Superfans Would be Right at Home at Senate Debate

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Photo by Nicolette Weinbaum '11

Mark Schwabacher ’13

Staff Writer

The tone of this year’s Senate Debate between Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) and former WWE CEO Linda McMahon has been described as “increasingly combative” by the New York Times, and their debate on Oct. 7 was no exception.

Each candidate launched biting critiques at the other without missing a beat, turning every question posed to them by the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce into an opportunity to criticize their opponent.

“We can’t afford Dick Blumenthal in Washington!” said McMahon, to cheers, chants, and boos from the audience of Connecticut businessmen.  It was almost like a Staples sports game.  The Superfans were there for both sides, except they had swapped in their sweatshirts for suits.

After Blumenthal responded to this comment, it was his turn to go on the offensive.  He pointed out that McMahon’s former company, World Wrestling Entertainment, sends jobs oversees and said that McMahon “tipped off” a doctor to a federal investigation and spent thousands of dollars on a lobbyist to lobby legislation in Congress.

Yet despite the insults, there were times when meaningful comments were made that highlighted the difference between these two figures.  For example, McMahon voiced support of extending the Bush Tax Cuts while Blumenthal preferred “targeted aid” to provide more tax cuts for the middle class and less tax cuts for those who could afford it.

It was also intriguing to learn that they actually shared viewpoints on some things.  When asked about the Cuban trade embargo, both candidates said we should, “take steps” to reopen trade with our Caribbean neighbor as an effort to spur job creation.

These debates can be nothing but bouts of mudslinging, but this debate between Linda McMahon and Richard Blumenthal did have some facts for someone who wished to learn about their positions.