Richard Blumenthal in 2010 CT Senate Debates


On Families & Children: McMahon's WWE is adult entertainment marketed to children

When accused by Blumenthal of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby against efforts to crack down on adult entertainment being marketed to children, McMahon said she was pleased the company's programming has become PG-rated and said "it's insulting to the millions of people who watch WWE" for Blumenthal to suggest "it is somehow less than quality entertainment."

Outside the debate, hundreds of supporters for both candidates tried to shout down one another. Blumenthal supporters, many representing local labor unions, brought a huge inflatable "fat cat" with the name tag Linda McMahon around its neck. The cat held an inflatable worker, which hoisted a sign that read: "Don't cut my minimum wage," a reference to McMahon's recent comments about how future minimum wage increases should be closely scrutinized to make sure small businesses are not being harmed.

Blumenthal criticized WWE accepting $10 million in state tax credits and later laying off 10% of its work force in 2009.

Source: NPR coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 12, 2010

On Jobs: More job training and more R&D tax credits

Much of the debate focused on jobs. McMahon spoke of the need to provide businesses with "an environment of certainty" when it comes to regulations and taxes, so owners know whether they can risk hiring more workers.

Blumenthal said the government can do a better job providing financing and loans to businesses, as well as providing job training and targeted tax deductions for research and development, startup companies and firms that hire new workers. He also called for closing loopholes that allow U.S. companies to send jobs overseas.

McMahon, who used a clip from Blumenthal's response from an earlier debate about how to create a job, [in which Blumenthal stumbled over how government should be involved,] as a political ad, chided her opponent for improving his answer during this latest debate. "I'm very happy you have a notion on how to create jobs," McMahon said.

Source: NPR coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 12, 2010

On Principles & Values: Seven of McMahon's WWE wrestlers have died this year

McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, tried to paint Blumenthal as a career politician who has "a difficult time telling the truth," mentioning the instances when he misspoke about his military record.

Blumenthal shot back, saying he would not be lectured by someone who has badly treated her employees, bringing up how seven wrestlers have died since the newcomer politician began her quest last year to fill the Senate seat. "The people of Connecticut know me and they have taken the measure of my character over 20 years," Blumenthal said.

McMahon, who acknowledged the WWE has "pushed the envelope" over the years with its programming, said she remains proud of the company, which she said has created an average of 20 jobs a year over the last 28 years and expects to hire an additional 100 to 140 workers next year.

Source: NPR coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 12, 2010

On Corporations: Defend small businesses against wrongdoing, & defend record

The Democrat defended his record as attorney general and rejected that lawsuits brought by his office have been harmful to small businesses. "We have used the legal means available to make sure small businesses are defended against wrongdoing, as well as ordinary consumers," said Blumenthal, citing his defense of an auto dealership.

McMahon said she hadn't talked to a small businessperson who has benefited from Blumenthal's litigation.

Source: Wilton Villager coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Energy & Oil: Cap-and-trade OK; fuel cells & clean energy better

On energy policy, McMahon labeled her Democratic opponent a supporter of the cap-and-trade policy, which she described as an energy tax that will re-emerge under the Obama administration.

Blumenthal said he supported cap-and-trade in concept, but he rejected labeling it an energy tax. He called cap-and-trade legislation dead and said tax incentives should be directed toward fuel-cell and other clean-energy technologies.

Source: Wilton Villager coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Health Care: ObamaCare is a start to national reform

On health care, Blumenthal labeled the legislation approved in Washington, D.C., earlier this year as a start to the reform of the nation's healthcare system. McMahon vowed to repeal the legislation, which she said will increases costs.
Source: Wilton Villager coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Homeland Security: Apologizes again for having said he served in Vietnam

McMahon listed Blumenthal statements that her campaign commercials have centered upon, including occasions when he misrepresented his Vietnam War service and draft number.

Blumenthal said he was proud of his military record in the Marine Corps Reserves but on a few occasions out of hundreds of public speeches, he said he served in Vietnam. "I apologize as I have done before to the people of Connecticut, most particularly to our veterans, and I will continue to champion the cause of veterans," he said.

Source: Connecticut Post coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Jobs: Contractors without health insurance aren't good jobs

McMahon said that as a businesswoman she is better able to represent the state in the U.S. Senate because she has experience creating jobs and Blumenthal doesn't. "Over the last 28 years, WWE has averaged creating 20 jobs a year, primarily in this state. And I can tell you that's what we need more of," McMahon said. "We need someone who knows how to create jobs in the private sector so that we can have an economic recovery."

"She talks about creating jobs," Blumenthal said. "Many of the jobs she's created at WWE have no health insurance, the wrestlers and others are hired as independent contractors." Blumenthal said the WWE is under investigation by the state for allegedly classifying wrestlers as independent contractors, denying health insurance benefits and dodging taxes. "Creating those kinds of jobs, without health insurance is certainly not something that I would brag about," he said.

Source: Connecticut Post coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Principles & Values: I have spent my life helping people build their futures

Blumenthal and McMahon traded barbs on their respective records. "She is different from me," said Blumenthal, longtime state attorney general and former General Assembly member. "She has spent her life building her fortune. I have spent my life helping people build their futures." Blumenthal, citing his work as attorney general, presented himself as a fighter "for the people of Connecticut" and his opponents as beholden to special interests.

McMahon stood by her record as former chief and executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment. She painted Blumenthal as a career politician who, as a state legislator, voted for a record tax increase. "I don't think we can send Mr. Blumenthal to Washington with his tax-and-spend philosophy," McMahon said. "We can't afford Dick Blumenthal in Washington."

