U.S. Senate rivals Edward J. Markey and Gabriel Gomez lobbed barbs at
one another in their first face-to-face exchange last night, with Gomez accusing
his Democratic opponent of being a Beltway insider while Markey tried to tie
Gomez to national Republicans.
The two kicked off the hour-long debate clashing over who is more negative. Gomez, a Cohasset Republican, slammed the Malden Democrat for linking his opposition to the automatic weapons ban to the Newtown shooting tragedy.
"That is beyond disgusting," said Gomez, claiming Markey was "the first candidate to evoke the Newtown massacre."
Markey replied, "I'm not linking Mr. Gomez to Newtown. That's a ludicrous position he's taking."
The candidates, battling to win the June 25 special election, sparred over abortion rights and the IRS and Benghazi scandals in Washington, D.C., in the Boston Globe/WBZ-TV debate.
But Gomez spent most of his time painting Markey as a D.C. insider, out of touch with Bay State voters. Markey worked to tie Gomez to national Republicans such as Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell.
"You're going to hear a lot of the same old, stale Republican ideas," Markey said of Gomez.
Gomez repeatedly went after the nearly 40-year congressman for toeing the Democratic Party line.
During one exchange about the Benghazi terrorist attack, Gomez blasted Markey for claiming that Republicans are only interested in the scandal to hurt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential career.
"I can't think of a more classic example of putting partisan politics above people," Gomez said.
Markey pounced when the Republican said he would approve a pro-life judge to the Supreme Court who could vote to repeal Roe vs. Wade.
"You just said to the women of this state that you could support a Supreme Court candidate who would do that," said Markey, adding, "I have been pro-choice for 30 years."
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