Democrat Warren talks tough in tight Senate race

BOSTON Sat Jun 2, 2012 5:21pm EDT

Elizabeth Warren speaks with voters as she campaigns after announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 14, 2011. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Elizabeth Warren speaks with voters as she campaigns after announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 14, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Adam Hunger

BOSTON (Reuters) - Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren took the offensive against Republican Senator Scott Brown on Saturday, attempting to put questions about her ethnic heritage in the rear-view mirror with a fiery speech at a state convention.

Warren's attack came as two opinion polls showed the rivals locked in a tight race for Brown's Senate seat for Massachusetts, one of the most closely watched Congressional contests in the November election, in which the Democrats are seeking to protect a slim Senate majority.

"Scott Brown is a Wall Street Republican. A big oil Republican. A Mitt Romney Republican," Warren said at the Democrat's state convention in Springfield, Massachusetts.

"We have seen where the Republicans want to drive this country, and it is ugly."

As expected Warren -- who has a high national profile and has raised millions of dollars for her bid, much of it from out of state -- on Saturday officially became her party's nominee to face Brown. She won 96 percent of the vote in the nominating contest, avoiding a primary run-off.

The former official in President Barack Obama's administration, who is a professor at Harvard Law School, has faced weeks of controversy over suggestions she used distant Native American ancestry to help gain employment at top universities.

Brown's campaign has taken up the issue to question Warren's truthfulness and integrity.

"His answer is to talk about my family and to tell me how I grew up," Warren said. "Well, I say this, if that's all you've got, Scott Brown, I'm ready. And let me be clear: I am not backing down. I didn't get in this race to fold up the first time I got punched."

A poll published by the Boston Globe newspaper on Saturday showed Brown leading Warren 39 percent to 37 percent in a survey of 651 likely voters, within the margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

The survey was taken in late May, when the issue of Warren's Native American heritage was highlighted in local media.

In another poll released on Saturday, Western New England University, in a survey of 504 likely voters taken for the Springfield Republican newspaper, showed Warren with 45 percent to Brown's 43 percent.

An earlier poll by the university done in late February put Brown ahead by 8 percentage points. The margin of error for the new survey was plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The Globe poll showed that Brown, an affable politician whose voting record puts him among the most centrist Republican Senators, remains popular more than two years after his January 2010 upset win in a special election after the death of liberal icon Edward Kennedy. Brown's favorability rating was 55 percent. Warren's was 48 percent.

Speaking to the Democratic Party faithful, Warren invoked the memory of Kennedy, who held the Senate seat for more than four decades.

"It's a long way from Ted Kennedy to Scott Brown," she said, before cataloging a number of Brown's votes likely to enrage convention-goers. "We know where Scott Brown stands - and it is not with the people of Massachusetts."

Democrats see the Massachusetts seat as a prime target to pick up in the November 6 polls.

Democrats have a 51-47 advantage over Republicans in the 100-seat Senate, with two independents, but are defending more than 20 seats against Republican challengers in November, while Republicans are defending only about half that many.

(Reporting By Ros Krasny; Editing by Greg McCune and David Brunnstrom)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (6)
Szbignewski wrote:
Just another bourgeois who’s ashamed to be white. You might as well go ahead and be proud of who you really are. The others will hate you anyway. Apologizing for yourself will just lead them to conclude you’re stupid as well.

Jun 02, 2012 5:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Billcarson wrote:
Exclusive: Video Shows Elizabeth Warren Telling Tall Tale of ‘Composite’ Grandmother

Exclusive: Video Shows Elizabeth Warren Telling Tall Tale of ‘Composite’ Grandmother
114 4 1831


Email ArticlePrint Article
Send a Tip by Michael Patrick Leahy 1 day ago 239post a comment
A recently discovered video shows Elizabeth Warren telling another tall tale about her family. The day after she announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate, Democrat Elizabeth Warren told the convocation at the University of Massachusetts-Boston: “My grandmother drove a wagon in the land rush to settle territory out west. It was 1889, she was 15 years old…She lived to be 94, to see her youngest grandchild–that’s me–graduate from college…”. The only problem with this story is that it’s not true.

Jun 02, 2012 6:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:
Ms Warren has it absolutely right: If this is the best Scott Brown can do, then bring it on. Do you think so little of the people of Massachusetts to believe that they’d pass up on a rare opportunity to FINALLY elect someone who wants to go to Washington to actually fight for THE PEOPLE because of some issue with her Grandmother? Really? This is exactly how we keep ending up with politicians who don’t give two hoots about the American Middle Class.

Haven’t you had enough with the corporate puppets like Scott Brown? And please spare us the denials about Brown being just another corporate beneficiary. No less than Forbes Magazine, a right leaning magazine, has named Brown one of Wall Street’s favorite Senators. Wall Street has enough representation. It’s we the people who lack representation and Elizabeth Warren has demonstrated that she is a passionate advocate for the Middle Class. Do you really think that Wall Street is pouring in all that money into Brown’s campaign just because they like the way he looks? Wake up, people. When are you going to start sticking up for yourselves and your country? When are you going to realize that our government has been bought out from under us and no longer represents the people, unless you happen to be one of the few politically active multimillionaires or billionaires? Elizabeth Warren is a rare opportunity. Don’t screw it up.

Jun 03, 2012 12:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.