Markey: ‘It’s really not math. It’s just arithmetic’

Democratic Rep. Ed Markey drew a sharp distinction Tuesday night between “math” and “arithmetic,” suggesting that arithmetic was not, in fact, math, in spite of what your elementary school teacher may have taught you.

Markey made the somewhat confusing remark at a debate with Republican Gabriel Gomez. The two are vying for the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by former Sen. John Kerry when he became Secretary of State.

(RELATED:┬áBiden on Mass. Senate race: No ‘automatic’ minority turnout without Obama on ticket)

“It’s really not math. It’s just arithmetic. It’s very simple arithmetic. It’s not as complicated as math,” Markey said, answering a question about the Keystone XL Pipeline, which he opposes and Gomez supports.

Gomez had previously said that while he was a “green Republican” and felt that some of his fellow Republicans ignored science, he felt that Democrats often ignored the math when it came to job creation.

The special election is set for June 25.

Follow Alexis on Twitter