With the state's primary just weeks away, Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Joe Kennedy are getting personal as they each try to get a competitive edge in what's been a very tight senate race. WGBH Morning Edition Host Joe Mathieu spoke with WBZ News Political Analyst and moderator, Jon Keller, about last night's debate. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.

Joe Mathieu: I'll tell you what, there were some pretty chippy moments and we're gonna go through this a little bit. Both candidates clearly showed up for a debate, Jon. Did either move the needle, in your opinion?

Jon Keller: Well, I told you they were ready to rumble, and they certainly were. It's so tough to say, Joe, because the answer to your question depends on what kind of mood undecided voters are in. I think already committed Kennedy and Markey supporters both came away with something to talk about last night. But what about the voters that aren't decided? Does their anxiety over the economy, social justice, and their health translate into a desire to really shake up the status quo? If so, Kennedy had a great night. Or are they open to the argument Markey made last night that you can get both change and the benefit of experience by reelecting him? I just don't know what the answer is for that question.

Mathieu: Boy, that says a lot right now. Questions surrounding the way Markey handled the case of DJ Henry was a big part of the night. You expected that to be the case — Joe Kennedy accusing Markey of not helping Henry's parents when they approached him for assistance.

Clip of Sen. Ed Markey: It is just not true what Congressman Kennedy is saying. I have a letter here with his signature next to mine. Not on one letter, two letters.

Mathieu: Jon Keller, did Sen. Markey put this issue to bed?

Keller: I think that was probably the weakest moment of the evening for Ed Markey. Markey, first of all, has apologized to the Henry family, who claimed that he was dismissive toward them when they sought his help with their fight for justice for DJ. You signed two letters to the attorney general? That's your response? That was lame, and it kind of underscored Kennedy's ongoing critique of Markey, that he suffers from a passion and energy deficit. So I scored that one for Kennedy.

Mathieu: Jon, things took on a very personal feel, as I mentioned, at a couple of different points in this debate. They argued about who is running a more fair campaign. And boy, this moment from Joe Kennedy is one that I won't forget.

Clip of Rep. Joe Kennedy: Your campaign supporters have bullied my supporters, have put out tweets saying that Lee Harvey got the wrong Kennedy, that where is Lee Harvey Oswald. And not a word coming from you. Not a word.

Mathieu: That's pretty tough stuff. Markey had his turn as well.

Clip of Sen. Ed Markey: Tell your father right now that you don't want money to go into a super PAC that runs negative ads. Just tell your twin brother and tell your father.

Mathieu: Jon, these two guys have known each other as long as Joe Kennedy has been alive. I bet they never thought they would be in a room talking like that.

Keller: Maybe not. Off camera, they were cordial enough. They bumped elbows when they came in and the fierce scowls kind of sated during the commercial break. But, yeah, it's an unusual situation. I think it's awkward for both men. Listening to that exchange there about Kennedy and his PACs and Markey and his Twitter trolls reminded me of a famous line from one of the Romney-Ted Kennedy debates way back in 1994 — I was only nine years old then but I remember it — where Romney was complaining about Kennedy's attack ads and Kennedy turned to him and said, "Mr. Romney, my pain over your ads and your pain over my ads is nothing compared to the pain of the people of Massachusetts."

So I don't know how far that kind of complaining gets either candidate, but I thought Markey's attack on the alleged contributions to super PACs being made by Kennedy family members was one of his highlights of the debate. It helped him promote a theme he's been hammering on throughout the campaign: that the Kennedy family is essentially trying to buy themselves a Senate seat. And I can't imagine that image sits well with voters who believe it.