During a TV debate, Rep. John Spratt (D) "moved aggressively to portray" state Sen. Mick Mulvaney (R) as a libertarian with "extreme" anti-govt views. Mulvaney returned fire, saying Spratt is "no longer the independent-minded" congressman people remember from the '90s, but a "top supporter" of the Dem agenda.
Spratt "took a sharper tone than in two previous debates," interrupting Mulvaney at times to cite economic figures and take issue with his opponent's claims. At one point, Spratt referred to Gov. Mark Sanford (R) as "your good friend" and pressed Mulvaney to explain past descriptions of himself as a libertarian."
Mulvaney said after the debate that there's a reason Spratt "is taking a harder line." Mulvaney: "That's cause he's losing. It's the reason you saw the ads change." Spratt said that's not true: "I just decided I can't sit here and take these things" (Garfield, Rock Hill Herald, 10/16).