Christine O'Donnell - Chris Coons debate: Coons opens
Wolf Blitzer of CNN and co-moderator Nancy Karibjanian, anchor of WHYY-TV's nightly news and information program, welcome the candidates to the University of Delaware. The first hour will be a Q & A. The second part will involve questions from students. Blitzer asks for no applause during the debate. A coin toss determined the order of evening.
Two-minute opening statements will be made in the much-anticipated first and only debate to fill Vice President Joe Biden's longtime Senate seat.
"There is a great deal at stake in this election," says Coons, reading from a written statement. He decries the partisan gridlock in Washington. Christine O'Donnell wants to go backward, he says, and has "extreme positions."
Coons says he knows how to work with colleagues to spur job growth.
"I take seriously the idea that this campaign is a job interview," said Coons, and the debate is the best way for voters to take his measure.
-- Robin Abcarian
Photo: Tim Shaffer / Reuters