Campaign notebook

Warren delivers message using Obama’s words

Scott Brown told students at Bunker Hill Community College that “basic respect across party lines’’ is needed.

Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is using the words of President Obama to make the case that she can get action in Washington.

In a new television ad that began airing statewide last night, the president is seen in the Rose Garden lauding Warren, who worked on his behalf to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“She’s a janitor’s daughter who has become one of the country’s fiercest advocates for the middle class,’’ Obama said. “She came up with an idea for a new, independent agency that would have one simple, overriding mission: standing up for consumers and middle-class families.’’


Warren herself is seen on camera, adding: “The big banks tried to stop us. But that new agency is already working to cut the fine print, hold those banks accountable. We can take on the big guys and win.’’

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The final image is of her and Obama laughing in the Oval Office.

The ad is the latest in a ramped-up television campaign signaling that Warren, a Democrat, is eager to establish a positive image after her Republican rival, US Senator Scott Brown, has repeatedly labeled the Harvard Law School professor an elitist.

The use of Obama in the video suggests that Warren’s camp felt the need to move beyond previous ads, which showed her talking about her roots and her work as a consumer advocate, allowing others to testify to her strengths.

Warren’s campaign manager sent an e-mail to her supporters yesterday, urging them to spread the word.


“Elizabeth may be a first-time candidate, but this isn’t the first campaign she’s run,’’ campaign manager Mindy Myers said in the e-mail. “Her first campaign with President Obama for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is already helping people across the Commonwealth and around the country. Elizabeth has proven that she can work with the president to fight for middle-class families. Now we need voters across Massachusetts to hear that story.’’

After tapping Warren to establish the bureau, Obama decided last year against nominating her to run it when Senate Republicans said they would block her nomination.


Brown diverges to a story but stays on his message

US Senator Scott Brown Wednesday told a story of how the late House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip’’ O’Neill prayed with Ronald Reagan in the hospital after the president had been shot, as a poignant example of a Washington interaction that “transcends party politics.’’

In a 20-minute speech at Bunker Hill Community College that cited Reagan’s brush with death and the 9/11 attacks as examples, Brown appealed to voters to renew their common sense of purpose.

“When we are in the most difficulty, we rise as Americans first,’’ he said. “And our differences don’t disappear when some national tragedy occurs, but the hostility does.’’


Brown’s campaign touted the remarks as a major campaign speech, but it mostly reiterated the Republican senator’s central theme of crossing party lines to break government gridlock, with the senator citing several bills he has helped pass through a largely divided Senate.

Brown evoked Obama’s 2008 campaign theme, lambasting the current Washington atmosphere in which “assigning bad motives’’ is common practice among rivals. Still, in an interview with reporters after the event, Brown did not shrink from his campaign’s ongoing efforts to label his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, as an “elitist hypocrite.’’

“I think there is an elitist attitude there in the way that she’s communicating with us as citizens and telling us how to do things, who should be taxed, who should not be taxed,’’ he said.

Brown has spent much of the week underscoring his bipartisan credentials, releasing a radio ad Tuesday called “Americans First’’ and highlighting endorsements Monday from former Democratic mayors of Boston and Worcester.

Democrats attempted to undermine the message in a Wednesday press release that pointed to an April 24 fund-raising e-mail Brown sent out to national donors in which he took a more partisan tone.

“I know there are several other GOP campaigns to support,’’ he wrote, “but this race is the battleground for the United States Senate, the only sure hedge to a potential second term for President Obama.’’