Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown launched his first negative ad of the cycle, attacking his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren on the controversy surrounding her self-proclaimed Native American heritage.
The ad shows video clips of television reporters talking about Warren’s claim, which was discovered when the former professor listed herself as Native American in law school directories.
“Warren admitted to identifying herself as Native American to employers,” says a reporter from WCVB.
“Something now genealogists have said they have zero evidence of,” says FOX News’ Megyn Kelly.
“She’s facing tough questions about whether she claimed to be a minority for professional gain,” says a reporter from WBZ.
“Warren did give an answer,” says an NECN reporter. “The problem is, it keeps changing.”
The ad ends with a clip of a reporter asking Warren: “Is there anything else that’s going to come out about you that we don’t already know?”
“You know, I don’t think so,” says Warren, apparently making a joke, “but who knows.”
The ad is Brown’s first negative spot of the cycle, coming just over a week after Warren broke the tacit truce the two had kept for months. Warren went up with two negative ads, reportedly at the urging of national Democrats, concerned that she had not opened up a lead in the traditionally deep blue state.
At the time, Brown criticized Warren for going negative, and accused her of kowtowing to “party bosses in Washington” concerned that she was going to lose.
“Elizabeth Warren’s decision to start running negative ads was bad enough, but now we’re learning that it happened at the direction of party leaders in Washington who feared that she was in danger of losing to Scott Brown. We had hoped for better in this campaign,” said Jim Barnett, Brown’s campaign manager, in a statement.
“Scott Brown is beholden to no one. We need more independent voices like Scott Brown who will always do what is right for Massachusetts, and not cave to the whims of party bosses in Washington.”
The Native American issue is a good one for Brown to start with, as it is something Warren has not succeeded in putting to rest. A Suffolk/7News poll from last week found that 79 percent of voters were aware of the controversy, and that one of the words most often mentioned when voters were asked to describe Warren was “liar,” which a 7News write up says refers to the heritage controversy. Another of the most used descriptors was “honest/integrity,” though fewer people said that than liar.
“I know what I know from my family,” said Warren, according to the Boston Herald, defending herself on the radio Monday morning. “I didn’t check a box to go to college. I didn’t check a box to go to law school. The only box I checked was in a directory to help people find me. I didn’t take anyone else’s job. I think it’s pretty clear, the job I got is the job I got because of my teaching qualifications.”