Same candidates, different format.
In some ways, the second debate between U.S. Senate candidates Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson was different because the moderators tried to stay out of the way more often, on purpose. The candidates were able to answer questions and argue between themselves.
Last night’s debate between the Wisconsin U-S Senate candidates spurred accusations that both made financial decisions which helped Iran’s effort to obtain nuclear weapons. Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Republican Tommy Thompson both promised to fight Iran’s ability to get nuclear fire-power, and keep Wisconsin troops from having to do battle in that country. But just before the debate, the Huffington Post said Thompson had investments in companies that do business with Iran. And Baldwin brought it up during the statewide broadcast from Wausau. She said one of the companies made uranium for Iran. But Thompson said he only learned about the investments yesterday, and he sold them before taking the stage. He said he doesn’t agree with anyone doing business with Iran.
Thompson also went on the offensive. He challenged Baldwin for taking $60,000 in campaign money from the Council for a Livable World, which opposes U-S sanctions against Iran. Baldwin said she never heard of the group – even though its donation made statewide news yesterday. And the Madison congresswoman she remembered voting twice – not four times – against tougher sanctions. Baldwin said there were efforts by the Iranian people to promote democracy at the time, and she wanted those efforts to succeed without the U-S cracking down.
The two also sparred over jobs, taxes, the federal deficit, health care, and education. They were allowed to challenge each other for most of the one-hour forum, which reflected the closeness of the race. Most independent polls have them in a dead heat. But an N-B-C-Wall Street Journal-Marist poll released yesterday put Baldwin up by four points, 49-45. Their final debate will be a week from tonight.