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Brown misspoke on royalty meetings, campaign says

Radio interview remarks clarified

US Senator Scott Brown’s campaign said the senator misspoke when he asserted in a ­radio interview Thursday morning that he has held meetings with “kings and queens.”

The remarks on WTKK-FM were roundly mocked by Democrats who wasted no time Photo­shopping images of the senator posing with Queen ­Latifah and an Elvis impersonator.

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Brown, in making the comments, was pushing back against critics who say his campaign has not been focused on serious ­issues, pointing out that he ran a radio ad about military base closings. He also said he was working on substantive ­issues on a daily basis, some that involve royalty.

“Each and every day that I’ve been a United States senator, I’ve been discussing issues, meeting on issues, in secret meetings and with kings and queens and prime ministers and business leaders and military leaders, talking, voting, working on issues every single day,” he said on the Jim Braude and Margery Eagan Show.

Brown spokesman Colin Reed said in an e-mail that “Senator Brown was speaking generally about private meetings he has had with foreign and domestic leaders.”

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He later acknowledged that Brown, who has made his reputation as a truck-driving everyman, has not met with royalty.

“He misspoke when he said kings and queens,” Reed said.

In the same radio interview, Brown defended a US House panel that voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for not providing documents related to the botched “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking ­investigation.

“Congress was misled, so what are they supposed to do?’’ Brown said. “Say thank you very much? Thanks for misleading us?”

The “Fast and Furious’’ issue has been extremely contentious, with a House panel voting along party lines Wednesday to take the rare step against Holder. The full House is ­expected to vote next week. President Obama has ­invoked executive privilege to avoid disclosure.

The issue is challenging for Brown, a Republican, because he is trying to emphasize his role as a bipartisan bridge-builder, and it has divided politicians along party lines. The senator is running for reelection against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren this fall.

Brown said the family of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry deserves answers.

“When questions were actually asked about this, Congress was misled, and Congress has the prerogative, once they’re misled,” Brown said. “My suggestion from the get-go has been the administration should be open and transparent, so they can get to the facts.”

Brown also explained on the radio show why he insisted that Victoria Reggie Kennedy promise to remain neutral in the ­Senate race as a condition for his participation in a debate sponsored by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. Kennedy ­declined to stay neutral, and Brown has said he will not participate as a result.

Despite a strong performance at the institute in a 2010 debate, Brown said he felt blindsided by the chain of events during that race.

“I was very surprised when, four days before the debate, Vicki Kennedy endorsed ­Martha ­Coakley,” he said.

Although Brown said he has “tremendous respect” for Senator Kennedy’s widow, he added: “I’m not going to make the same mistake I made last time.”

The Brown and Warren campaigns have agreed to a debate at the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Sept. 27, sponsored by the university and the Boston ­Herald, UMass announced Thursday.

Noah Bierman can be reached at nbierman@globe.com.
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