Debate Coverage | Third Senate debate highlights education, women’s rights
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 08:10
Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass) and Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren met for their third debate in Springfield, Mass. last night to talk unemployment, education costs and other national and local issues in the race for the U.S. Senate Massachusetts seat.
The candidates dug deep into each other’s histories, drawing on ideological differences on issues including jobs, health care costs, high college tuition, the federal budget and women’s rights.
Brown (LA ’81) and Warren answered questions posed by Massachusetts residents before the debate, which was moderated by WGBY-TV host Jim Madigan.
Warren and Brown sparred over the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, the Democratic candidate emphasizing that the bill would benefit research and savings in Massachusetts.
“This is going to be a big driver for the economy here in Massachusetts and ultimately for saving health care around the country,” Warren said.
In a spirited exchange over the high cost of education, Brown cited his time attending school in Massachusetts — including at Tufts as an undergraduate — as supporting his experience with the issue. He claimed that Warren’s $350,000 salary for teaching at Harvard is part of the problem of “out of sight” education costs.
“I’ve been working very hard to find ways to provide a good value for our dollar and to stretch those dollars,” he said.
Warren bemoaned the lack of investment in education compared to when she was a student.
“I went to a commuter college and I ended up a professor ... I’m proud to have made it where I made it in my profession,” she said. “But
I paid $50 a semester because America was investing in colleges and universities at the time.”
Brown extolled his experience in the Senate since his unexpected victory in the January 2010 special election.
“[I’m] truly working very hard in a bipartisan manner,” he said.
When asked to defend his record on women’s issues, Brown noted his pro-choice stance on abortion and his support of women in the armed forces.
On the same question, Warren pointed back to several “no” votes that Brown has taken in the Senate that she called “bad votes for women,” including those for equal pay for equal work, birth control and a pro-choice woman on the Supreme Court.
Recent polls show Warren and Brown in a close race that is being watched across the country as the Democrats vie to keep control of the Senate.
A final debate between Brown and Warren will be held on Oct. 30 in Boston.