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Massachusetts Senate debate: Both sides score points, but no knockout (+video)

In the Massachusetts Senate debate Wednesday, Republican Gabriel Gomez showed command, but Democratic Rep. Edward Markey stayed firm and revealed few cracks.

Cynthia Needham, one of the debate's co-moderators, discusses how Rep. Ed Markey and Gabriel Gomez performed during Wednesday night's special US Senate debate in Boston.
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Although the two candidates running for John Kerry’s open Senate seat in Massachusetts spent much of their first debate Wednesday night extolling the virtues of bipartisan compromise, the two found little common ground themselves in either substance or style.

For an hour on the stage of WBZ-TV in Boston, Republican Gabriel Gomez’s punchy one-liners tangled with Democrat Edward Markey’s slowly-wound policy pitches as the two clashed over abortion, intervention in Syria, and the future of American health care.

In an off-year special election campaign that so far has been told largely in prescripted stump speeches and press conferences, the debate offered a rare glimpse into how the two men have thought through many of the most difficult political issues facing their campaigns.


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