Carper pressed on abuse at debate (Scott Goss)

Senator Tom Carper’s “decades-old spousal abuse” controversy (Carper slapped his first wife on one occasion, 40 years ago, as was brought to light during his first run for the House in the early 1980s) came up in a debate with challenger Rob Arlett. Arlett raised the issue in response to a question about whether President Donald Trump should be held to the same standard as other politicians when it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct. Carper responded angrily to the point, saying that he had made a mistake and previously owned up to it.

This isn’t the first time the controversy has been raised during the current campaign, e.g., Arlett’s campaign brought it up in an e-mail newsletter to prospective donors accusing Carper of being a hypocrite for opposing the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he, himself, was a “known wife beater.”

The story goes on to recap a few other points from the debate. Arlett said Carper had been in office too long, was in the pocket of special interests for the pharmaceutical industry, and was acting as a partisan obstructionist. Carper attempted to paint Arlett as a rubber stamp for the president’s agenda while characterizing himself as a statesman dedicated to bipartisanship.

If any policy issues were debated, they aren’t mentioned. The reporter did see fit, however, to imply that Arlett had essentially no chance of winning the election. Why? To win, he would need the vote of every Republican in the state, substantial backing from independents, and a lot of Democrats not voting.
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