- Scott Brown appeared to botch a question on New Hampshire geography in the final Senate debate
- But it's not so clear he did, and the reporter who asked the question even apologized
- Most of Sullivan County is north of Concord, but it's further west of the capital city
Turns out the "gotcha" moment in Thursday's New Hampshire debate wasn't so clear cut.
Republican Scott Brown, who is vying for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's seat, appeared to botch a question on New Hampshire geography during the final debate in the contentious race.
But after some post-debate map-checking, the former senator from Massachusetts, who moved back to New Hampshire after losing his Senate seat in 2013, actually got an apology from the reporter who questioned the candidate's familiarity with state geography.
So did Brown get it right and WMUR's James Pindell got it wrong? Turns out, both were partly right.
First, the incident:
Pindell, one of the state's top political reporters, had his sights set on Brown's relative lack of in-state credentials and asked Brown to talk specifically about economic conditions in Sullivan County -- one of 10 counties in the state.
Brown didn't get into the specifics of Sullivan County, but talked about the economic conditions "up North."
"We're talking about Sullivan County, and I think you were talking about the north country," Pindell interjected, referring to the northern tier of the state that doesn't include Sullivan County.
"I'm talking about any place past Concord, actually," Brown retorted.
Pindell stuck to his line, explaining that Sullivan County is "west of Concord, it's not north of Concord, Sen. Brown."
That changed after the debate when Pindell apologized on air and said "Scott Brown was right, I was wrong."
Now, the fact check:
Most of Sullivan County is in fact north of the capital city of Concord, but Sullivan County is also further west of the city than it is north.
And a sliver of the county is even south of Concord, according to several maps.
So in truth, the vast majority Sullivan County is northwest of Concord, and even Brown conceded in a post-debate press conference that he "should have been more specific."
"I've visited every county and I'm going to continue to take that message of independence to every county," he said.
The nuance didn't keep Shaheen's campaign from pouncing on the opportunity to highlight Brown's outsider status.
Shaheen's campaign even announced after the debate that she would head to Sullivan County on Friday.