(CNN) – The gloves were off as Democrat Richard Blumenthal and Republican Linda McMahon traded jabs over health care, taxes and personal character their third debate in the race for a U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut.
During the debate in front of a raucous crowd at Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut, the candidates returned to themes that have punctuated their campaigns since the primary election.
Both candidates were able to get in a sucker punch - Blumenthal's came during comments on McMahon's tenure at WWE, when he attacked the company's employee coverage policy.
"She requires all wrestlers to sign a death clause," Blumenthal said. He went on to attack the policy, which he said would absolve WWE of responsibility if performers were killed in the ring
McMahon responded by saying her employees received excellent health care and were covered for injuries received as a result of performances.
McMahon earned cheers for her response following Blumenthal's claim that "the people of Connecticut know me."
"I think what they know now is that you have great difficulty in telling the truth," McMahon said. She attacked Blumenthal's misstatements on his Vietnam record, a consistent theme throughout her campaign.
"I will be not be lectured on straight talk," Blumenthal responded curtly.
The crowd, which had trouble sticking to the rules of keeping quiet during the previous debate, was even louder during Tuesday's debate– breaking into laughter when the moderator accidentally called McMahon "Mrs. Blumenthal" and booing or cheering, especially in the latter half of the debate.
Blumenthal addressed the issue of job creation during his opening statement– an issue McMahon has made a focal point in her attacks on Blumenthal's career in government.
"People create jobs, small businesses create jobs, government can provide the tools but it also must take away the obstacles," Blumenthal said.
McMahon wasted no time in responding to Blumenthal's job comments saying "I'm very happy you have a better notion of how to create jobs this week than you did last week."
She again touted her record as a job creator in the private sector while attacking Blumenthal for being a government candidate. Blumenthal went on the offensive, eviscerating World Wrestling Entertainment as a company that markets "sex and violence" to children and again promoting his record of public service.
According to a recent CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, Blumenthal is leading McMahon by a 13-point margin.
having the crowd cheer or sneer at your positions WHILE you say them, that's borderline mobacracy. the audience should be civil and respectful at a public forum, and allow candidates to fully articulate their opinions. i've never seen a more minddless buzzed up election season like 2010
WWE is not child friendly entertainment. I have an issue with anyone who promotes it as such or thinks it is ok for children.
Blumenthal, a liar, a person that has no clue how to create jobs, an example of another out of touch Dem...