@ByKristenMClark & @JeremySWallace
ORLANDO -- After weeks of sniping at each other on the campaign trail, Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy were able to do it in person Monday night in their first of two scheduled U.S. Senate debates before Election Day.
Over 57 heated minutes, Murphy, the Democratic challenger, repeatedly attacked Rubio for his absenteeism during his first term as U.S. senator and for his continued support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Rubio, meanwhile, highlighted embellishments Murphy made to his academic and professional résumés and what he called Murphy’s “record of doing absolutely nothing” in his first two terms in Congress.
Murphy — lagging in every poll since June and still lacking name recognition among a significant portion of likely voters — needed to shine Monday in front of his largest audience to date. Except for a few rattled moments and repetitious answers, he generally held his own against the more battle-tested Rubio, as the two also covered a gamut of policy issues including immigration, foreign policy, gun control, climate change and healthcare.
Photo credit: John Raoux / AP