Friday August 24, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- U.S. Sen. Scott Brown wrapped up a five-day statewide campaign tour in Pittsfield on Friday by saying there is "no basis in fact" for Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren's allegation that he opposes women's issues.

In an op-ed piece published in The Eagle on Tuesday, Warren said Brown has worked with the leaders of the Republican Party leaders to further an agenda that "would undercut women and move us back a generation or more."

Brown, who is involved in a close race for re-election against Warren, responded with his own editorial in Friday's Eagle stating that he was personally offended by Warren's attacks, which he referred to as a "campaign of distortion."

"She's claiming that I have this war on women and there's no basis in fact to that," said Brown, as he ate lunch at Teo's Hot Dogs Restaurant on East Street and posed for pictures with supporters.

Brown visited papermaker Crane & Co. in Dalton, a town where his father once lived, before arriving at Teo's. Brown said he's been visiting Teo's since he was 13. His picture hangs on a wall in the restaurant.

On the federal level, Brown said he was the lead Republican Party supporter for the Violence Against Women Act, and worked hard to protect funding for Planned Parenthood. As a state senator, Brown said he helped override Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal on stem cell research and was in favor of protecting contraceptive rights for women who have been raped.

On Tuesday, a poll by Democratic leaning Public Policy Polling had Brown leading Warren by 49 to 44 percent.

"As the polls have been going up there's been more attacks and distortions," he said. "They're getting more and more desperate."

Brown, who is pro-choice, has distanced himself from the Republican Party's stance on abortion since Missouri Rep. Todd Akin claimed earlier this week that women's bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape." He initially referred to Akin's comments as "outrageous, inappropriate and wrong" and immediately called for him to resign as the Republican senate nominee from that state.

"I think everybody was shocked by those comments," he said. "I just happened to be the first one in the country to call for him not to proceed in his effort as a U.S. senator. Even professor Warren hasn't called for that."

Warren took issue with Akin's comments in a radio ad this week, but hasn't called for him to drop out of the race.

"The reason she hasn't called for it is because she knows if he gets out than someone stronger will get in, and they'll potentially lose the seat in Missouri," Brown said. "She's putting party politics ahead of it."

Warren's campaign did not return a phone call seeking comment.