The candidates came out swinging. Brown started by immediately questioning Warren’s claim of being a native american saying that “She checked the box claiming she’s a Native American, and clearly she’s not. The only way to set the record straight is to release your personnel records … and you refuse to release your records, and I think that speaks volumes.”
Warren countered saying: “I never used it, never used it for getting into college, never used it for getting into law school. There’s nothing else there, the question has been asked and answered. I think the senator just doesn’t like the answer.”
Read more quotes after the jump.
Warren accused Brown of not voting for three of President Obama’s jobs bills.
Brown countered saying that three bills Warren was referring to would have raised “your” taxes by $450 billion and taken money out of small businesses. He said, “The only parts of the president’s jobs bill that passed were mine,” and accused Warren of putting forward proposals that would cut 700,000 jobs nationwide. “And I’m not going to stand for that,” Brown said.
“I believe billionaires should pay taxes at least at the same rate their secretaries do. Sen. Brown voted against that,” Warren said, referring to the so-called “Buffet Rule.” She added that Brown opposed extending middle class tax cuts without also protecting tax breaks for the highest 2 percent of earners.
“Her criticism of me is that I’m not going to raise taxes, and that’s an accurate criticism,” Brown responded.
And later again said he was “guilty as charged” of not raising taxes. “If you want someone who’s going to spend your tax dollars, give it to Professor Warren, she’ll spend them,” he said.
On Tax Breaks for Oil Companies
Warren said Brown has opposed changes to the tax code that would eliminate certain tax deductions for oil companies.
Brown replied that “I’m no friend to big oil. I’m a friend to the motorist. It took $40 to fill up the truck the other day.” Brown said that to changing the tax code for oil companies in the middle of a recession and the tourist season would have had negative impacts on consumers already paying high gas prices.
“She’s obsessed with raising taxes,” he continued.
On Women’s Issues
Warren several times highlighted times that Brown has voted against several feminist bills, such as the “equal pay for equal work bill”, and Brown’s opposition to mandating contraceptive coverage for all employers, including those who would have religious objectsions. Warren said that women can only count on Brown’s support “some of the time.” and deserve as Senator that they can count on all of the time, apparently claiming that she will vote for any bill proposed by feminists.
Brown countered that “You should stop scaring women… I’ve been fighting for women since I was 6 years old”.
Brown also defended his support for the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed employers and hospitals to use moral or religious objections to deny coverage for contraception and other women’s health treatments. He said he and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, whose seat he filled in 2010, shared that belief. “I’m going to fight for the rights of Catholics to practice their faith. I’m not going to pit women against their faith and their church,” Brown said.
On Asbestos and Travellers Insurance
Brown attacked Warren for her role in a Supreme Court case representing Travelers insurance company in its attempt to gain immunity against lawsuits from asbestos victims by establishing a trust. Brown said Warren was paid $225,000 to effectively deny benefits to asbestos poisoning victims.
This is an issue that hasn’t gotten the coverage it deserves. Here is how the Boston Globe reported it back in May:
It was also notable because Warren, who has gained fame for defending consumers against big business, was in this case working on behalf of a big business. For her contribution, Warren was paid $212,000 over three years by Travelers, the nation’s largest insurer.
Travelers was fighting to gain permanent immunity from asbestos-related lawsuits by establishing a $500 million trust. The trust would have been divided among current and future victims of asbestos poisoning who had claims against the nation’s largest asbestos manufacturer, Johns-Manville, which had been insured by Travelers before it went bankrupt.
Travelers won most of what it wanted from the Supreme Court, and in doing so Warren helped preserve an element of bankruptcy law that ensured that victims of large-scale corporate malfeasance would have a better chance of getting compensated, even when the responsible companies go bankrupt.
This was via an excellent debate analysis by Michael Tomasky on The Daily Beast.