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Liveblog: Linda McMahon vs Richard Blumenthal debate

7:01 - How has Blumenthal's elected office experience without business experience prepared him to be a senator?  He's fought tenaciously for Connectictians, he wants to keep jobs in the US, etc.  He thinks Linda will take CT back to the policies that led to the bailout.  He will give middle-class tax cuts without "being held hostage" by cuts for the rich.

7:03 - Reversed version of the question for Linda.  She doesn't want taxes raised for anyone, taxes on small business would stunt job creation, etc.  Very strongly emphasizing "small businesses" as a buzzword.

7:05 - Blumenthal replies that his tax cuts would be targeted towards small business.  He just wouldn't tie middle class/small business taxes to richest 2% tax cuts.  McMahon says she won't raise anyone's taxes and her hair looks like a bird's nest.

7:06 - Time for ?s about the attack ads.  Starting with the Blumenthal ad about WWE layoffs/independent contractor tax stuff/lowering the minimum wage.  She's rebutting the minimum wage thing as expected.  She's dancing around the layoff stuff and now playing up her bankruptcy.  "He's been on the government payroll all of his life!"

7:09 - Vietnam time.

7:10 - He regrets it, will stand up for veterans.  He's bringing up the tax incentives/layoffs more.  Minimum wage hedging time from both sides.  She says he doesn't understand how business works.  He's pushing the layoffs/tax credit/dividends issue more.

7:12 - More tax cut/economy ?s.  Blumenthal is echoing his earlier answers.

7:15 - Blumenthal wants to preserve Social Security, Linda wants the minimum wage to be kept on top of so it's raised when necessary.  Linda repeats the added jobs in the new/digital media department.  "Layoffs are hard.  They're really tough to do.  But sometimes you have to make those really tough decisions to move forward."  She's saying 100-140 employees will be added next year thanks to restructuring and the WWE Network project.  Blumenthal is saying that she's sending jobs overseas "by buying merchandise there." 

7:17 - Linda: "I won't talk about your money if you don't talk about your family owning the Empire State Building."  WWE Network has been in the works for a few years.

7:18 - Two specific programs Linda would get rid of  without attacking waste in specific programs?  She's attacking the stimulus for not dripping down into the private sector how it should have.  The unspent stimulus should pay down our debt, stimulus didn't work right, etc.  "Why should we have more stimulus today?"

7:20 - Blumenthal had said he wouldn't have voted for the stimulus.  What doesn't VP Biden get that Blumenthal does?  The bailout and stimulus were both too big without accountability, agrees with Linda that the money should've gone to infrastructure projects, had more restrictions, etc.  He wants to cut spending/lower the national debt.  Would end the lack of negotiation on Medicare drug prices, end rewards for moving jobs overseas, end wasteful agricultural subsidies.

7:22 - So what WOULD she cut and what what she increase?  She wouldn't have supported the bailouts and agrees about lack of accountability.

7:23 - More from Blumenthal about the stimulus not having enough accountability.

7:24 - Where can they work together/agree in a US where politics are so divisive?  Blumenthal says stimulus, big tobacco, internet safety.   Anti-special interests.

7:25 - "Mr. Blumenthal, would they be the special interests that are funding your campaign?"  Blah blah businesses negotiate.

7:27 - Blumenthal uses the sex/violence marketed to kids lobbying up as her Washington experience.  She's ignoring it and bringing up the more innocent lobbying.

7:28 - Candidates asking each other ?s time.  Why is WWE buying products from overseas so much?  She'd love to buy American but doesn't think the proper infrastructure is in place and thinks we need incentives to be able to maufacture more in the US.  Probably the best answer she could have given while answering the question, but Blumenthal is zeroing in on profits ahead of American jobs.  Linda reminds she's created 600 jobs in CT, 20 jobs per year, etc.  "How many jobs have YOU created?

7:31 - Linda to Dick: "Tell me something, how do you create a job?"  More about tax incentives from him.  Buy American etc, WWE bought from overseas.  Nasty back and forth leads to "I'm not going to be an entrepreneur as a senator" from Blumenthal to big applause.

7:33 - Foreign policy!  How would Linda assess Obama's strategy in Afghanistan?  But first, stop lying about her minimum wage comments she says.  We need a clear strategy but fears we have conflicting messages and strategies.  She wants a detailed briefing because she doesn't understand what's going on.  Blumenthal thinks we need to adhere to the previously set timetable for getting out this coming July, but need to continue the War On Terror into other countries.

7:37 - Health care time.  Pretty much the exact answers you'd expect.  She wants reform but not via this bill.  Blumenthal says it's a good start because of the changes in pre-existing condition rules etc.  Linda wants tort reform.  No health care for wrestlers/misclassification of wrestlers as independent contractors time, and she got a horrified look on her face.  Next question is about a murder case and death penalty.  He's in favor as a deterrent for certain cases (basically what makes up 1st degree murder in most jurisdictions).  She agrees on that and yup, independent contractor time.  She's saying the audit is politically motivated.  She's pointing out what is covered by WWE.  She's bringing up the wellness policy, uh oh...  He's saying his jurisdiction doesn't cover WWE and it's not his investigation.  It's dept. of labor and dept. of revenue services, not him.  Linda has no comment.  Well, that went well for him.

7:46 - Tea party time.  Wackos?  Nope, again the answers you'd expect.  And now she's saying she earned her campaign money and he didn't.  WRT tea party, on spending, Linda "has found that we are lock-step in those issues."  Blumenthal is talking about listening to constituents.  Linda has found her meetings w/  tea partiers to be informative.  Their volunteers are helpful.  Smaller government etc.

7:50 - LIGHTNING ROUND!  Nothing substantive, time for closing statements.

7:51 - Lifelong politicans bad.  Businesswoman good.  Don't forget that she's a mother and a grandmother!  Is she subtly taking shots at him not marrying/having?

7:53 - Blumenthal talking about people in the room who he helped keep their jobs and whatnot in his public service.  He's helped people build their futures, she built their fortunes.  STEROID REFERENCE!  Says she refuses to acknowledge their dangers.  Small businesses/middle class/tax talking points again.

7:55 - And that's it.  We end with a message from the Hartford Courant owner and don't get to see if the candidates shook hands.  Oh well.

7:56 - They're leaving the feed on as loud "LINDA!" chants go out, along with some "RICHARD!" chants.  Now the feed's gone.

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