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Indiana Senate Candidates Spar Over Bipartisanship

Indiana's U.S. Senate candidates Joe Donnelly, Richard Mourdock and Andrew Horning met Monday for the first of two debates before the General Election.

  • Joe Donnelly, Richard Mourdock, Andrew Horning

    Image 1 of 6

    Photo: Mike Conroy/AP Photo

    Candidates for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat Democrat Joe Donnelly, left, Republican Richard Mourdock, center and Libertarian Andrew Horning participate in a debate in Indianapolis, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

  • Joe Donnelly, Richard Mourdock, Andrew Horning

    Image 2 of 6

    Photo: Mike Conroy/AP Photo

    Candidates for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat Democrat Joe Donnelly, left, Republican Richard Mourdock, center and Libertarian Andrew Horning participate in a debate in Indianapolis, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

  • Joe Donnelly

    Image 3 of 6

    Photo: Mike Conroy/AP Photo

    Candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat Democrat Joe Donnelly participates in a debate with Republican Richard Mourdock and Libertarian Andrew Horning in Indianapolis, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

  • Richard Mourdock

    Image 4 of 6

    Photo: Mike Conroy/AP Photo

    Candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat Republican Richard Mourdock participates in a debate with Democrat Joe Donnelly and Libertarian Andrew Horning in Indianapolis, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

  • Andrew Horning

    Image 5 of 6

    Photo: Mike Conroy/AP Photo

    Candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat Libertarian Andrew Horning participates in a debate with Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Richard Mourdock in Indianapolis, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

  • Joe Donnelly, Richard Mourdock, Andrew Horning

    Image 6 of 6

    Photo: Mike Conroy/AP Photo

    Candidates for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat Democrat Joe Donnelly, left, Republican Richard Mourdock, center and Libertarian Andrew Horning participate in a debate in Indianapolis, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

Senate candidates Joe Donnelly and Richard Mourdock spent most of their first debate Monday attacking each other, while Libertarian Andrew Horning called for voters to move away from the status quo.

From the very first question of the debate,  Mourdock and Donnelly attacked each other’s positions as much as they touted their own. Topics included tax reform, the role of government and the future of programs like Social Security and Medicare.  But throughout the entire debate both major party candidates appealed to moderate Republicans or the so-called “Lugar Republicans.”

Donnelly said he is the only one with a bipartisan record.

“One of the things we have to do is continue to work on jobs,” Donnellky said. “It’s the most critical thing of all to make sure everything goes right with our Hoosier state.”

But Mourdock said Donnelly’s attempts to paint him as someone who can’t work across the aisle is not true.

“I wouldn’t see one of the most important things I’ve done as state treasurer is helping to set up a college savings plan that’s increased by ten times the number who are now saving for college, and I worked with Democrats to do that,” he said.

Libertarian Andrew Horning said Mourdock and Donnelly’s bickering is proof the system is broken. He said as an outsider, he is the only one who can change it.  The three candidates will have one more debate next week.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS 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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