The final debate between gubernatorial candidates Dino Rossi and Christine Gregoire turned ugly last night as the heated verbal exchange erupted into an all-out brawl in front of a stunned panel of local journalists.
With the increasingly ugly tone of the campaign, local political veterans were surprised only that it took this long to come to physical violence.
The sudden explosion of hostilities gave the candidates no time to agree to any rules, leading to gruesome signature moves such as the Gregoire Eye-Gouge and the Rossi Rabid Rat-Bite.
The low point of the brawl for Rossi came as he took a knee to the groin and lost his pants, accidentally showing off his mafia-themed boxers. He got his comeuppance shortly afterward however, when he soundly bludgeoned Gregoire with a bag of casino slot-machine tokens and poker chips.
Even as they traded blows, the candidates continued to debate the issues in shouts and screams.
“It’s time for some real change in Olympia,” said Rossi. “You can’t keep throwing the same punches over and over again and expect a different result,” he added, as he scissor-kicked Gregoire in the chin.
“Dealing with these pitiful physical attacks is nothing compared to balancing the 2.2 billion dollar deficit I inherited,” said Gregoire into the camera, foolishly turning her back on Rossi, who was faking a concussion-induced seizure after taking a blow to the head from Gregoire’s “Bush Bashing Baseball Bat.”
Rossi quickly jumped up and cut her off. “Balance this!” He shouted, as he smashed a folding chair across Gregoire’s back.
With over four million viewers, television viewership of the debate across Washington was higher than all the prior gubernatorial debates combined, and even bested the McCain-Obama debate that aired earlier in the evening.
In polls following the debate/brawl 47 percent of voters said Rossi won the match, while 47 percent thought Gregoire was the champ, foreshadowing another nail-biter come election night.