Saturday August 25, 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 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 in November, 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.

Sen. Scott Brown eats hot dogs Friday at Teo’s Hot Dogs in Pittsfield. Brown was in the city on a campaign stop to try to distance himself from
Sen. Scott Brown eats hot dogs Friday at Teo’s Hot Dogs in Pittsfield. Brown was in the city on a campaign stop to try to distance himself from opponent Elizabeth Warren’s views. (Stephanie Zollshan / Berkshire Eagle Staff)
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"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 then-Gov. Mitt Romney'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."

Alethea Harney, a spokeswoman for Warren defended Warren's record on women's issues.

"Women in Massachusetts can count on Elizabeth to protect their rights and they can't count on Scott Brown," Harney said in a statement. "Elizabeth is pro-choice and believes that women should have access to the full range of reproductive health care options available to them. Scott Brown cosponsored legislation that could block women's access to birth control and stands with a Republican ticket and anti-choice organizations committed to outlawing abortion and even some forms of birth control. Elizabeth stands with President Obama, organizations as Planned Parenthood and those who believe that women's rights must be protected and Roe v Wade must stand.

Sen. Scott Brown meets constituents outside of Teo’s Hot Dogs before getting lunch at the restaurant.
Sen. Scott Brown meets constituents outside of Teo’s Hot Dogs before getting lunch at the restaurant. (Stephanie Zollshan / Berkshire Eagle Staff)
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While talking about Teo's, Brown criticized Warren's stance on job creation, referring to previous Democratic Party comments that government creates jobs not people.

"That's the difference between professor Warren and me," Brown said. "She's looking to demonize our job creators for putting their time and money on the line, and I'm not."

Katherine Mickle of Pittsfield, who has owned a security company for 34 years, said she is in favor of Brown's stance on creating jobs. When asked to comment on Warren's allegations regarding Brown's stance on women's issues, Mickle referred to Brown as "responsible" and "caring," noting that he lives with his wife and two daughters.

"You can accuse someone of anything you want," she said. "It's not true."

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6224.
On Twitter: @tonydobrow