Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Democrat Elizabeth Warren squared off in their second debate Monday night at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. The 60-minute debate hosted by NBC’s David Gregory wasn’t short on heated exchanges on many of the issues the candidates have been sparring over for months. Here are six takeaways from debate number 2:
* “I am not a student in your classroom”: This quip from Brown will likely be the most talked about one-liner from the Monday debate. After Warren listed the instances in which Brown voted against Democratic-backed bills, a back-and-forth ensued, as the senator tried to respond with a defense of his record. His line brought him some boos. For Brown, who is pitching himself as the likable candidate in this race, lines like this one could cut against the image he has carefully crafted.
* Native American story kicks off debate (again): Just like in the first debate, Brown and Warren began with a back and forth over the Democrat’s claim to Native American heritage. Since the last debate, Brown has aired two ads on the matter, and Warren has responded with one of her own.
Polls show the issue isn’t hurting Warren on its own. Brown, perhaps recognizing the danger of overplaying his hand, made sure to mention the importance of jobs and the economy in the campaign before calling on Warren to release her personnel records to substantiate her claim that she has never benefited professionally from her heritage.
* Brown mentions Scalia: When asked who his model Supreme Court justice is, Brown paused before naming Antonin Scalia, who hails from the conservative wing of the high court. As the audience reacted with gasps and some boos, he quickly named others, including Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Sonia Sotomayor (whom President Obama nominated). But the first name that came to Brown’s mind will likely be fodder for charges by Warren’s camp that Brown is too far to the right, especially given the state’s Democratic tilt.