Thompson, Baldwin meet in final debate - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Thompson, Baldwin meet in final debate

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Candidates for Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat met Friday evening in their final debate before Election Day.

The debate at Marquette Law School in Milwaukee started with the candidates defending who they are.

"In Wisconsin, we have a tradition of progressivism," said Tammy Baldwin, a Democratic congresswoman from Madison.

"I'm a conservative, but I've always been able to work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents," said Tommy Thompson, a former Republican governor of Wisconsin.

Thompson and Baldwin have waged a heated battle for the state's open U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Herb Kohl. At the debate, each tried to explain why he or she would be best for the job.

"On jobs, I've fought for leveling the playing field," said Baldwin.

"We've reformed health care, we've reformed education, we've reformed the tax system," said Thompson.  

This debate was unlike the previous one held in Wausau. It actually contained some light-hearted moments between the candidates and moderator.

But it wasn't all smiles. The candidates had plenty of heated exchanges including one about September 11. Thompson criticized Baldwin for not voting on a resolution to honor the victims of that tragedy.

"I was upset when everybody else in the state of Wisconsin, all the other congressional delegates voted for that, and Congresswoman Baldwin didn't," said Thompson.

But Baldwin hit back, saying that 2006 resolution sought to politicize the attacks.

"I'm outraged that Tommy Thompson would question my patriotism," she said.

The candidates also discussed health care, the deficit, and jobs. And it's the last time they'll meet in person. The election is just 11 days away on November 6.

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