So, on Tuesday, two major candidates for the Republican nomination the Nebraska U.S. Senate race talked in an actual debate about how one of the candidates follows the other’s 14-year-old daughter on Twitter. So this should have probably been expected: The other candidate also follows teenaged girls on Twitter.
State Treasurer Don Stenberg was hitting fellow GOP challenger and Attorney General Jon Bruning hard on Tuesday for signing his name to a 2009 letter endorsing President Barack Obama’s appointment of Eric Holder to U.S. attorney general. That’s when Bruning, desperate for a diversion, shifted the debate.
This Sunday, my daughter walks in, and she says, “Don Stenberg’s trying to follow me on Twitter.” My daughter’s 14 years old. Now you tell me — I’d like to know, why does a 62-year-old man want to follow a 14-year-old girl on Twitter? I’d really like to know. She said, “Dad, that’s kind of creepy.”
This caused Stenberg to become flustered, saying he doesn’t manage his campaign’s Twitter account as Bruning continually repeated that his daughter was 14.
After the fact, the website Nebraska Watchdog — whose “about” section says it is dedicated to uncovering and analysing the actions of state and local government” — checked out Bruning’s Twitter. Predictably, they found some “kind of creepy” follows on there, as well.
According to the site, Bruning follows “several young women,” including a friend of his daughter’s and a 16-year-old girl who says she “loves her country.” The specific account described by the site has the description, “16, Homeschooled, and loves her Country!:).” A Bruning spokeswoman told Nebraska Watchdog that the accounts were “probably already following the attorney general,” which she said “makes a difference.”
Interestingly, Nebraska’s Democratic Party came to Stenberg’s defence. This might have something to do with the fact that Bob Kerrey, the Democrats’ candidate after Ben Nelson’s abrupt retirement in December, is trailing by double digits to three Republican candidates, according to a late-March poll by Public Policy Polling. Kerrey trails Bruning by 17 points and Stenberg by 14 points.
“If it’s creepy for a 62-year-old to follow a 14-year-old, why isn’t it creepy for a 42-year-old Attorney General to follow a 16-year-old?” Nebraska Democratic Party Operations Director Missy Wigley said in an email to Business Insider.
She added: “If this is the best that Jon Bruning can do in a debate – which is to essentially call his opponent “creepy” and imply that he’s a pedophile – he’s going to get creamed by Bob Kerrey. Are the poll numbers between Bruning and Stenberg closer that what’s been suggested if Bruning has to reach into a bag of dirty tricks to hit Stenberg in order to win a Primary?”
Not quite. But we will see if this causes any backlash in a tight GOP race.
Watch video of the original debate below:
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