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U.S. Senate candidates have 1st debate

In their first debate Sunday, U.S. Senate candidates Dean Barkley, Norm Coleman and Al Franken discussed the nation's financial crisis and more, the Star Tribune reported.

The debate, which took place before 850 people in a university gymnasium, was 90 minutes.

They repeated the ideas that have been shown in the recent television advertisements, with Republican Sen. Norm Coleman questioning Democrat Al Franken's temperament, and Franken linking Coleman to policies of an unpopular president, WCCO reported.

Coleman defended the $700 billion bailout plan, while Franken opposed it.

"This whole thing reminded me of the rush to war in Iraq," Franken said. "It was give us $700 billion right now and Secretary Paulson will take care of it."

Other topics debated included war policy, deficit spending, and energy.

The debate was the first of five over the next month.

The next debate is Saturday at Breck High School in Golden Valley.