Elizabeth Warren says Scott Brown stands with millionaires

Republican Sen. Scott Brown, left, shakes hands with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren prior to their debate in Springfield, Mass., Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

In their third head-to-head match up, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and his challenger Elizabeth Warren battle over Washington's priorities, with Brown vowing not to increase taxes and Warren charging that his uncompromising approach protects the pocketbooks of the wealthy.

"I've never voted for a tax increase and I'm not going to be raising taxes on any American," Brown declared in Wednesday's night hour-long debate in Springfield, Massachusetts. "We need to have a balanced budget amendment."

While Brown insisted that he won't raise taxes, he promoted his ability to work with Democrats, noting that he voted with his party only 54 percent of the time.

Warren, however, said Brown has the wrong priorities and would sacrifice national investments in education and infrastructure to save money for "millionaires, billionaires and oil companies."

"Senator Brown made it clear... where he stands," Warren said. "He stood with the millionaires; not those who are out of work," referring to jobs bills that failed to pass Congress.

The Massachusetts Senate race is one of the closest contests in the country, and if Warren wins, Democrats will have a much easier time holding on to control of the Senate. But the contest in one of the bluest states in the country is between a newcomer to politics who made her name as a consumer watchdog and a moderate first-term Senator who won his special election to fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy in 2010, which was during the height of nationwide fury with the Democrats.

Absent from the debate was any mention of Warren's ancestry, which she says is Native American based on family stories. Brown had made it a dominant issue this campaign and pounced on the issue in the first debate.

Brown to Warren: I'm not a student in your class

Personal slights, however, were still part of the discussion. In response to a question about the rising cost of higher education, Brown blamed administrative costs, including Warren's $350,000 salary for teaching "one course" at Harvard.

"I want to talk about the issues," Warren said. "Senator Brown wants to launch attacks."

Warren also said she is "proud" of her success and said she only had to bay $50 per semester for her community college education because American invested in education, allowing students to obtain relatively cheap schooling.

Bringing the discussion back to her broader theme, Warren said Brown supported tax loopholes "for millionaires over college loans for our kids." She was referring to a bill that would have extended subsidies for student loans. A compromise version eventually passed, which Brown supported.

While he said he supported a repeal of the president's health care bill, Brown boasted about the Massachusetts health care bill, which the federal health law was modeled after. He said the federal government, instead, should "incentivize" states to implement Massachusetts' law.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

Comments