The debate between Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in Lowell, Mass., Monday night can be summed up in one word: fiery.
The debate, second in a series of four televised debates, was moderated by David Gregory, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," and covered a wide range of topics including Warren's identifying herself as Native American, the concept of bipartisanship and the future of Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.
Indeed, it wasn't policy ideas that made the debate memorable. For 60 minutes, Massachusetts voters and political observers outside the state were treated to a series of hard hits from the two candidates about their opponents' past work, voting records and personal character.
The major themes of attack were familiar: Brown criticized Warren for self-identifying as Native American to her employers (despite her questionable lineage), suggesting that was a sign that Warren was untrustworthy. Warren criticized Brown's voting record, saying that he "stands with the millionaires" and is not as moderate as he claims to be.
The hardest hit came from Brown, 53. During a discussion about the freshmen senator's voting record during his first term, Warren, 63, who is a professor at Harvard Law School, gave a lengthy response in which she listed a series of job bills on which Brown had voted with Republicans.
Brown responded, saying that Warren was "misstating the facts," at which point Warren interjected and Brown fired on her to let him respond.
"Excuse me," Brown said. "I'm not a student in your classroom. Please let me respond."
Brown frequently highlights Warren's job - he almost always refers to her as "Professor Warren" - which some observers interpret as an attempt to label Warren as an elitist.
Earlier in the debate, when Gregory asked Warren whether it bothered her that Brown almost always refers to her as "professor," Warren said it did not.
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