WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -
After months of negative ads and aspersions cast, the opportunity for the candidates to apologize was placed on the table by WPTV moderator Michael Williams.
"Do you apologize to him for the nastiness of your campaign ads?"
"I don't know what nastiness we're talking about," said Rep. Allen West (R-FL).
"With my campaign, all of our ads are accurate," said challenger Patrick Murphy (D-FL).
But that came near the end of the debate.
Before that moment, Murphy continued his attack on West as a Tea Party extremist, linking him to GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, saying his budget proposals would hurt the middle class on health care and taxes.
"Under the Ryan plan, which my opponent voted for twice, and said would be suicide to oppose, we ended Medicare as we know it. That's not the way forward," said Murphy.
"You talk about fiscal responsibility. You're part of a party that has taken us from 10.6 trillion to over 16 trillion in debt, four straight years of trillion dollar deficits," said West.
West is trying to win a second term despite being in the crosshairs of national Democratic groups. They have poured money into TV spots.
But West's poll numbers have remained strong. A poll published by WPTV this week showed West with a nine-point lead.
West attacked the top line of Murphy's resume.
"I'm concerned that you represent yourself as a CPA, but as far as I understand, you're not certified or registered as a CPA in the state of Florida. That means you're kind of misleading people," said West.
"I am a certified public accountant in the state of Colorado. I have never hid that," said Murphy.
West says he's in the stronger position, 18 days from election day.
"The polls say that I'm leading. We have to continue to maintain it, keep running hard, fighting hard until you have all zeroes on the scoreboard."
"It's up to the voters, we'll let them decide. It's the people's house. If they don't like what they have now, last time I checked congressional approval rating is at 9, 10 percent," said Murphy.
Our poll showed that eight percent of voters were still undecided.
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