Published January 18, 2010
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling took new aim at one another Monday, the day before voters hit the polls for the special election to fill the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.
Still shaking his head at being called a Yankee fan, the Red Sox great told Fox News that Coakley doesn't understand Massachusetts voters.
"I think she seems to be very out of touch with who they are and what they are and what they want," Schilling said, also slamming Coakley's performance as attorney general. "If you go back and look at her resume, it's not very good. She hasn't done very well"
Less than an hour later, at a campaign stop at a diner in Newton, Mass., Coakley responded to Schilling's comments saying voters will make that decision.
"I'm not concerned about what Curt Schilling says," she added.
In a radio interview last week, Coakley was widely criticized for what her campaign called a "deadpan" joke in which Coakley called Schilling a Yankee fan.
This ignited a fiery debate that Coakley was then offending Boston sports fans, which would be perceived as a big blunder in the heart of Red Sox nation. Her camp continues to say it was just a bad joke.
Schilling, who retired as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, is considered an icon and hero in Massachusetts, most notably for his pivotal role in 2004 when the Red Sox won the World Series championship for the first time since 1918, breaking the "curse of the Bambino." The Red Sox went on to win again in 2007, with Schilling earning the game two win. He retired last year.
Schilling has backed GOP candidates in the past and even considered getting into politics himself, though he said Monday that now is not the time for him to run for office. However, he has been outspoken about the current Senate race on his blog and campaigned on Sunday with Coakley's opponent, Republican state Sen. Scott Brown.
On Sunday, President Obama came to Massachusetts to add some star power and rally the Democratic base. On Monday, perhaps playing an expectations game that insulates the president, the White House signaled some pessimism about her chances of winning.
"The White House is supporting us. I think the president has come here because he knows that I'm going to win tomorrow and he's trying to get that message out," Coakley said of the signals being sent from Washington.
The Kennedy seat is one that observers never thought would be close, and the unexpected narrowing in the last week, with polls on Monday showing Brown ahead by five points, 51-46, has Democrats scrambling on health insurance reforms that could be threatened by a loss of their 60-vote supermajority in the Senate.
FOX News’ Carl Cameron, Molly Line and Andrew Fone contributed to this report.