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Mass GOP Not Buying Warren’s “Independence”

Thursday, October 18, 2012

 

Democratic hopeful Elizabeth Warren joined Republican and former FDIC Chairperson Sheila Bair to talk to supporters about her willingness to put accountability ahead of party lines, but the Massachusetts Republican Party remained skeptical.

Bair crossed the aisle and endorsed Warren on Wednesday citing the candidate's understanding of credit unions and community banks as well as her work on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"She has the highest integrity of anybody I've ever met," said Bair.

"She's going to do a great job for the people of Massachusetts."

Warren and Bair, who worked together in Washington, traveled to Worcester where they met with Mayor Joseph Petty and small business owners and supporters. The Senate hopeful recalled her conversations with Petty about how to build the Worcester economy.

"It happens locally," Warren said. "But it also matters to have a good partner in Washington."

Republican Senator Scott Brown would not be that partner, she argued, because while he makes some good votes, he too often stands with big business or industry instead of the residents of Massachusetts.

When asked about financial reform, Bair said that Warren will be an independent voice in the ongoing and difficult process.

"She will make decision based on what's in the interest of the public."

For her part, Warren cited her work on the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Panel, which issued roughly half of its reports unanimously, as evidence of her ability to put solutions first ahead of partisanship.

"It wasn't about party, it was about what our country needed," she said.

"I've been willing to stand up to anyone and everyone."

Bair, who worked for Republican Senator Bob Dole during the 1980s on a number of big pieces of bipartisan legislation, said the most frustrating part of many of the problems in Washington today is that they could be solved with relative ease if elected officials could just sit down and work together.

"It's hurting the country," she said.

"I think it's frustration with both parties maybe," she added, noting that instead of coming together, Democrats and Republicans have been moving farther apart.

“I have never endorsed a Democrat, but I know Elizabeth well, and I know she will be independent. We need people who are independent in Washington, people who will vote the public interest,” said Bair in a statement from the Warren camp.

Throughout the campaign, Brown has made his independence and willingness to work with anyone of good faith a centerpiece of his appeal to voters, touting his status as Washington's second-most bipartisan Senator and even featuring President Barack Obama in a television campaign ad.

Yet Warren has repeatedly tried to tie her opponent to the more right-wing factions of the national Republican party, arguing that he will vote in lock-step with the rest of the GOP if elected to another term, especially if they win majority of the Senate.

But the Democrat came up short when asked during her second debate with Brown to name members of the opposing party she would work with in the Senate, offering up retiring Indiana Republican Richard Lugar as her only answer.

"Two weeks before Halloween, it's laughable for Professor Warren to be masquerading as bipartisan," said Tim Buckley, communications director for the MassGOP.

"She brags about throwing rocks at people and proudly declares she would rather leave blood and teeth on the floor than compromise. The independent-minded voters of Massachusetts will see through this phony rhetoric and realize that Professor Warren would be another loud voice in a Congress already flooded with angry know-it-alls like herself." 

 

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