Coakley Talks Tough On Senate Campaign Trail

Attorney General Martha Coakley talks with supporters in Dorchester. (Sacha Pfeiffer/WBUR)
Attorney General Martha Coakley talks with supporters in Dorchester on Sunday. (Sacha Pfeiffer/WBUR)

With only about a week to go before the special election for a new U.S. senator from Massachusetts, Attorney General Martha Coakley is talking tougher on the campaign trail.

During a public campaign appearance at a union hall in Dorchester on Sunday, Coakley was more fist-thumping and less cautious than usual.

She urged voters to scrutinize her positions on issues and compare them to those of her Republican rival Scott Brown, whom she called a "roadblock to progress."

"On Jan. 19, voters have a clear choice in this race," said Coakley, a Democrat. "They can elect a senator who will represent them and what's best for turning this economy around and bringing jobs back not only to Massachusetts but to this country, or they can elect somebody who — because he ignores the problems or doesn't understand them — will actually represent the best of the Bush-Cheney years."

Brown's press secretary, Felix Browne, later dismissed that comparison. He described Brown as an independent thinker who "doesn't take his orders from either of the political parties."

Coakley's jabs at Brown came on the same day that a new poll shows her with a 15-point lead over Brown in the race to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who had held the seat for nearly 50 years.

Still, Coakley vowed to campaign hard to the end. She said she'll use her remaining time to continue traveling around the state explaining her positions on issues — no matter where in the polls she is.

"We've never paid attention to polls," Coakley said. "We didn't last week. We didn't in the primary. And you know why? Because it's the poll on Jan. 19, it's getting the message out to voters, that matters.

"And I hope voters do pay attention and look at the differences between the candidates," she added. "When they understand that difference, I think that we'll be successful on the 19th."

Coakley and Brown will debate Monday night at UMass Boston, along with Independent Party candidate Joseph L. Kennedy, no relation to the political family.

This program aired on January 10, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Sacha Pfeiffer Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.



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