October 18, 2012

This unforced error should prove fatal for Scott Brown in his quest for re-election. Already trailing in the polls by as much as 9 points, he just can't afford any more stupid mistakes. Brown has played fast and loose with the facts before in his attacks on Elizabeth Warren, and some have been downright offensive towards her, but here he's going after real victims of tragedy and loss. A blunder he likely won't recover from.

Add in Brown's other blunders by always voting against jobs bills that would have helped teachers, firefighters, and police avoid mass layoffs and there's simply no love lost for the likes of Scott Brown.

Text by the Boston Globe. Video is from the local Fox affiliate in Boston, WFXT.

Senator Scott Brown issued an apology Wednesday night for telling reporters earlier in the day that his opponent, Democrat Elizabeth Warren, had paid actors to appear as victims of asbestos-related illnesses in television advertisements defending her role in a lawsuit that has become a key issue in the campaign.

Three of the people in the ads said in statements provided by the Warren campaign that they were neither paid nor ­actors. They said they had lost loved ones to asbestos-related illness and that Brown’s accusations were offensive.

John F. English said in a statement that he moved in with his father during the final stages of his life, before he died of mesothelioma. “Let Scott Brown tell me to my face that I am nothing but a ‘paid actor,’ and I’ll set him straight on what it was like to watch my father suffocate to death,” English said.

Brown issued his apology ­after the story was reported in the Taunton Gazette Wednesday evening. “It was wrong for me to have jumped to those conclusions and I apologize to those I ­offended,” Brown said in a statement issued Wednesday night.

According to the Gazette, Brown made his comments while visiting the Taunton Fire Department’s central station Wednesday morning, when a firefighter asked Brown why victims’ family members were appearing in her commercials.

“A lot of them are paid,” Brown said. “We hear that maybe they pay actors. Listen, you can get surrogates and go out and say your thing. We have regular people in our commercials. No one is paid. They are regular folks that reach out to us and say she is full of it.”

Warren called it a “new low” in a post on Twitter Wednesday night. Her campaign also ­issued a statement on her behalf. “For Scott Brown to attack family members of people who died from asbestos poisoning is shameful,” she said.

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