Republican US Senator Scott Brown is taking his bipartisanship rhetoric to the next level today – with a radio ad praising his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren on their agreement to curb the influence of outside spending in the heated campaign.
But even as the ad praises Warren for agreeing with him, it takes full credit for initiating the pact, which may rekindle debate over whose idea it was to forge the so-called People’s Pledge to begin with.
In the ad, Brown talks about the national concern over “super-PACs” and their influence on elections.
“I did something about it in my own race,” he says. “I proposed and signed a pledge to stop third-party groups from coming into our state.”
Then he briefly explains the pledge, which stipulates that if an outside group advertises on a candidate’s behalf, that campaign must donate money to a charity chosen by their opponent.
“No Gimmicks. No fine print,” Brown says. “I want to commend my likely opponent, Elizabeth Warren, for joining me in this People’s Pledge.”
“We both believe voters deserve a campaign where the candidates themselves make their case to the voters,” he adds.
Brown was forced to agree to make such a donation this week, after a political committee placed a fundraising ad for Brown on Google. The ad was taken down following a written request from Brown. Instead of shrinking from the violation, Brown issued a press release earlier this week, touting his willingness to pay the fine and uphold the pledge.
Today, Warren’s campaign chose the Autism Consortium as Brown’s charity. Brown issued another press release, pledging to donate $1,000 to the charity, much more than the $336.99 he said he was required to pay under the terms of the pledge.
Both sides have claimed credit for initiating the pledge. Brown was first to call on Warren to denounce outside ads. Warren responded by calling on the sides to hammer out an enforceable agreement that would have consequences for the campaigns. Brown’s campaign -- with help from the National Republican Senatorial Committee -- then drafted an actual agreement, which both sides signed after negotiations.
The new ad is part of the series, the “Scott Brown Radio Report,” a campaign advertisement which Brown uses to try to set a weekly agenda for his messaging efforts. Some, like a shout out to the New England Patriots before the Super Bowl, are less serious. But others, like the one that compared his stance on health coverage exemptions for employers based on moral issues with that of Ted Kennedy, have drawn him into controversy.
Noah Bierman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.