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Saturday, September 15, 2012

At Rally, Elizabeth Warren Takes More Aggressive Stance


BOSTON - During a rally on Saturday, Elizabeth Warren questioned the record and credibility of Senator Scott P. Brown, energizing a crowd of more than 700 people as the Senate race in Massachusetts turned more aggressive and pointed.

“Scott Brown isn't a bad guy, he takes some good votes,” said Ms. Warren, speaking to a crowd at Boston University that appeared to be more than half college students and young voters, joined by middle-aged and older voters from the area. “But when it gets tough, when it comes down to the big votes that matter to working people across the commonwealth of Massachusetts, too often, Scott P. Brown has been on the side of the millionaires and the billionaires.”

The rally comes the same week as both Ms. Warren and Mr. Brown introduced their first attack ads of the campaign. Ms. Warren's campaign points to Mr. Brown's record, trying to paint him as inconsistent while conceding that he is as personable as his own campaign has made him out to be.

In her speech, which lasted about 15 minutes, Ms. Warren went through a list of voting groups - including students, the elderly, women and the unemployed - contrasting parts of Mr. Brown's voting record with her own policy aims.

“Women,” said Ms. Warren, addressing one of those groups, to cheers. “Scott Brown voted against equal pay for equal work and voted to block women's access to insurance coverage on birth control,” referring to Mr. Brown's vote against the Paycheck Fairness Act and his support for the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed employers to keep birth control out of employees' health insurance plans.

“Me, I want t o go to Washington to fight for women,” she continued, bringing women and men around the room to their feet.

While the Brown campaign did not issue a direct response to the speech, an early-morning statement criticized the attack ad put out earlier this week by Ms. Warren's campaign.

“We had hoped for better in this campaign,” said Jim Barnett, the manager of the Brown campaign. “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.”

Ms. Warren ended her speech with an endorsement of the role of government in strengthening the country, a campaign theme that first gained notoriety in a video that became popular last fall.

“The vision of my Republican opponent and the Republican Party can be boiled down to this: I've got mine, and the rest of you are on your own,” Ms. Warren said. “We are a better peo ple than that.”

“We came out of the Great Depression and what did we do as a people? We invested. We invested in ourselves, we invested in our kids, we invested in our future,” Ms. Warren said. “We didn't know what the next great business would be, we didn't know who would start it, but we were pretty sure you were going to need to plug in when you did,” she said, to some laughter.

At the rally, Peter Alvarez, a second-year law student at Boston University, echoed the criticisms of Mr. Brown.

“I think she did a good job juxtaposing herself and his votes,” Mr. Alvarez said. “I think she needed to harp on, for the people of Massachusetts, what Scott Brown has done. He's only on our side when it's an easy vote.”