U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren went at each other like prizefighters in this Golden Gloves town, jabs and roundhouses over her Native American heritage claims, his ties to the GOP and who really cares about the middle class.
In front of a UMass Lowell Tsongas Center audience of more than 5,000 eager to see political body blows, the rivals finally took the gloves off, delivering a steady drumbeat of withering one-liners in an electrifying match last night that provided some of the most pivotal and defining moments yet as the tumultuous campaign plays out in a national spotlight.
This largely blue state's Republican junior senator and the Harvard Law professor mixed it up over her minority status claims, illegal immigration, who is the best Supreme Court justice and who is genuinely for the middle class in the hour-long forum. Brown, who famously coined the phrase "the People's Seat" in the 2010 debate, got in what may be a new signature line -- cutting Warren off when she tried to interrupt him.
"Excuse me," he said, "I'm not a student in your classroom. Please let me respond."
It was in fact an echo of a quip Brown used in 2010 when he told Attorney General Martha Coakley, "I'm not in your courtroom, and I'm not a defendant."
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