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US Senate Candidates Spar During Final Debate

U.S. senate candidates focused on foreign policy and other hot button issues like abortion and gun rights.

Joe Donnelly, Richard, Mourdock, Andrew Horning

Photo: Michael Conroy/AP

Candidates for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat Democrat Joe Donnelly, left, Libertarian Andrew Horning, center, and Republican Richard Mourdock participate in a debate in New Albany, Ind., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012.

In Indiana’s final U.S. Senate debate the candidates repeated their attacks on each other, while shifting their focus to issues of foreign policy and social security.

Squaring off in Tuesday’s debate were Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Richard Mourdock, locked in a tight race with the balance of power in the U.S. Senate potentially in play.

Libertarian Andrew Horning joined them to discuss foreign policy, Social Security and Medicare, and term limits for Congress.

The debate also included hot button topics like gun control, same sex marriage and abortion rights. All three candidates hold similar, if not identical views on those issues except for abortion.

Horning, Donnelly and Mourdock are all pro-life, but Mourdock says his only exception for abortion is in cases where the life of the mother is in danger.

“And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock says.

But for most of the debate, Mourdock, Donnelly and Horning repeated their mantras. Mourdock says Donnelly caved to President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Donnelly says Mourdock’s extreme views are the wrong way for Indiana.

“What my way or the highway means. It means saying that Medicare is unconstitutional. It means questioning the constitutionality of Social Security.  It means going after our auto companies,” Donnelly says.

Horning says the bickering between Democrats and Republicans has broken the system and says electing a true outsider is the only way to fix it.

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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