Long Shot Arkansas Senate Candidate D.C. Morrison Gets a Rise from Debate Crowd

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful D.C. Morrison, center is joined by U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., left, and Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter as they participate in a debate in Little Rock, Ark., Friday, May 14, 2010. Morrison and Halter are challenging Lincoln in the May 18 primary election. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Danny Johnston

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas businessman D.C. Morrison (at center in the photo) is the little known second challenger to Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln and who spent a good deal of today's debate ahead of Tuesday's primary cracking jokes about his campaign and the federal government.

"In my opinion PAYGO (pay as you go for federal programs) is kind of slight of hand it takes money from one federal program that's not paid for and puts it towards another federal program that's not paid for," he said, "This reminds me of a farmer said to me about 20 years ago when I used to sell farm chemicals, he said 'if I paid my fertilizer bill I wouldn't have made a dime this year.'"

Morrison provided what Lt. Governor Bill Halter, who's considered Lincoln's main challenger in the race, called "levity" to the often tense debate. Debate rules insisted that there be no applause or reactions until after the debate was complete, although Morrison's good humor oftentimes cut through the silence.

When talking about his research on the estate tax, which taxes the assets of wealthy individuals after they die, Morrison joked "It's a great problem to have."

When the complex issue over derivatives and other financial tools came up, Morrison tried his best to explain it to those in the audience. "If the real product is stainless steel, the derivative is plastic and paper mache."

Morrison, who doesn't have nearly the financial backing that his two opponents do, says he's often depicted by the media as having a "poorly financed" campaign. But he put those issues to rest saying he's ok with that because money isn't everything.

"We've had a lot of political spending on television, that's for sure. More than we wanted. Millions of Millions of dollars. We just change the channel at our house. You know if money would solve all of our problems the movie stars in California wouldn't be in mental institutions or taking attacks against their wives," Morrison said to belting laughs from the crowd.

In his closing argument Morrison admitted to being the underdog but said he plans to "shock the entire nation on Tuesday" and jokingly made a final plea to voters.

He said: "I'm asking for your vote today, Monday and Tuesday!"

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