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Our weekly political roundtable reflects on the U.S. Senate race going negative and how presidential politics continue to feature prominent local players.
Radio Boston analysts Nancy Dwight, former executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee and current chair of Dwight Partners, and Susan Tracy, former Democratic state representative and current president of The Strategy Group, weigh in.
Senate Race Goes Negative
With Election Day just over six weeks away, the Senate race in Massachusetts has turned personal.
With polls suggesting Democrat Elizabeth Warren has a slight edge, Republican Sen. Scott Brown has launched an ad that goes after the Harvard professor's character — specifically, that she identifies herself as having Native American heritage.
The 30-second spot continues a line of attack that Brown began last Thursday in the first of four debates with Warren, during which Brown said:
Professor Warren claimed that she was a Native American, a person of color. And as you can see, she's not. That being said, she checked the box. ... When you are a United States senator, you have to pass a test, and that's one of character and honesty and truthfulness. I believe, and others believe, that she's failed that test.
Monday morning, Warren spoke with Jim & Margery on WTKK-FM, addressing the issue:
When I checked the box, it was in a directory. I didn't take advantage of this. I didn't do this on a college application. I didn't do on a law school application. I didn't do this to get a job. That's just not what I did...It's a part of who I am. This is part of my heritage. It's my mother and father.
Brown's attack could threaten his image as a "nice guy," while polls have suggested that voters are uninterested by the flap over Warren's heritage.
National Politics, Local Voices
Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte appeared on NBC's "Meet The Press" on Sunday. This was in the wake of the leaked video of Romny speaking at a fundraiser:
There are 47 percent who are with [President Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them.
Ayotte defended her party's candidate:
That certainly was a political analysis at a fundraiser, but it's not a governing philosophy. He absolutely has a vision for a 100 percent of America.
Patrick also weighed in:
It's just shocking to me that a candidate could aspire to be president by turning his back on half the country.
Ayotte and Patrick served as surrogates for Romney and Obama, in a way — prefacing Sunday night's "60 Minutes" special that featured back to back interviews of the actual candidates.
This segment aired on September 24, 2012.
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