Hiller Instinct: Governor\'s debate
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: Governor's debate
Shame and blame. That's what we thought this debate would be about. And for the first half it was, focusing on Kerry Healey's negative TV ads.
But the second half found Deval Patrick on the defensive, trying to explain how he'll pay for all the programs he supports, without raising taxes.
"Mr Mihos," moderator David Gergen said.
"You know, I thought my ad was a little bit offensive," Christy Mihos said.
That was the only laugh there was at this debate about Kerry Healey's latest TV ad.
"If anyone you knew actually praised a convicted rapist," TV ad narrator said. "What would you think? Deval Patrick did..."
Patrick counter-attacked, humbling Healey, leaving her with no answer:
"You talk to police chiefs, which was your job in the administration," Patrick, the Democratic candidate for governor, said. "They tell me about how they've had to cut police from the force all across the Commonwealth because of your fiscal policies."
"You need to get your numbers right," Healey, the Republican candidate for governor, said.
"If you'd come down off that high horse of yours sometime and see how it actually works on the street, I'd be happy to show you around," Patrick.
But, in the second half of the debate, Healey struck back, challenging Patrick's ability to keep all his campaign promises and cut property taxes.
"Want to know where that money's going to come from," Healey said. "It's going to come from raising taxes, and you should be honest about it. You are liberal. You should just come out and say, 'I'm going to raise taxes.' You think you can spend your way to prosperity."
"Let me say, I wish you would read our proposals instead of just the right-wing Republican playbook," Patrick said.
"We all agree that we need to take pressure off the property taxes," Healey said. "But you don't have a plan, and you still don't have a plan today."
On balance and by a very narrow margin, the debate winner was Deval Patrick, because he didn't lose.
"I'm not going to blow this election," Patrick said. "I'm going to win this election the way we built to this point."
And here's the point we're at right now: Kerry Healey is running out of time, and her attacks on Patrick's record appear to be running out of steam.
She won't criticize Mitt Romney's attacks on Massachusetts when he's out of state, and she's not convincing voters electing her means no new taxes.
She came into the debate in second place, and that's how she left.
Iím Andy Hiller and thatís my Instinct.
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