One is a two-fisted Republican rock star known for his mince-no-words confrontations with unionized teachers, liberal activists and other who dare to cross him. The other is a gentle troubadour known for his melancholy ballads of love and loss.
On Wednesday, both were hitting the campaign trail in Massachusetts.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey told reporters in Watertown that Senator Scott Brown would help break the gridlock in Washington. Later tonight, James Taylor is expected to serenade Elizabeth Warren’s supporters at a concert in Boston.
It was shaping up to be a study in contrasts for two candidates that are using their national clout to draw big-name supporters to campaign with them in the closing days of their hard-fought race. In recent days, Senator John McCain of Arizona has come to Boston to campaign with Brown and former senator Max Cleland of Geogia has stumped with Warren.
On Wednesday, in a parking lot outside the Aegean Restaurant in Watertown, Christie and Brown, both Republicans, used a bullhorn to address an enthusiastic crowd of supporters, many holding Brown’s blue campaign signs.
Christie lit into Warren, a Democrat, calling her a member of the “partisan liberal Democratic elite” who would reflexively toe the party line.
“She won’t even look across the aisle, let alone reach across the aisle,” Christie said. “And yet, you’ve got a senator here who has served the state incredibly well by making sure he talks with everyone – Republicans, Democrats, independents – everyone.”
Brown praised Christie as a governor who understands how to balance budgets and protect taxpayers.
After the two spoke outside the restaurant, they greeted the staff and patrons inside the Aegean, many of whom squeezed in for photographs with them.
Brown, speaking to a crush of reporters, disavowed the comments that Richard Mourdock, an Indiana Republican who is running for the US Senate, made on Tuesday about abortion and rape. Mourdock said that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
“It’s not what I believe,” Brown said. “I’m a pro-choice Republican, and that is not what I believe and I disagree with what he said.”
Asked if he wants to see Mourdock elected, Brown said: “It’s up to the people of Indiana, certainly.”
Warren weighed in on the topic Tuesday night, tweeting that, “Richard Mourdock’s comments are more proof that a GOP-controlled Senate would be a disaster for women.”
The Massachusetts Democratic Party, meanwhile, sought to tie Brown to Mourdock’s comments by sending out a press release noting that both serve on a fundraising panel, the Founder’s Committee, that raises money for Republican candidates.Michael Levenson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.