ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Democrat John Gregg and Republican Mike Pence each attacked the others record in a debate Wednesday night.
In the race, at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center, the audience witnessed a debate that was a sleeper for more than half of the one hour event, livened up only when Libertarian Rupert Boneham challenged the moderator for cutting him off too soon.
"That's ok, I've been passed over a few times," said Boneham to moderator Dennis Ryerson. "I'm getting used to it. That's what happens to a third party."
But when Republican Mike Pence compared his ideas to those of current governor Mitch Daniels, Democrat John Gregg teed off.
"You've never passed a piece of legislation in your 12 years in Congress and you invoke Governor Daniels' name," said Gregg. "To kind of take a parody on a former Hoosier, I know Mitch Daniels, Mitch Daniels is a friend of mine, but Mitch Daniels shows up to work everyday."
For the first time in the campaign, Pence fired back, challenging Gregg's record as Speaker of the Indiana House.
"According to public records at the state budget agency," said Pence, "for five of the six years you led the Indiana state General Assembly we ran deficits in the tens of millions of dollars."
Afterward, Pence told reporters that he showed up prepared to engage.
"Debates oughta be about debating," he said. "They oughta be about considering one another's records, responding to issues that are raised."
Gregg continued to question Pence's record even after the debate.
"I didn't take any swings at him tonight," he said. "All I did was just talk about the facts."
John Gregg may have scored more points, but when Pence decided to fight back he made sure there was no clear winner. Both during the debate and afterward Gregg made appeals to Lugar Republicans to consider his candidacy. That's the best indication that he didn't do what it takes to catch Mike Pence.
The candidates will take part in two more debates.
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