Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Tammy Baldwin accused Republican opponent Tommy Thompson of trying to “politically profit” off of 9-11, as the two candidates met in their final debate of the campaign.
Friday’s debate at Marquette University Law School saw the two candidates restate well established positions on jobs, the economy, and health care. Each stood by those plans and often tried to frame themselves as the moderate candidate in the race, but it was a series of questions over a recent television ad from former Governor Thompson’s campaign that sparked some of the more emotional responses of the debate.
The ad, which started airing this week, criticizes Baldwin for voting against a 2006 U.S. House resolution honoring the victims of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Baldwin says she was “outraged that Tommy Thompson would question her patriotism” over the vote.
The Democratic Congresswoman says she opposed the measure only because Republicans filled the resolution with language supporting Bush administration policies, claiming it “politicized 9-11.” Baldwin also pointed out that she has voted yes on similar measures nine times during her time in the U.S. House of Representatives.
AUDIO: Tammy Baldwin (:17)
Thompson fired back that he “never questioned her patriotism, he questioned her judgment.” Thompson says it bothered him when Baldwin voted against the measure after every other member of Wisconsin’s House delegation voted in favor.
AUDIO: Tommy Thompson (:16)
The debate was the last of three in what has become an extremely tight contest for Wisconsin’s open U.S. Senate seat. Recent polls show the race is a dead heat between Thompson and Baldwin.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:04)