The men didn't waste much time getting into it over differences in social security. The candidates from the 7th Congressional District seat point fingers at the other for being out of touch.
"I want to make sure everyone understands the choice here. This is a radical idea, privatizing social security," Schauer says of his opponent's position.
"I think we all know, other than my opponent who continues to want to whistle to the graveyard, it's a social security system that is broken," Walberg says.
The race between incumbent Mark Schauer and challenger Tim Walberg is one of the most expensive in the nation, with millions of dollars being poured into ads-- ads some say are too negative. The men respond.
"I don't think the ad with my 95-year-old mother is negative. I'm sorry, Mark, that she's said to me and my twin that 'Mark Schauer is full of baloney,'" Walberg says.
"Most of the ads that I've been running directly from my campaign are Tim Walberg's own words; he says outsourcing is good, that we're getting jobs back from China," Schauer says.
The crowd in the debate was half the story Thursday at the debate at Jackson Community College; supporters from both sides were vocal, even when asked to remain quiet.
In the end, the candidates hope people see the difference between them.
"Over my dead body will social security be privatized or Medicare eliminated," Schauer says.
"The only check and balance will be Tim Walberg," Walberg says.
Both men have served one term in U.S. Congress.