Published August 27, 2012
Massachusetts Republicans have released a video that they claim shows an aide for Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren physically assaulting an employee of the Massachusetts GOP -- but Warren's campaign says the man featured was a cab driver, not a member of Warren's staff.
The rapid-fire volley of accusations was a reminder, as the Republican National Convention slowly gets underway, that several Senate races that could hold the key to a majority for either party next year promise to be just as fierce as the presidential race.
Massachusetts GOP Executive Director Nate Little kicked off the back-and-forth by claiming that a Warren aide "physically assaulted and threatened" a party employee who was videotaping Warren Sunday on Martha's Vineyard.
"In addition to knocking the camera from the employee's hand, the individual also threw a punch," he said. "This type of behavior is completely unacceptable and has no place in our public discourse. Despite witnessing this assault first-hand, Professor Warren took no action and allowed it to continue. As Professor Warren falls further behind in the polls, we expect that she will become more negative toward Scott Brown. However, that should not be an excuse for her staff to lash out in violence. Professor Warren needs to address this situation and ensure that it doesn't happen again."
The video shows the person with Warren knocking down the camera of the GOP video tracker, though it does not clearly show a punch being thrown. The man, after knocking down the camera, tells the cameraman repeatedly to "get out of my face."
Warren spokeswoman Julie Edwards released the following statement in response: "Elizabeth did not see what happened. The photographer has a right to film in public locations, and the campaign had allowed him to film the entirety of Elizabeth's event. The confrontation was wrong."
But Massachusetts Democrats were quick to weigh in, reciprocating with their own footage showing video captured by a Democratic tracker being "physically removed" from a March 2 event in Revere, Mass., where incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown was speaking.
Brown and Warren are locked in a tight race that's becoming increasingly nasty in the final weeks.
Brown staffers argue Warren has "taken her campaign into the gutter" and "sharpened her attacks" in the wake of new polls showing Brown edging ahead and Warren's unfavorable rating on the rise. The campaign released a new ad Monday titled "Desperate." Video text shows a portion of writing from a recent Brown op-ed published in the Berkshire Eagle which reads, "There's an old saying in campaigns that goes something like 'the more desperate a candidate gets the uglier and more misleading their attacks become.'"
Meanwhile, Warren's campaign put out a new television ad aiming to highlight "the threat that still exists to women's rights and the clear choice in this election for Massachusetts women and their families."
In the ad, Warren argues recent Republican votes have blocked equal pay for equal work and "pushed a law that could have denied insurance coverage for birth control."