the government must work harder to prevent China and other countries from cheating.
“Trade rules have not worked for America,” he said.
Mandel called that “Washington speak” and slammed his opponent for being responsible for the nation’s budget deficit.
Brown blamed much of the deficit on the Afghanistan and Iraq war, which came at a time of tax cuts.
When Brown was told he had run out of time for that question, Mandel added “calm down, Senator” drawing boos from the crowd that had been instructed to remain silent.
After a brief discussion of health care reform in which Brown said he was proud to help pass it, Mandel goaded the senator by calling him agitated and said he was excited “because the people of Ohio disagree with you.”
After a discussion of the possibility of closing Ohio’s military bases, Brown said he appreciated hearing a more calm discussion of issues rather than “name calling.”
The next question focused on same-sex marriage and Mandel said he wants to represent all Ohioans.
Brown then asked, “why should we believe Josh Mandel?” He went on to call Mandel “way out there” on social issues.
Mandel came back saying Brown’s attack was typical of a Washington politician.
Asked about methods of reducing the budget, Brown said, “Sorry if this is Washington speak, but I’d like to explain it Josh.” Then he went on to describe his tax policies and a proposal called the “Budget Control Act.”
Mandel called that more “Washington speak” and gobbledygook. The Republican moved on to attack foreign aid to Egypt, Pakistan and Libya. “Those people will hate us without giving them money,” he said.
Mandel, 35, served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine. He began his political career in 2003 as a Lyndhurst city councilman and represented the 17th District in the Ohio House starting in 2006. He won election to Ohio treasurer in 2010. He has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University.
Mandel has signed the Americans for Tax Reform no-tax pledge promoted by Grover Norquist.
Brown, 59, was an Ohio state representative from 1974 to 1982. He was elected Ohio secretary of state in 1982 and 1986 before losing a race to Robert Taft in 1990.
Brown was elected to his first term in the U.S. House in 1992 and was re-elected six times. He won his first Senate term in 2006.
The candidates will debate again Oct. 25 in Cincinnati.