The debate between Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and his Republican opponent Chris Fields suffered from an extreme lack of civility on Thursday.
About half-way through the heated debate, which was hosted by radio station KFAI, Fields accused Ellison of publicizing a restraining order his ex-wife filed against him in 2006.
“They took that money and gave it to this Washington, D.C. firm and started looking through my divorce. And what they found was a statement that my ex-wife had never given me and she issued a statement saying ‘hey, it was a deeply troubling period,” Fields said.
“You’re really stupid for bringing up your domestic violence allegations,” Ellison interrupted. “I wasn’t going to say a thing about it.”
Fields then turned the subject on Ellison, saying he only paid $500 a month in child support.
“You are a low-life scumbag. You are a gutter dweller,” Ellison said repeatedly. The congressman later said his daughter was nearby and denied being the one responsible for publicizing the restraining order.
After the debate, Ellison issued a statement apologizing for the “uncivil reference.” Ellison said Fields’ “untrue reference” to his divorce was unacceptable, but that his own comments were over the line as well.
Patch.com compiled the low points of the debate. Listen to audio below: