STAMFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- The fall campaign for the US Senate began with a challenge Wednesday from Democrat Chris Murphy. A challenge that was immediately dismissed by Republican Linda McMahon as a "campaign stunt."
Fresh off his victory last night, Murphy visited a high tech energy firm in Wallingford Wednesday. He said that Linda McMahon's running of the WWE created more jobs overseas than in this country and that many of her employees don't have sufficient health care; allegations she has denied.
He also accused McMahon of avoiding debates and the news media in her campaign so far, and issued the following challenge.
"I think Linda McMahon should get together next week and debate her record on jobs against my record on jobs," Murphy said. "Her plan on jobs against my plan on jobs, her background on jobs against my background on jobs."
Following her victory party Tuesday night, McMahon made stops Wednesday in Fairfield and Danbury and immediately put down Murphy's challenge.
"It's a campaign stunt," McMahon said, "I'm very happy and willing to debate with Congressman Murphy, but you know what I'd like to do first? I'd like to see his jobs plan."
While apparently refusing Murphy's call for a quick debate next week, McMahon says she will agree to four debates and wants two devoted entirely to the issue of jobs.
Her campaign has also started robo-telephone calls to some 300,000 elderly Connecticut voters accusing Murphy of voting to cut Medicare by $700 billion.
"It's a lie, the health care bill increased Medicare benefits for seniors," said Murphy, "eliminates co-pays for preventative visits, cut in half the amount of money that seniors pay for prescription drugs."
Murphy says McMahon is just parroting the same false charges being made by Mitt Romney.
"He voted for the Affordable Care Act, and so in that is uhh...reduction in Medicare funding,' McMahon said.
"I think that was designed to extend Medicare for a longer period of time," said News 8's Mark Davis.
"It's a cut to Medicare," replied McMahon.
Murphy continues to say that he is the underdog because of the massive amounts of money that McMahon can spend, but as a Republican, McMahon is also an underdog in the final election because of the the lopsided party registration in Connecticut.
There are just over 400,000 registered Republicans in the State, but more than 700,000 registered Democrats. Over 800,000 aren't registered with either party. They are the ones that will be targeted by both campaigns.
Despite his big victory in the primary, Murphy is relatively unknown outside his Congressional District.
With her robo calls and other advertising McMahon's campaign is attempting to define him to voters, just as he's getting started on the fall campaign.
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