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Downballot: Brown vs. Mandel, Round 3

In their final debate, moderated by NBC's Chuck Todd, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel continued to spar over Medicare, the auto rescue and women's health, MSNBC’s Michael LaRosa reports.

With a much less vitriol this time around, both candidates outlined their differences and fought to be the champion of Ohio's seniors and working and manufacturing class.

When Mandel was asked directly if he would have support the Ryan budget that his own party has endorsed, the 35-year-old newcomer to national politics didn’t give a yes or no, and eventually said that he if was sent to Washington he would introduce his own plan to save Medicare and Social Security. “I believe it is unfair to change Medicare or Social Security for my grandmother and her generation and my parents and my generation,” Mandel said.

Brown pounced. “I know this sounds like Washington-speak to Josh, but you have to vote yes or no on issues,” Brown said. 

Mandel, using a familiar and often used GOP line of attack, accused Brown of robbing senior citizens of the Social Security Trust Fund by stealing $716 billion to pay for the President's health care bill.

“Where did that money go for Social Security?” Mandel scolded Brown.  “What did you do with it?”                                         

"Oh come on, Josh," an exasperated Brown muttered.

Mandel also said he wouldn't be a "bailout senator," if he was sent to Washington and split with Sen. Brown on support for the auto rescue. 

"I think it's the role of the private sector to create jobs," Mandel said. "One reason we're in this mess is because of bailouts."  “There’s no government bailout that I can think of that I would ever support," he announced. 

“My opponent says my vote for the auto rescue - and I assume Sen. Voinovich’s – was un-American," Brown said referring to Ohio's popular former Governor and Senator.  "To me, that vote was doing my job to fight for their jobs," he continued.