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Mr. Cantor called the debate a “robust discussion,” and “a debate, though, frankly, that has been peppered, unfortunately, [with] what is wrong with politics today, and that is just a rash of personal attacks … and, as we saw, repetitive disregard for honesty and truth.”

Mr. Powell, by coin flip, got the last word.

“Twelve years is long enough,” he said of Mr. Cantor’s tenure in the House. “And if you can’t think of what Mr. Cantor’s legislative accomplishments were over the last 12 years, then you’re not alone.”