In their first debate tonight, Massachusetts senate candidates Gabriel Gomez and Ed Markey sparred aggressively, with political newbie Gomez holding his own against the long-term congressman.
The two heatedly debated a series of issues, including gun control, Benghazi, and abortion. Gomez said he would push for the passage of the Toomey-Manchin bill if elected. “I oppose the NRA on the expanded background checks,” he said. Markey argued that Toomey-Manchin was the starting point, not the ending point – he sneered that if even “senators from West Virginia can support” it, it wasn’t sufficient.
Asked about Obamacare, Gomez praised Romneycare, and argued that universal access to health care was a matter that should be handled at the state, not federal, level. “You always trust the federal government in everything you think about,” Gomez jabbed Markey.
Touching on the scandals affecting Washington, Markey called for IRS employees involved to be fired immediately. Gomez called for Eric Holder to resign. On Benghazi, Markey attacked Gomez and Republicans for trying to make it an issue in order to hurt Hillary Clinton politically.
On immigration, Gomez said (at least twice) that he wanted to make the gang of eight the “gang of nine” when he came to Washington. Markey slammed “tea-party Republicans” in the House for holding up immigration legislation.
Gomez said he was Catholic and “personally pro-life” but saw abortion as “an issue that reasonable people can disagree about” without being “disagreeable.” He also stressed that he wasn’t going to Washington to change laws, presumably in reference to current abortion laws. Markey attacked Gomez for not having a litmus test for Supreme Court candidates, saying he would never “vote for a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade.”