After a lackluster first debate on Tuesday, the two contenders in the closely watched Colorado Senate race went on the offensive in a second debate on Friday.
After attempting to depict Sen. Joe O’Dea’s record in Washington as unproductive and strongly allied with President Biden and national Democrats, O’Dea called Bennet a “fraud” and called O’Dea his opponent in the Republican primary.
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In a section of the debate where the candidates were asked questions one after the other, Bennet said, “Joe, you know that your assertion that I’ve only passed one bill in the time I’ve been in the Senate — you’ve said it over and over again, it’s been fact-checked as false over and over again, you’re running a TV ad saying it over and over again.”
Bennet prompted, “Tell me what that means to you.”
It just depends on how effective you are. You’re useless,” O’Dea retorted.
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O’Dea dismissed Bennet, saying again that he thought the senator was ineffectual as he tried to elicit a better response.
Despite O’Dea’s protests, Bennet insisted, “You’re a liar, Joe.” Joe, you’re a liar.
In a contest that could end up being one of a select few that determines whether Republicans regain control of the chamber in the elections later this month, O’Dea, a construction company owner from the Denver area and first-time candidate, is taking on Bennet, a former superintendent of the Denver Public Schools who has held the Senate seat in Colorado since 2009.
He reiterated during the discussion that if former President Donald Trump sought for office again in 2024, he would face opposition: I stated what I did.
In an effort to set himself apart from his own party, Bennet claimed that Biden’s decision to lift Title 42, visit Saudi Arabia, and student loan distribution were all “major mistakes.”
Regarding the student loan handout, Bennet remarked, “I don’t think he should have done it the way he did it.” And I’ve said that both before and after. You know, I think they did make it more specifically targeted than they had originally intended, but it wasn’t nearly what I believed they should have done, which was to do it for the people who needed it the most, the poorest citizens of our nation who have debt and do not earn more than the median family income.
O’Dea directly questioned Bennet about if he felt bad about supporting expensive legislation. I deplore the inflation that people are experiencing, Bennet retorted.
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Real Clear Politics’ average of the most recent poll results in the contest gives Bennet a 7.7-point lead against O’Dea.
O’Dea has made an effort to present himself as a hard-working commoner with deep ties to Colorado.