Massachusetts Senator John F. Kerry is calling on Republican Scott Brown, who is waging a surging campaign against Democrat Martha Coakley, to curb his supporters, saying that they have engaged in "bullying and threats" in recent days and that some of them are from out-of-state.
"I'm no stranger to hard fought campaigns, but what we've seen in the past few days is way over the line and reminiscent of the dangerous atmosphere of Sarah Palin's 2008 campaign rallies. This is not how democracy works in Massachusetts," Kerry said this afternoon in a statement.
"Scott Brown needs to speak up and get his out of state tea party supporters under control. In Massachusetts, we fight hard and win elections on the issues and on our differences, not with bullying and threats," Kerry said.
Brown campaign spokesman Felix Browne said, "People are tired of John Kerry's partisan politics. His baseless accusations reflect the desperate last gasps of a flailing campaign."
"Scott Brown is running a positive campaign and has been since the beginning of the race," Browne said in an emailed statement.
Beth Lindstrom, Brown's campaign manager said Coakley had run "the most malicious campaign Bay State voters have ever seen" and charged that Coakley was "manufacturing non-existent controversies."
Democrats have pointed, among other things, to a video posted on the Web in which a supporter at a Brown rally on Sunday can be heard saying, "Shove a curling iron up her butt." Brown can be seen grinning briefly right after the remark.
Browne, the spokesman, said the candidate did not hear the man's remark. He said that the next thing Brown says, "We can do this," is a standard line he uses on the stump.
Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, is among a phalanx of Massachusetts Democratic elected officials who are working to get Coakley elected to the seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy for 47 years.
Kerry also pointed to media reports of the theft and burning of lawn signs and "threatening comments" being posted on Facebook pages of Coakley and her supporters.
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