Blanche Lincoln, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, D.C. Morrison debate reaction

    9:40 PM, May 14, 2010   |    comments
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    Senator Blanche Lincoln debated the two men after her job. According to recent polls, Lt. Governor Bill Halter is made gains on the incumbent. So who won today?

    "I'll stand up to special interests because that's what it takes for Arkansas," says Lincoln.

    Little Rock's State House Convention Center was the site of a political fight between Arkansas' Democratic U.S. Senate candidates.

    "Why would a Republican group back Senator Lincoln?", asks Halter before giving his answer.

    "Could it be that she's approximately as good of a Republican as Boozman?" suggested Halter.

    It's a three-way match, Halter and businessman D.C. Morrison are both going after the seat Lincoln's held for more than a decade.

    "We need to save social security. It's a promise that's been made that we need to keep," says Morrison.

    More than 500 people had ring-side seats.

    "I am a Democrat first and I wanted to be here to support my Democrats," says Gary Phillips.

    "I think it's important for you to know what's going on in society period," says spectator and AR. House of Representatives candidate Lynette Bryant, M.D.

    Even before the debate, droves of Halter's supporters made their presence clear, many from workers unions who agree with Halter's stance as the more progressive choice.

    "You continue with the same Washington policies or you can vote for change," says Halter.

    During the debate, Halter came out swinging, throwing the first punch, aimed at Lincoln.

    "She has taken $126 million in campaign contributions from those banks [banks that accepted government bailouts], and I'm going to ask Senator Lincoln today to give those contributions back."

    Lincoln spent a lot of her time defending her record. "Look at what's happened; I passed the only bipartisan bill out of the Senate Committee," says Lincoln. 

    Several people there said Morrison's commentary served as comic relief and offered levity.

    "I'm asking for you vote today, Monday and Tuesday, "says Morrison in a way that caused many the audience to laugh.

    "That's the thing that struck me today. I think we heard some things that sounded different but when you look at them I think they're closer on the page than they will admit," says Phillips.

    Event organizers say it's the first time in three decades that an Arkansas incumbent senator is challenged by members of their own party. Today's event is the third and final debate between the three.

    Tuesday is the primary where we'll see whose campaign truly comes out ahead.

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