Updated 10/24/2010 09:02 PM
Schumer, Townsend Spar In NY1 Debate
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Senator Charles Schumer and Republican opponent Jay Townsend took part in their first and only debate of the campaign season Sunday, with each taking jabs at one another on several hot button issues including the stimulus bill and financial regulation of Wall Street.
The live, hour-long debate sponsored by NY1 and its YNN sister stations upstate was held at Marist College in Poughkeepsie.
During the head-to-head matchup, Townsend repeatedly ripped into the Democratic incumbent, saying Schumer's two terms in office have been a disaster for New York.
He continually pointed to last year's health care reform bill saying it will bankrupt the country.
Schumer, meanwhile, highlighted his work aiding small businesses and protecting middle class consumers.
The two also clashed on the senator's support of last year's stimulus bill.
"The president stepped up to the plate, urged by the way not just by Democratic economists, but by Republican economists, even though he knew that it might be unpopular and stepped up. We have a stimulus bill that prevented us from going into the Great Depression," Schumer said.
"The stimulus bill was a lie, and a fraud and a farce upon the American people. Senator Schumer you sound like the sixth grader that keeps telling the teacher that the dog ate his homework," Townsend said.
At one point during the debate, a remark on the state economy allowed Townsend to throw Schumer on the defensive when asked how his 12 years as a senator have changed him.
"You know for the first 10 years we had pretty good times. But seeing and hearing of what people go through has really gotten to me," Schumer said.
"Senator, how can you stand there and say that the first 10 years of your tenure were great times, when this was happening underneath your nose? What rock were you hiding under?" countered Townsend.
Both men also called for immigration reform, though Townsend said he does not support amnesty.
According to the latest Marist poll, Schumer leads Townsend by 28 percentage points among likely voters.