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WASHINGTON (AP) — "That's a lie. You know that's a lie. I never said it."
That was Republican Linda McMahon going after Democrat Richard Blumenthal this week as the Connecticut Senate rivals shared a debate stage. Afterward, he insisted she was the one playing "fast and loose with the facts."
Across the country, in California, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman pointedly blamed Democrat Jerry Brown for the disclosure that she had employed an illegal immigrant housekeeper.
"You put it out there and you should be ashamed for sacrificing Nicky Diaz on the altar of your political ambitions," Whitman told Brown, who was standing a few feet away. He shot back: "You have blamed her, blamed me, blamed the left, blamed the unions. But you don't take accountability."
Candidates have been slinging mud from afar for months, their insults filling TV ads and peppering speeches. Now, in the campaign's final weeks, they're meeting up close in debate — in many cases for the only time — and getting right in each other's faces.
In the run-up to Nov. 2, dozens of House, Senate and gubernatorial debates are scheduled in hotly contested races in places like Colorado, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Florida, Wisconsin and Illinois.
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