Massachusetts Democrats wasted little time compiling a video set for release this morning, tying Senator Scott Brown to Representative Paul Ryan and warning of dire consequences if his budget proposal is enacted.
What they don’t say is that Brown voted twice with Democrats to block consideration of the Ryan budget in the Senate, once on May 25, 2011, and a second time on May 16, 2012.
State Republicans, eager to stay on the offense, released their own video, claiming that Elizabeth Warren, Brown’s Democratic challenger, supports tax hikes that would add up to $3.4 trillion over the next decade.
Both spots use ominous classical music to raise viewers’ anxiety. Neither is set for release on broadcast television, but are instead geared toward a smaller audience on the internet.
The Democratic video is representative of the message many Democratic candidates in congressional races are expected to use now that Ryan has been chosen as Mitt Romney’s running mate: “Brown, Ryan and Romney, just plain wrong for Massachusetts.”
To draw the connection between the three Republicans, that video first shows footage of Brown complimenting Romney: “When it comes to dealing with the economic issues, there’s no one I would trust more than Governor Romney.”
It then shows a clip of Brown praising Ryan in a speech: “And finally, you’ve got Congressman Ryan, coming forward with a budget proposal, thank God.”
The video also presents a list of claims about how the Ryan budget could affect Massachusetts voters, including $1 million tax breaks for the ultra wealthy, slashed Pell grants for college students, and a hike in middle class taxes by an average of $4,479.
But the Democrats’ film experts only part of Brown’s statement about the Ryan budget, cutting off the end of senator’s quote, in which he is actually praising Ryan for jump-starting the debate over the budget, not for the specifics of his plan.
The Brown campaign said over the weekend that the senator does not support all of Ryan’s ideas. But the campaign did not specify which of those ideas Brown backs and which he opposes.
The anti-Warren video begins with the well-known footage in which Warren talks about the responsibility successful business people have to pay higher taxes.
“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea, God bless, keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward,” she says.
The GOP spot then poses the question: “Just how much is a ‘hunk’?,” before detailing a list of taxes it claims Warren supports.
But in at least one case, Warren’s official position is at odds with the GOP portrayal. The video shows a clip of Warren discussing a potential hike in social security taxes last year. Her campaign now says that she does not want to increase the tax, or change the benefit structure.Noah Bierman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.