Source: Wilton Villager coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Tax Reform: Nation's wealthiest don't need extension of Bush tax breaks

McMahon confronted Blumenthal with his 1989 vote in the state Senate on an $850 million tax increase. Blumenthal defended his record in the General Assembly, which preceded his 20-year career as attorney general.

"Let me remind you, when he was in the Legislature, one year he voted for an $850 million tax increase that affected middle-class Americans," said McMahon. "We're still paying for it today," said McMahon. "And he almost doubled state spending. We cannot afford another tax-and-spend senator in Washington. We can't afford you Mr. Blumenthal, we've had enough of you already."

McMahon said Blumenthal would allow many of the Bush-era tax breaks to end with this year's calendar, to which Blumenthal replied that the nation's wealthiest don't need them and that he would focus on helping small businesses.

"I certainly want to say to everyone here that I believe that now in time of recession we should not raise taxes on anyone, certainly not on the middle class," McMahon said.

Source: Connecticut Post coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Tax Reform: Don't hold middle-income tax cut hostage to wealthiest 2%

Blumenthal said, "I would not hold the middle-income tax cut hostage to a tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent."

McMahon, in rebuttal, reiterated her position on tax cuts: "We should not raise taxes on anyone, certainly not on the middle class," she said. She painted Blumenthal as a career politician who, as a state legislator, voted for a record tax increase. "I don't think we can send Mr. Blumenthal to Washington with his tax-and-spend philosophy," McMahon said.

Source: Wilton Villager coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Foreign Policy: 2-state solution in Israel after Palestine stops terrorism

Q: What role should the US play in the Israeli-Palestinian talks?

BLUMENTHAL: My dedication to the State of Israel is rooted in deep and longstanding personal ties to the nation and its people. I believe that a two-state solution is necessary to ensure Israel's continued existence as the homeland of the Jewish people, and provide security both for Israel and for the Palestinian people. However, before this objective can be met it is essential that Palestinian leaders stop aiding terrorism. In addition, they must recognize Israel's right to exist as an autonomous nation with Jerusalem as its capital.

McMAHON: I support a sustainable two-state solution to the conflict. This is both essential to the survival and security of Israel as a democracy and a fundamental American interest. Palestinians must guarantee Israel's security by stating any resolution is truly the end to all violence and that Israel should be recognized as the state of Jewish people.

Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

On Immigration: Enact comprehensive solution; piecemeal approach fails

Q: What is your stand on the current debate surrounding the immigration issue?

BLUMENTHAL: We need to establish a comprehensive, federal solution to our ongoing immigration problem. We must secure our borders, and crack down on employers flouting the law by hiring undocumented immigrants. Piecemeal approaches to fixing this problem by various states are not the answer--Washington must fulfill its responsibility by enacting a comprehensive solution.

McMAHON: I oppose amnesty. I support legal immigration and I believe much of this country's strength and prosperity has come as a result of the immense contributions immigrants have made. We have historically welcomed the best workers and the best minds from every country, and I believe we should continue to do so provided it is done legally. We are a nation built on the rule of law, and immigration laws--like all laws--must be enforced.

Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

On Tax Reform: Extending Bush tax cuts for wealthiest 2% is wrong

Q: Would you roll back the Bush-era tax cuts?

BLUMENTHAL: I support extending tax cuts for the middle class. My opponent would vote against tax cuts for the middle class unless and until the wealthiest 2% get tax cuts too. I think that is wrong.

McMAHON: I would make the current tax law permanent. Allowing the tax law to change as proposed would negatively affect our most successful small businesses and our seniors. It is estimated that $1.8 billion will leave the state and be in the hands of Washington politicians if the proposed tax increases go into effect. Only four states in the union will be hit harder than Connecticut. The tax hikes would significantly affect the economy in Connecticut, most notably in the number of jobs and change in personal income. From 2011 to 2020, the state of Connecticut would:

Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

On Technology: Engage private sector to gather intel for homeland security

Q: Do you consider it good luck or good planning that we have not had a major terrorist attack on American shores?

McMAHON: Both. The terrorists only need to succeed once, while we must get it right every single time.

BLUMENTHAL: While I am thankful that there has not been a successful attack on American shores since 9/11/2001, real threats remain. It is therefore vital that we use both military and non-military methods to target and attack the terrorists where they are. This includes targeting Al Qaeda's organizations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen as well as its affiliates like Al-Shabaab in Somalia. At the same time, we must do more at home to remedy the unacceptable flaws exposed in our homeland security, by improving information sharing, bringing together the best technology and the most effective management strategies to get people working across agencies, and to engage the private sector to collect, understand, and mobilize information in real time to improve our national security.

Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

On War & Peace: Strengthen sanctions on Iran, adding an arms embargo

Q: Do you believe the sanctions on Iran are proving effective in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons?

BLUMENTHAL: The current political leadership in Tehran has repeatedly demonstrated antipathy toward basic human rights, and an unyielding animosity toward Israel. I support strengthening the current structure of sanctions on Iran, and work to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime until it relinquishes its aspirations for nuclear weapons. Some of the actions I would support include gaining international support for an arms embargo, targeted travel bans, freezing of assets, and sanctions designed to impede the flow of refined petroleum products into Iran.

McMAHON: The first, and most important, thing we must do is prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The US should continue to exert pressure and press for hard sanctions against Iran until the threat is neutralized. All options in dealing with Iran must remain on the table.

Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

The above quotations are from 2010 Connecticut Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts from 2010 Connecticut Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts by Richard Blumenthal.
Click here for a profile of Richard Blumenthal.
Richard Blumenthal on other issues:
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Jobs
Principles
Social Security
Tax Reform
Technology
War/Peace
Welfare
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Page last updated: Nov 01, 2010