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Final Gubernatorial Debate Gets Heated

While Republican Mike Pence has been reluctant to aggressively engage Democrat John Gregg, that was not the case in Thursday's debate.

Rupert Boneham, John Gregg, Mike Pence

Photo: Michael Conroy/AP

Rupert Boneham, John Gregg and Mike Pence met Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, for Indiana's final gubernatorial debate.

Mike Pence engaged Democratic opponent John Gregg’s attacks more than in any previous debate during Thursday’s third and final meeting of the three gubernatorial hopefuls.

Pence has largely avoided going after Gregg, only engaging with him on a few points in the first two debates. But Thursday, Pence was not shy about matching Gregg’s attacks with his own. The two sparred most over the federal government’s auto industry loans. Gregg struck first.

“You know, my career politician opponent drives all around Indiana now in a red Silverado,” Gregg said. “He does it because he wants you to forget how he voted on the auto loans. He voted against them and against the 120,000 Hoosiers who work in the car industry.”

Pence said he believed in a plan that did not dig the federal government deeper into debt.

“But John, we could have saved those companies without putting taxpayers on the hook,” Pence said. “We could have given them a backstop, not a handout and I was ready to fight for that.”

In the middle of the back and forth was Libertarian Rupert Boneham, who throughout the debate reminded voters that he represents a change from the status quo and that a vote for him is not a wasted one.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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