On Sunday, US Senator Jeanne Shaheen and her might-be opponent Scott Brown cordially shook hands then went on the attack against each other.
Today, their allies took up the fight.
The New Hampshire Republican State Committee released a Web video knocking what it said were Shaheen’s broken promises, in particular, related to the Affordable Care Act. The state Democratic Party sent out a press release memorializing a vote Brown took two years ago against allowing a bill aimed at curtailing certain tax benefits for large oil companies from moving forward.
And Andy Leach, a senior adviser to Brown’s exploratory committee for US Senate, released a memorandum decrying what it called Shaheen’s “slash-and-burn tactics”
Shaheen’s first radio ad against Brown, released last week, was a negative spot knocking him for refusing to sign a pledge to limit outside spending in the race.
Asked on Sunday about coming out of the gate with a negative spot, Shaheen said she did not see it that way.
“It was an ad about the People’s Pledge, I don’t see that as negative,” she said.
After a reporter noted that the 60-second spot was focused on attacking Brown for not agreeing to the pact, she said, “Well, it’s his pledge, you know. He came up with it.”
Under the version of the agreement proposed by Shaheen, if an outside group purchases campaign ads, the candidate who stands to benefit would contribute 50 percent of the cost of the ads to a charity of the opponent’s choosing.
Brown has rejected the plan, calling the pledge too late because outside groups have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the race.
Meanwhile, Lizzy Guyton, a former Capitol Hill press secretary, announced on Twitter she had been hired as the communications director for Brown’s exploratory committee.
Brown has been campaigning with an extremely light entourage since he announced he was considering a bid to return to the US Senate earlier this month.
At an event in Manchester on Sunday, he was joined only by his wife, Gail Huff. When a reporter asked to speak with Brown, the former senator from Massachusetts said nothing for a moment. He opened up an app on his smart phone and began recording the interaction — a task usually done by a press aide rather than the (maybe) candidate.Joshua Miller can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.