COLLEGE PARK, Md (WUSA) -- Dope, drinking, and character flaws; the first debate of the the Maryland Democratic governor's primary was a nasty one.
Everyone expected Attorney General and underdog Doug Gansler to come out swinging. The surprise might have been Anthony Brown punching right back.
Moderator David Gregory teed up the issue the Attorney General's been smacking the Lt Governor with for months, the failure to launch roll out of Maryland's healthcare exchange. "The one thing he's been in charge of, that's he's managed or he's led since he was Lieutenant Governor and it's been an unmitigated disaster." said Gansler, to a packed hall at the University of Maryland..
"I sincerely regret that any Marylander was inconvenienced, trying to get healthcare through the broken website," responded Brown."But nobody was more frustrated than me,"
Brown fired back, criticizing Gansler for burying his face in a phone while walking through his teenage son's alcohol fueled Beach Week party in Delaware. "What I would have done as a parent, I would have stopped the party and made sure everyone got home safe."
"I appreciate the lecture on parenting," Gansler snapped back.
Which left Delegate Heather Mizeur looking at times like the one adult in the room. She told the two men on the stage that the voters don't want bickering and personal attacks.
But bicker they did. "He was the one State's Attorney in the history of Maryland who was disciplined by the highest court," Brown said of Gansler. "I wear it as a badge of honor," Gansler responded, claiming the censure was because he criticized a judge who told an 11-year-old rape victim that "It takes two to tango."
On drugs, Mizeur says she wants to legalize marijuana in Maryland. Brown and Gansler say they only support de-criminalizing it.
The primary is scheduled for June 24th.