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The Claws Come Out: Ellison, Fields Get Nasty During Thursday Debate

From throwing around words like "scumbag" to accusations, the Fifth District candidates let it all hang out Thursday morning during a lively debate at KFAI Radio.

With less than three weeks to Election Day, DFL Congressman Keith Ellison and his Republcan opponent Chris Fields went to bat for their candidacies in a heated debate on KFAI Radio Thursday morning. In fact, the discussion got so heated a temporary hold was put on the radio broadcast and livestream.

Early in the hour-long debate, Ellison began repeatedly calling Fields a liar, and at one point shamed Fields for his alleged lies.

“I’m not going to sit here and let you lie like that. You are not to be trusted,” Ellison said after Fields accused him of lying about being on the U.S. House’s Foreign Affairs Commission in a previous KFAI interview. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself for the liar that you are.”

However, Fields took the name-calling in stride until he accused Ellison and his camp of leading the media to a dismissed temporary restraining order filed by Fields' ex-wife in 2006:

"I'm trying to remove the biggest obstacle to fixing things," Fields said to Ellison. "You're focused on looking into my divorce papers. ... My ex-wife was crushed by what you did."

Ellison said he was excerising self-control at that moment, as his daughter was listening to the debate in another room at the radio station.

"You know I didn't do anything," Ellison said.

And that's where the temporary hold was placed. When the debate returned to the airwaves, both candidates had seemed to chill out.

Needless to say, there was no handshaking at the end of the debate, according to KFAI staff.

If you'd like to replay the debate, KFAI has the event archived at http://kfai.org/news/2012/10/31971.

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Other related stories:

  • AUDIO: Hear the Low Points of Today's Fractious Ellison-Fields Debate
  • Ellison: 'I Acted Beneath My Personal Standard'
  • REPLAY: Rep. Keith Ellison Calls Opponent A "Scumbag"—Twice
  • What Happened in KFAI Studio During Keith Ellison-Chris Fields Debate Fracas

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