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Memorable House Debate Moments of 2012 Memorable House Debate Moments of 2012

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Politics

Memorable House Debate Moments of 2012

October 22, 2012

Tonight, President Obama and Mitt Romney will debate for the third and final time. To celebrate, we present some of our favorite moments from the many House race debates over the past month or so:

-- 'Man bites 'man: It's the most well-known moment in any House debate this cycle, from the member-versus-member battle in California's 30th District. Rep. Brad Sherman put his arm around Rep. Howard Berman during an exchange and said, "You want to get into this?" An officer then stepped in, separating the two congressmen before the incident escalated further. The clip is now running on San Fernando Valley cable channels as part of a TV ad, courtesy of the Berman campaign.

-- Kuster grabs the mic: In New Hampshire's 2nd District, Democratic candidate Ann Kuster grabbed the microphone from GOP Rep. Charlie Bass as he was making his closing statement, saying "You can't just lie to people." Sadly, there's no video of the event, but that didn't stop Bass from using coverage of the incident in a new TV ad.

-- The odd couple: In Utah's 4th District, Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson chose an unusual surrogate -- Mitt Romney -- to make the case that Republican Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love is too extreme for the district. The Provo Daily Herald quoted the key moment:

"She wants to get rid of student loans; Mitt Romney and I don't. She wants to eliminate the Department of Energy; Mitt Romney and I don't. She wants to take away foreign military aid to Israel; Mitt Romney and I don't. She wants to get rid of the Department of Education; Mitt Romney and I don't," Matheson said. "There is issue after issue after issue where I think I take a mainstream view that is not about Democrat or Republican, it is about doing the right thing and ultimately I think the people in Utah know that about me."

-- Big(gert) pause: In Illinois's 11th District, GOP Rep. Judy Biggert took a long, cringe-worthy pause when given the opportunity to ask her opponent a question -- and there's video.

-- "Meltdown": Former Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, running to reclaim Arizona's 1st District, won the Arizona Republic's endorsement in 2008 and 2010. But she lost the paper's 2012 endorsement to Republican Jonathan Paton after displaying "unbounded contempt" for Paton during their meeting with the paper's editorial board. "We have seen more complete meltdowns in our board meetings," the Republic editorialized, "but never one so unexpected."

-- En Español: In Texas's 23rd District, Democratic state Rep. Pete Gallego and GOP Rep. Quico Canseco held a debate entirely in Spanish, the first of its kind in Texas, according to the debate sponsors.

-- Rowdy crowd: When GOP freshman Rep. Joe Walsh and Democratic opponent Tammy Duckworth faced off for the third time in Illinois's 8th District, they were egged on by a boisterous crowd that was permitted to buy liquor throughout the debate.

-- Rowdy crowd, part two: Republican Rep. Allen West and his Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy are engaged in one of the nastier House races of the year. So it's no surprise that supporters in Florida's 18th District are fired up. During a debate, when Murphy criticized West for comparing Democrats to Nazis, an audience member chimed in with a measured retort: "Bullshit!"

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