US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, in yet another retooling of her campaign advertising, is throwing a punch at her Republican rival, Senator Scott Brown, using a famous Lowell boxer’s trainer to accuse him of “siding with the big money guys’’ and large corporations.
The 30-second ad is set in the West End Gym and features Micky Ward’s trainer Art Ramalho, who accuses Brown of working against the interest of working people.
‘’We can spot the real fighters here in this gym,” Ramalho says as young boxers jump rope and spar in the background.
“Elizabeth Warren is a real fighter. I don’t know about Scott Brown. He’s been siding with the big money guys,” he says.
Warren’s new commercial marks a sharp departure in the campaign ad wars. Her new spot is the first of either campaign to go after their opponent. Earlier this week, Brown denounced Warren’s consideration of negative ads against him, after the strategy was reported in the Globe. Brown however has vigorously attacked Warren on a campaign website.
Warren has been under pressure from Democratic leaders and her supporters who were concerned that the strong and animated advocacy style she was exhibiting in her ads was alienating voters. They also urged her to use her ads to undermine Brown’s popularity and reputation for moderation and bipartisanship. This new ad is the second released this week that does not feature her voice.
Shortly after the ad was released, Brown charged that Warren was leveling untrue accusations and degrading the campaign.
“It’s unfortunate that instead of running a campaign that lifts people up, Elizabeth Warren has decided to run a campaign that tears people down,” he said in a statement. “Her misleading and untrue attacks against me are a sign of desperation from an increasingly desperate and flailing campaign. The people of Massachusetts deserve and expect better, especially from a first time candidate who initially claimed not to like attack ads.”
By using Ramalho and his gym, the Warren campaign is clearly making a direct appeal to a Democratic constituency—conservative blue collar voters—that has been supportive of Brown. Ramalho is also making the direct case that Warren, not Brown, is the more authentic supporter of their values and interests.
“Tax cuts for millionaires. That’s not going to help people around here,” Ramalho says. “I think Scott Brown is with the big corporations. Elizabeth is different.”
The ad then shifts to softer images of Warren shaking hands with people in blue collar neighborhoods. ‘’She got heart. She got guts and she’s not going to back down,’’ he says.
Ward, the hero of Mark Wahlberg’s movie “The Fighter,” had indicated he would endorse Brown but recently canceled a scheduled appearance with him.Frank Phillips can be reached at email@example.com.