Scott Brown hits Elizabeth Warren’s Native American claim in new ad

Senator Scott Brown enlists the help of unidentified men and women in a new TV ad that questions Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren’s claim of Native American heritage.

Titled “Got Caught,” the ad features members of the public suggesting the undocumented claim is untrue, with the first speaker calling it “a lie.”

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As has become commonplace candidates in both parties airing negative ads in this year’s presidential and congressional races, Brown delivers the legally required statement of responsibility for the ad—“I’m Scott Brown and I approve this message”—at the beginning of the commercial, before a viewer has heard the attack.

Candidates have taken the approach, rather than having the traditional claim of responsibility at the end, to minimize their connection to the negativity that unfolds.

“Harvard thought that Elizabeth Warren was a minority because she said so,” says one man, sitting against a school yard backdrop.

“Harvard touted her as a minority,” says a second, younger man.

“Initially, she said she didn’t know anything about it,” adds a third.

“She kept on covering up and going deeper and deeper into the hole,” says a woman.

“Elizabeth Warren got caught,” says the third man, again, the compilation of comments forming a narrative for the ad.

In a debate last week and in comments to the media since the Native American issue arose earlier this year, Warren says she has based her claims to Delaware and Cherokee heritage based on stories told by relatives in her native Oklahoma.

She has been unable to document the claims, but she has denied Brown’s charge that she used a claim to minority status to advance her career as a law school professor.

The former Reagan administration official who led the hiring committee for her at Harvard Law School said he was unaware of her claim, and that it did not play any role in Warren’s hiring.

A Globe review of Warren’s legal career, which included two dozen interviews, also found a wide range of professors and administrators who recruited or worked with Warren who said her ethnic background played no role in her hiring.