McMahon camp tries to change narrative about Thursday night’s debate

The folks running Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon’s campaign know the simplest message is the most effective.

That’s why McMahon and her people continue to insist her opponent, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, who prior to his election to Congress missed mortgage and tax payments, must have subsequently received a special home interest line of credit from Webster Bank.

Here’s the latest mailer that showed up at my house yesterday.

It’s a masterful line of attack because it’s so simple to boil down into a potent phrase voters understand – seven words with a question mark. Many residents will not bother to track down news articles to learn more about the evidence to the contrary. And Murphy has struggled to explain his personal financial problems.

But today – hours after the two candidates met Thursday for their second of four debates – it’s the McMahon campaign that is in the position of trying to mount an overly complicated defense.

Murphy’s camp has decided the candidate’s best way to deal with McMahon’s attacks is to portray them as efforts to dodge discussing the issues.

“Over and over again she reverts to these character assassinations,” Murphy told the audience Thursday night.

Murphy had a strong performance in their first debate Sunday, and, at least judging by her demeanor while meeting with reporters following Thursday’s debate, McMahon wasn’t overjoyed with their second meeting.

So today the McMahon campaign is issuing excruciatingly detailed charts to prove it was Murphy, not McMahon, who spent most of Thursday’s debate on the attack, rather than discussing the issues.

How can you tell who performed better in a debate? Which side is going to greater lengths to convince voters and the media their candidate was the victor.

Brian Lockhart