Mandel's comments, which came during a candidate sit-down with the editorial staff of the Columbus Dispatch, sparked anger from Democrats and the Brown campaign. Mandel himself admitted when calling Brown "un-American" that it's "a dangerous word to use."

“I don’t toss around the word un-American very often — it’s a dangerous word to use. But stripping ... Delphi employees of their pensions with that vote — that is un-American,” he said, according to the Dispatch.

The Brown campaign blasted his opposition to the bailout to reporters, calling it an "insult" to the Ohioans helped by it. But the campaign also highlighted the "un-American" comments as what it sees an another example of an unforced error from a stumbling candidate, and "even more disturbing" than his opposition to the bailout.

"Josh Mandel is well-known for politicking in the gutter, dodging the issues and not showing up for work, but he has taken the discourse in this race to a disturbing new low, and is nothing more than a politician who can't be trusted," said campaign spokeswoman Sadie Weiner.

The two veterans touted Brown's record on veterans' issues, with Laich going so far as to call it "perfect." Laich also slammed Mandel for his comments, saying they distracted from the issues at hand.

"[The comments] reflect poorly on the judgment of the person who would make that statement," he said.

--This post was published at 10:22 a.m. and updated at 2:30 p.m.