“Look, I know how to make deals. I made three major deals with Joe Biden during Obama’s time. The problem here is the President’s reluctance to strike a deal, ”McConnell said.McGrath criticized McConnell for not being a leader and leading relief efforts through Congress. She also blamed him for the partisanship seen in the Senate and argued that a former Marine like herself is a leader who does not offer excuses when faced with significant challenges.
McGrath made a direct camera call to viewers, saying, “Senator, you’ve been here for 36 years. What does Kentucky look like? “
In one of the most memorable exchanges of the night, McConnell took a look at McGrath’s personal story. “I think his whole campaign is this: she’s a Marine, she’s a mom and I’ve been there for too long,” he said.
The debate came just hours after the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded its first day of hearings on Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett. McGrath reminded viewers that the first case taken by the Supreme Court after the election concerns the Affordable Care Act, which covers millions of Kentuckians.
“No one believes the Supreme Court will overturn the Affordable Care Act,” McConnell said.
McConnell accused McGrath of backing the addition of additional judges to the court, which became a late campaign issue as Republicans accused Democrats of turning away from him. When asked by the moderator to clarify whether or not she supports adding additional judges, McGrath said, “I think we should be working on unpacking the Senate right now. ”
Monday’s debate also took place in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped not only the nation, but Republicans in Washington. The two candidates agreed the pandemic won’t go away until there’s a vaccine, and McGrath called for a strong contact and tracing plan.
Before the debate, McGrath, as, the Democrat of South Carolina, called on her opponent to take a COVID-19 test before the debate. When Senator Lindsey Graham turned down Harrison’s similar request last week, that debate turned into a forum instead.
For this debate, McConnell did not say whether or not he had passed a COVID-19 test. The McGrath campaign played this but did not withdraw from the debate. As the Vice Presidential Debate took place last week as President Trump recovered from COVID-19, the Presidential Debates Commission canceled the debate scheduled for October 15.
McConnell focused his campaign speech on how his position in the Senate as the only non-New York or California congressional leader has helped the lives of Kentuckians. He warned that if McGrath is in the Senate, she will have no influence and if Senator Chuck Schumer becomes the majority leader, he will give New York more power.
McGrath entered national limelight in 2017 when she ran for the United States House against Republican Congressman Andy Barr. She raised an impressive sum for a House candidate, but lost 51% to 48%. This round, his campaign has raised equally impressive numbers, but has faced some bumps.
In this year’s primary, McGrath faced a growing challenge from Kentucky State Representative Charles Booker, who entered the race late but galvanized his support by showing up at protests for racial justice. with people who wanted a more liberal candidate than McGrath.
In the primary ads against her, Booker said Kentucky needed a “real Democrat” who “wouldn’t just help Trump fend for himself.” McGrath has tried to play center stage since launching his Senate campaign. She said in an interview last summer during the week that she launched that she would have supported the appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but that she reconsidered the statement later after “more of reflection and understanding ”.
A recent Quinnipiac poll found that McConnell led McGrath by 53% to 41%, and the biggest problems in the race according to voters were the economy at 26%, followed by law and order at 20% and health care at 13%.
McConnell’s campaign in recent weeks has aired TV ads calling McGrath an extremist liberal and associating his image alongside Pelosi and Senator Kamala Harris, the vice-chair of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Other Republican candidates in the Red States like Tommy Tuberville in Alabama and incumbent Steve Daines in Montana have used Biden instead of Harris to tie their challengers to the left.
McConnell is a favorite target of Democrats who encourage voters to watch the ballots for change. During the Democratic presidential primary, candidates frequently mentioned McConnell’s name on the trail to illustrate that Democratic politicians could not move forward if McConnell leads the Senate.