The race for the White House loomed over the only televised debate for a Colorado U.S. Senate seat at the History Colorado Center in Denver Tuesday night.
The debate, televised by 9NEWS on Channel 20, started with a question to Republican Darryl Glenn on his wavering support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“What I’m trying to show him is grace,” Glenn said.
That’s a reversal from this weekend when Glenn called for Trump to quit the race after Trump’s lewd conversation with Billy Bush became public.
The leaked audio from 2005 featured Trump endorsing the idea that famous men can grope women without their permission.
PHOTOS: Bennet, Glenn square off in U.S. Senate debate
And the questions about the top of the Republican and Democratic tickets spilled over into the questions the candidates got to ask each other.
Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet pushed Glenn on his on again off again support for Trump.
“When are you going to hold Hillary Clinton accountable?” Glenn said. “Hillary Clinton has been caught lying. Giving away classified information.”
Glenn went on to say that he’s “absolutely suspended my endorsement of Donald Trump.”
But like a friend or family member who’s made a mistake, Glenn wants to give Trump a chance to explain and repent.
One of the testier exchanges of the night came when Glenn pushed Bennet on whether he should stand up to
Clinton and demand that she apologize for calling some of Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables.”
“He didn’t call her out. She was wrong,” Glenn said. “Will you say that?”
Bennet said, “I didn’t have to because she said she was wrong.”
The moderators also asked Bennet whether he stands behind controversial remarks found in Clinton’s recently leaked Wall Street speeches.
“I haven’t read the speeches, but I will say I believe very strongly in free trade,” Bennet said in response to a question about whether he supports the idea of open borders and open trade.
Glenn put some distance between himself and his party’s nominee on immigration, saying a banning a group of people from entering the U.S. because of their nationality or religion is “overly broad.”
“I do not support blanket bans,” Glenn said.
That’s different from what Glenn told Craig Silverman on his radio show last year. The Republican nominee called
Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the country sound.
Bennet’s support for the Iran nuclear deal was a repeat topic during the debate. The incumbent senator faced questions from both the moderators and his opponent about his support for the controversial plan to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
“That was the right vote,” Bennet said. “The consequences of not doing the deal would have been allowing Iran to build a bomb in secret.”
Occasional noise could be heard in the background of the debate from protestors outside History Colorado Center at 12th & Broadway in Denver, who were trying to disrupt the event. Some of them held signs in support of minor party candidates who weren’t invited to participate. 9NEWS requires 10 percent support in independent polls to justify inclusion in televised debates.