Three words dominated Monday night's debate between U.S. Senate candidates Richard Blumenthal and Linda McMahon: jobs, jobs and jobs. Most of the hourlong discussion in Hartford was focused on the economy, with both candidates outlining their plans to help Connecticut families in tough times.
Blumenthal said his plan was to help small businesses. Specifically, he said his policies would encourage banks to give loans to small businesses, punish companies for moving jobs overseas and create incentives for buying products made in the United States. He also promised a tax cut for the middle class, while rolling back cuts for earners in to top 2 percent.
"I'm the only candidate here who would vote immediately for a middle-class tax cut," he said.
McMahon, however, said Blumenthal's plan was too government-centric. She accused him of wanting to raise taxes on small business owners. Her plan, she said, would lower taxes and create more incentives for entrepreneurs to hire more staff.
"Government doesn't know how to create jobs," McMahon said. "We have to let small businesses create jobs."
Both candidates cited their previous experiences as examples of their successes with economic issues. Blumenthal said that in his role as the state's attorney general, he "spent his life trying to help people."
"I am proud of my record in public service, and I am proud that I've helped people build their futures," he added. "My opponent ... has put profits ahead of people."
McMahon said her time as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment gave her the practical experience to help the economy. "I'm very proud of the fact that I created 600 jobs here in Connecticut, and over the past 26 years created an average of 20 jobs per year," she said. "And that's what we need in Washington."
In the most recent Quinnipiac University poll Sept. 28, Blumenthal held a 3-point lead over at 49 percent with McMahon at 46 percent of the likely voters. His lead was half what it was two weeks earlier, when he led 51 percent to 45 percent.
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