The candidates had one final debate. The format of this program, which was carried on Buffalo's educational TV channel, did not permit much grappling or head-knocking, but Flaherty's attack on Nixon's economic record had upset Kemp so much that he blew a key line his staff had spent the afternoon coaching him to recite ("As far as unemployment is concerned, I am not going to play politics with people's jobs"). Even worse, Kemp ended his remarks by saying the unemployment in Buffalo was caused not by the President, nor by himself. Jack Kemp, but by his opponent's supporters, the striking auto workers of General Motors. It was a gratuitous and injudicious slap at labor.
No sooner were the candidates off camera than the verbal jousting got even hotter. According to a witness it went like this:
Flaherty: You got a little frantic there, Jack.
Kemp: What do you mean?
Flaherty: Why, you pushed the panic button.
Kemp: Well, you're running that ad on television. But we've taken care of that.
Flaherty: Oh really?
Kemp: You bet. We've stopped it.
Flaherty: I hadn't heard.
Kemp: You'd better check with your ad agency.