STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) -- Former Congressman Chris Shays really took off the gloves today in his first head to head debate with Linda McMahon.
The two face off in the Republican U.S. Senate Primary on August 14th.
The last Quinnipiac University Poll showed McMahon way ahead of the former Congressman and on Thursday, he made it clear that whenever he can he will go on the attack.
In their first head to head debate the former Congressman took every opportunity to get the former WWE CEO into a verbal headlock about how she earned all her money, saying the tv wrestling empire waged the real war against women.
"I think when you force a woman to kiss the rear end of her husband on stage, in front of young kids, I think that's war on women," Shays said. "I think when you force a woman to take off all her clothes in an arena and get down on the ground and bark like a dog, I think that's an assault on women."
"I am proud of the company that I helped grow from the point of time when my husband and I shared a desk," McMahon replied. "I'm proud of the jobs that I have created here in Connecticut and I'm proud of the millions of dollars that we have put into the economy here in our state."
McMahon insisted that what Washington needs is a job creator like her, not a career politician like Shays, but he kept coming back to the WWE and even referenced the controversy surrounding the early deaths of some performers.
"But a job creator? Hugh Hefner is a job creator. I don't want Hugh Hefner being there and I don't want Linda McMahon being there," Shays said. "What kind of jobs have you created? What about 41 people who lost their lives before the age of 50, 19 of them before the age of 40, what about them?
She told News 8's Mark Davis voters don't care how she made her money.
"When I'm traveling around and meeting with people and having these 'coffees and conversations with Linda' they're not talking to me about WWE, they're talking to me about how their families are going to be secure, how they're going to have jobs," she said.
Shays accused McMahon of buying the election and accused her of ducking most debates.
This is one of only two she has agreed to.
Shays says she has declined to participate in a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters in Fairfield County and this week declined to participate in one sponsored by News 8 and The Day of New London.
Apparently her campaign feels she is far enough ahead in opinion polls among Republicans that she doesn't need to do that many debates.
Police are on the scene of a two-vehicle accident involving a school bus in North Haven this morning.
A Manchester police report says male motorists were more likely than women to be pulled over by police last year and black motorists were overrepresented compared with white people behind the wheel.
Firefighters responded to a garage fire in Norwalk during the overnight hours Thursday.
UConn is expected to make it official in a news conference Thursday afternoon, but they have made a decision regarding who will be leading the football team next season.
The University of Connecticut is looking for property owners and developers interested in building or otherwise providing housing for its downtown Stamford campus.
There's trouble aboard the international space station and an astronaut from Connecticut may be asked to come to the rescue.
A fire on the roof of the student center at the University of Bridgeport has knocked a radio station off the air.
Composer Steven Sametz has written dozens of pieces in his long and prolific career, perhaps none so personal as the one he's about to begin: a requiem for the victims of the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Conn.
From the roads to the rails, to the skies above, everything is on the table today when the state reveals its biggest transportation challenges.
Nutritionists and health officials call it an epidemic: childhood obesity.