Closing statements? Who needs them as Booker, Lonegan battle in final debate
Enthusiastic debate marked the final showdown between New Jersey's candidates in next week's special election to fill deceased Sen. Frank Lautenberg's seat.
Voters in the Garden State were presented two distinct political philosophies during the hour-long debate between big city liberal Democrat Cory Booker and staunch conservative Republican Steve Lonegan as they faced off at Rowan University in front of a large audience.
Their exchange on abortion rights at the end of the hour stretched so long neither candidate was given time for previously planned closing statements.
Lonegan's affiliation with the Tea Party was questioned, with Booker portraying his opponent as an extremist who would make gridlock in Washington worse.
Conservatives including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have endorsed Lonegan.
Lonegan said Booker doesn't deserve to win the Senate race because he has not stemmed crime in Newark, where Booker is a second-term mayor.
The two also differ on the government shutdown.
Lonegan said he supports postponing implementation of the federal health care law for a year. Booker promoted bipartisan cooperation.
The special election is next Wednesday. The debate was sponsored by Philly.com, The Inquirer and NBC.