Clash over policies marks 2nd Ohio Senate debate

The second debate in Ohio's hotly contested U.S. Senate race turned almost vitriolic Thursday night, as Republican challenger Josh Mandel called Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown a liar and Brown said Mandel can't be trusted.
Associated Press
Oct 20, 2012


The tenor of the televised debate in Columbus mirrored the barrage of negative TV ads that have marked a race that is one of the most expensive in the nation.

Mandel, the 35-year-old state treasurer, and Brown, 59, clashed not only personally but on most policy issues — gay marriage, Medicare, trade policy, taxes and government bailouts.

Mandel called the 2008 bailout begun under then-GOP President George Bush "fiscally irresponsible and morally wrong" and said he would not support similar moves if elected.

Mandel at one point urged viewers of the debate to "type in Google Translate" to understand Brown's "Washingtonspeak." He said Brown uses complicated explanations to distract from his poor record, and unemployed Ohioans need someone new.

"Since he went there six years ago? Unemployment, up. Gas prices, up. Health care costs, up. Foreclosure rates, up," Mandel said. "Senator, that's quite a record."

Brown criticized Mandel for failing to support the auto bailout that was connected to 800,000 Ohio jobs and for wanting to privatize Medicare. He said Mandel called his vote for the auto rescue "un-American."

"On the auto rescue, to call that 'Washingtonspeak' is a bit peculiar, because it kept tens of thousands of Ohioans at work," Brown said. "Josh Mandel's view of politics and economics? Tax cuts for the wealthy trickles down. Mine is to focus on the middle class and build the economy out."

Earlier at a presidential campaign event in Wintersville, Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland said his opposition to the rescue "showed Josh Mandel is not only a bad candidate but a foolish person."

One sharp exchange during the debate was over Brown's vote against Sen. Rand Paul's legislation that would have cut off U.S. aid to Egypt, Pakistan and Libya.

"Sherrod Brown voted to give your money to Libya and Egypt," said Mandel, a two-tour Marine veteran. "Senator, these countries will hate us without you paying them to hate us."

Brown said the bill was overwhelmingly opposed by both Republicans and Democrats, in part because it jeopardized assistance to Israel, the United States' strongest ally in the Middle East.

"That's not Washingtonspeak. That's keeping our country safe," Brown said.

After the debate, U.S. Sen. and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain issued a statement complimenting Mandel's performance.

"Josh proved tonight that he has the experience and knowledge to go toe-to-toe with politicians in Washington responsible for the wasteful spending," McCain said.

Brown said he's won the endorsements of many Ohio newspapers because Mandel has held four offices in seven years and can't be trusted to show up to work. He was referring to the fact that Mandel missed the first 14 monthly meetings of the powerful Board of Deposit that he chairs as treasurer.

"He's more concerned about his next job than the jobs of people in this country," Brown said. "This is hardly somebody who's going to be Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

After one such exchange, Mandel stared into the camera and said, "Senator, you are a liar," telling viewers Brown has continually directed unjust attacks at his character. He said he would not be bullied by either political party if elected.

Brown replied that calling someone a liar was a new low.

"Being called a liar by the winner of the pants-on-crown-fire is a pretty remarkable thing for a young man to say, or for a man of any age to say in a political debate," Brown said.

He referred to the fact that The Plain Dealer newspaper's truth-squad Politifact column has awarded more of Mandel's statements pants-on-fire rankings for being untrue than any other politician this cycle.

Mandel was a Cleveland-area city councilman and state legislator before being elected state treasurer two years ago. Brown is a former Ohio secretary of state who was elected to the U.S. House in 1992 and is serving his first term in the Senate.

Polls have consistently shown Brown with a slight lead.

The debate was held at the corporate headquarters of Nationwide Insurance in downtown Columbus. It was sponsored by a network of Ohio's eight largest newspapers, The Columbus Dispatch and WBNS-TV.



The Big Dog's back

mandel is such a weasel.

The New World Czar

Sherrod Brown represents the weak underbelly of those who depend on government. I will take the "weasel" over an Ivy League-educated career moocher any day.

Taxed Enough Already



go create your new world elsewhere...maybe somewhere in Russia...they used to have Czar's there. That or texas where they are more apt to have people like you.

The Big Dog's back

You will only vote for mandel because he has a "R" after his name. The guy has 0 credibility.


"He's more concerned about his next job than the jobs of people in this country," WOW, who knew brown was actually referring to prezo in this statement!!!


for the sixteen trillionth time (equals our deficit under prezo) the auto industry would have worked out had it followed the regular path through bankrupcy. however, prezo would not have all of the union leadership in his pants pocket.

looking around

Mandel is wet behind the ears, he's just no ready for office yet.....


Sen. Brown majored in Russian studies.

Comrade Senator Brown thinks that American communists like himself are smarter than the Bolsheviks and can succeed where they failed.

Socialism makes everyone equal; equally poor.



Who would've thought. China and Russia go Capitalist and America goes Marxist. The students (Russia and China) have become the teacher..and possibly our masters as well (if Big Business jumps ship to escape us..and joins THEM).


Yup, Mandel is a weasel. Can't even show up to work. BROWN 2012!


To change Washington, we MUST change the people we send there!!!

The Big Dog's back

That means you won't be voting for mandel then. mandel has been training with Repub Washington insiders for the last 22 months.


aw c'mon..really? Change it to what??? What the hell you want changed???? Explain what you want changed!


Just weasle spin. If we send this kid to Washington they will just send him home until he is potty trained.


neither live up to the expectations of average hardworking ohioians, we need someone who truly loves ohio, and not there party and peers.


wow big dog, you said it!! I see his commercials and the first word to my head is "weasel". Google Huffington Post..even out of staters use that word to describe this little snot nosed brat.
Hey, just to prove a many of you have ever seen a picture of a marine in his dress blues? What type of face does he have? Well, I've seen quite a few, and they are all stern, serious, f-with me and I'll kill you types of pics. Little Howie Mandel's "marine pic" in his dress blues shows him smiling like he just won the lottery. Gee, think the boy dug them out from his closest for a new photo-op? PHONEY BALONEY!!! Cheater, liar, thief.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Notice Mandel never mentioned combat experience? Does he rate a combat action ribbon?


id trust a man that served 2 tours of iraq before anyone else ~! js


As I trust my son-in-law who served a year in Iraq. But that doesn't qualify him to be a state senator.


Does anyone know what Mandel did while in Iraq? I don't think that I have ever read anything other than he served 2 tours.

@meowmix All of the pictures of family members that I have DO look like they could kick some butt. Weasel looks like someone just offered him some candy.


thanks for getting my point eriemom...something just doesn't sit right with this guy.


hint..We do know war. While any 1 serving is deserving of respect, DO NOT act like you have engaged the enemy unless you really have. (don't be a parade deck commando) Unless you are Pat Robertson.


Mandel does deserve our respect for serving. He just doesn't serve Ohioans well now. What would have happened to you while in the Marines if you went AWOL?