Frank meets LaRouche candidate Brown in only primary debate By Laura Paine Wicked Local Newton Posted Sep

08, 2010 @ 12:02 AM Last update Sep 08, 2010 @ 12:06 AM Newton —In the only scheduled debate in the Democratic primary race for the 4th Congressional District of Massachusetts, incumbent Barney Frank and upstart Rachel Brown debated everything from Frank’s role in the federal banking bailout to Brown’s proposal to colonize Mars. But mostly, the two candidates spent the evening talking past each other, with the Newton congressman landing more than his share of the trademark zingers and rapid fire retorts. “I’m trying to be restrained [but that idea] is wacky,” Frank said after Brown introduced a proposal to use nuclear fusion to bring astronauts to Mars in three to seven days. "I regard her as an example of the price you pay for free speech," Frank said at another point "I don't think she is very rational." During the hour-long debate, which was moderated by WickedLocalPolitics.com blogger and GateHouse Media New England editor Anthony Schinella, both candidates reiterated many of the same points over and over. . Brown is running on the principles championed by economist/activist Lyndon LaRouche and repeatedly called for reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, a series of banking reforms introduced in the 1930s. But Frank repeatedly said the act didn’t address the problems Brown said it would solve. In spite of her inexperience, Brown stayed remarkably calm and seemed to spend more time criticizing President Obama than Frank. “Obama is psychologically a ticking time bomb,” she said at one point, defending the fact that she regularly appears at campaign stops displaying posters of Obama with a Adolph Hitler-style mustache. She also compared the president to the Roman Emperor Nero, saying that the president “fiddles while the United States burns.” Frank said that while Obama “may not be my hero, he is not Hitler either” and quickly repudiated Brown’s use of the image. “Maybe people don’t fully understand the revulsion that many of us feel when Hitler is tossed around lightly as a term,” Frank said. “Certainly [it is offensive] to those who are Jewish, but you don’t have to be Jewish to feel the Holocaust was a uniquely terrible event. People have the right of free speech and can say whatever they want but I think you always have an obligation not to sit by passively when people are saying wildly offensive things and not comment on it,” he said. Brown stuck to her guns. She simply stated that Hitler’s Holocaust began in the hospital and she believes that if the image of Obama with his mustache is bringing up painful memories, those people should work in remembrance of those lost to ensure it does not happen again under Obama.

Later, Frank blamed George W. Bush’s decision to send troops to Iraq was one of the “great causes of instability” in the world while Brown blamed the British Empire for getting the U.S. involved in Iraq. She also suggested increased drug production inAfghanistan, was “fueling terrorism” while Frank maintained that having fewer troops in places where they were not welcome would be more beneficial "If the U.S. wants to stop terrorism, they should stop the drug trade and stop letting the British get us into wars,” said Brown. “The time has come to take these 50,000 troops home,” Frank said. If they're not combat troops, bring them home. The other side doesn't know they're non-combat. It doesn't mean they're not going to be shot at.” While Brown said she was “mostly pro-life” Frank said he was pro-choice. At another point Brown suggested moving water from the mountains "to green the deserts and cool the climate," as a means of training "young people with skills that give them a sense they can do something with their lives and something they can do to contribute to people after them.” "We are not going to create jobs by bringing the water in from Canada," Frank said Before the debate supporters for both campaigns gathered on Needham Street in front of the NewTV studios in Newton. The Frank campaign silently held signs of support while the Brown campaign’s choir sang songs about impeaching Obama, calling him a “bum” and saying he should “get more time…in jail.” They displayed a banner featuring a hot dog with arms, legs and Frank’s face with the words, “His bailout policies are overdone.” Frank is easily expected to win the Sept. 14 primary against Brown but will also face a Republican challenger — either former Marine Sean Bielat or businessman Earl Sholley— in the November election. Frank told reporters Tuesday that he will be willing to debate either opponent in the general election. Laura Paine can be reached at lpaine@cnc.com Read more election news at Wicked Local Politics.com Copyright 2010 Newton TAB. Some rights reserved

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful