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Republican Senator Scott Brown won't be distracted from the issues by negative attacks, a spokesman said today, a day after Representative Patrick Kennedy reportedly described Brown's candidacy as a "joke."
"Senator Brown is eager to start working on behalf of Massachusetts families on policies that will create jobs and help the economy. He won't be sidetracked by negative partisan attacks that do nothing to help Massachusetts families find work," said Felix Browne, a Brown spokesman.Kennedy, a Democrat from Rhode Island whose father held Brown's seat for 47 years until his death last year, said Thursday that "Brown's whole candidacy was shown to be a joke today when he was sworn in early in order to cast his first vote as an objection to Obama's appointment to the NLRB," according to The Hill's Blog Briefing Room.
A spokeswoman for Kennedy didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.
Brown abruptly announced Wednesday that he wanted to be sworn in Thursday, a week earlier than the Feb. 11 swearing-in his campaign had been planning. Brown has said he wanted to start working immediately on urgent issues, but his decision sparked speculation about his motives.
Brown declined to say Thursday whether he would take part in a Republican filibuster of an Obama administration nominee, union lawyer Craig Becker, to the National Labor Relations Board. Becker's nomination could come up as early as Monday, possibly providing Brown his first chance to join Republicans in blocking a Democratic proposal, the Globe reports today.
Kennedy told The Hill that Brown had gotten strong support from labor households and his first vote would be "the most anti-labor, the most anti-what his constituents thought they were voting for when they voted for him."
Brown has called himself a "Scott Brown Republican" and the nation is about to find out exactly what that means. How Brown will vote is a matter of crucial importance to the state, both political parties, and the president, the Globe reports.
Kennedy's comments were the sharpest words yet from a member of the Kennedy family, known for its liberal politics, after Brown's stunning upset victory in the Jan. 19 special election against Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Former congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, the late senator's nephew, said last week that his decision not to enter the Senate campaign "wasn't the greatest decision I ever made in my life." Asked if he regretted not running, he said, "The thought had crossed my mind."
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