The two men vying to be central Florida's newest member of Congress could not even get through opening statements without it devolving into a nasty war of words that left both men fuming after the debate was over.
Todd Long's opening statement was repeatedly interrupted by former Congressman Alan Grayson. As the debate went on, things for even more contentious. Afterwards, Grayson tore into Long for the attacks.
"I am disappointed, but I want people to understand that now everybody can see exactly how bizarre and extreme Todd Long's positions are. They're as bizarre and as his personal demeanor. One is just as extreme as the other. This is a man that should never go anywhere near Congress , and frankly, given his attitude today, I wonder if he was intoxicated."
Long was not intoxicated, but not happy either and did not apologize for telling Grayson to shut up at one point in the debate.
"When you get that sort of personality, that just wants to intimidate, bully, and call people names, we're not going to back down from that," he said. "We're going to stand up for the people."
Both men declined when asked to say something they liked or respected about their opponent.
The debate did calm down and focus on issues eventually. Grayson hammered home the point that Long wants to raise the retirement age for Social Security, from 70 to 72. Long countered that raising the age was not his preference, but simple math shows that the program can not last unless entitlements are changed, and that he would like to privatize the program for younger workers, similar to the retirement system in Chile.