Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kay Hagan on Monday roundly criticized Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole as an ineffective lawmaker who's more concerned with lobbyists than North Carolinians.
Hagan levied the criticism during a 10-minute speech to several hundred delegates from the N.C. League of Municipalities meeting at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Dole, who was not in the room for Hagan's remarks, spoke a few minutes later. She didn't mention her opponent but talked about her record.
Told later about Hagan's remarks, she said, “She's been tearing me down” throughout the campaign.
Echoing her campaign ads, Hagan said she would bring “new ideas and new leadership” to Washington.
“People are sick and tired of ineffective politicians like Elizabeth Dole who spend too much time taking care of special interests and their lobbyists,” she said.
Hagan also repeated a charge that Dole, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said nothing over the course of dozens of committee meetings. “Rest assured I will not be silent,” Hagan said. “I will be at the table.”
Dole, in her remarks, promised to use her banking committee seat to “closely scrutinize” details of this month's Wall Street bailout. And she talked about her efforts to rein in mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Responding later to Hagan's charges that she is ineffective, Dole ticked off a litany of measures she's worked on – including the federal tobacco buyout, trade agreements and help for displaced workers.
“Is that effectiveness?” she asked. “You bet it is.”