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Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Rally for Warren, as Massachusetts Senate Race Intensifies


Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate who has seemed on the ropes in the hard-fought Massachusetts Senate race, has planned a major rally for Saturday in Boston with Gov. Deval Patrick.

The rally, at Boston University, comes as the race against Senator Scott P. Brown, a Republican, has intensified, with both candidates broadcasting their first attack ads of the campaign.

The two are preparing to face off on Thursday in the first of four debates in what many consider the premiere Senate race of this election cycle. It is the most expensive Congressional race in the country and the most expensive in Massachusetts history and could help determine which party controls the Senate next year.

Ms. Warren, who has been under pressure from supporters to rejigger her ad campaign and connect more on a personal level with voters, was the first to mention her opponent in a new ad that was broadcast Thursday. It features Art Ramalho, the trainer for the boxer Micky Ward, saying that Mr. Brown has been “siding with the big-money guys” and that Ms. Warren is a gutsy fighter.

Mr. Brown came back Friday with two ads. In the first, he says Ms. Warren is “being dishonest about who I am and what I stand for.” The ad does not explain what she is being dishonest about, but it does trot out what appears to be a new tag line, in which Mr. Brown says, “I'm nobody's senator but yours.”

In a separate written statement, the campaign said Ms. Warren was being dishonest about Mr. Brown's stance on taxes when she says he “supports tax cuts for millionaires.” The Brown camp says that distorts his view because he voted to keep in place the same tax cuts for everyone, not just those earning more than $250,000.

His second ad is aimed at the all-important women's vote. It features women saying that Mr. Brown “is pro-choice and he supports a woman's right to choose” and that he will fight for women to have “good jobs with equal pay.”

In an unusually blunt response to this ad, Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily's List, says Mr. Brown “is straight-up lying to Massachusetts voters.” While Mr. Brown has supported some “pro-choice” measures, he has also been endorsed by the state's leading group against abortion rights and co-sponsored the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed employers to deny health care coverage like contraception if they have religious or moral objections. And he voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The Warren campaign on Friday pounced on comments Mr. Brown made on a radio talk show, in which he said he would vote against extending the Bu sh-era tax cuts to middle-class families unless it included the wealthiest taxpayers, saying they were the ones who create jobs.

In an interview on WTKK, he was pressed about whether he would support extending the tax cuts if they only covered people who make less than $250,000.

“Crystal clear, no,” Mr. Brown said. “You're talking about raising taxes on our job creators, our small-business owners,” he said. “It's not just about millionaires and billionaires.”

Politico reported Saturday that Ms. Warren took a more aggressive turn in her ad campaign at the behest of Washington Democrats, including Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, because they were worried she was losing the race to Mr. Brown.

The Brown campaign pounced on this, with Jim Barnett, Mr. Brown's campaign manager, issuing a statement saying that Ms. Warren was “caving to party bosses” by running a negative ad. “We had hoped for better in this campaign,” Mr . Barnett's statement said. “Scott Brown is beholden to no one.”