The Republicans In The Connecticut Senate Race Are Going Back And Forth In An Explosive Primary Campaign

Linda McMahon

Photo: Getty

One of the country’s most hotly charged Senate races is starting to get pretty hostile — and it’s still in the Republican primary stage. The two Republican candidates — former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon and former Rep. Chris Shays — really don’t like each other. 

Over the weekend, Shays took some explosive shots at McMahon in an interview with The New Haven Register’s editorial board, saying that he has “never run against an opponent that I have respected less — ever — and there are a lot of candidates I have run against.” Shays also said McMahon’s excuse for not meeting with the state’s newspaper editorial boards — that she is out meeting with voters — was “bullshit.” 

McMahon’s campaign responded to that on Monday, telling Business Insider that it “feels sorry” for Shays. McMahon spokesman Tim Murtaugh, wasn’t aware of everything Shays had said.

“He called our campaign bullshit?” Murtaugh said.

Murtaugh’s response to Shays’ comments to the editorial board — including describing McMahon as a candidate “who is basically giving the finger to all the editorial boards” — used one word over and over. 

“The beginning and end of our response would be this,” Murtaugh said. “It’s very sad to see a career end this way. Just very, very sad. Sad. And we feel sorry for him.”

Murtaugh added: “Chris Shays is a bitter and spiteful man. It’s very sad.”

The Republican primary is Aug. 14. McMahon was leading Shays by nearly 30 points in a June Quinnipiac poll. The winner of the Republican primary will move on to what will likely be a surprisingly less heated general-election battle against Rep. Chris Murphy for retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat. 

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