Mitt Romney has attempted to shake his image as a "Massachusetts moderate" at the national level, while Republican Sen. Scott Brown is hoping the label will stick to him as he runs for re-election in the heavily Democratic state. The Massachusetts Democratic Party, however, is using a new ad to paint Brown as anything but a centrist.
The ad, released Wednesday, focuses on Brown's ties to Romney, who has sought to portray himself as a dyed-in-the-wool conservative to win the Republican presidential nomination. In various video clips, Brown calls Romney his "very, very dear" friend and thanks Romney profusely for helping him win his 2010 Senate race, while Romney drapes his arm over Brown and tells the story of being mistaken for Brown in an airport.
In creating the impression of a long-term friendship between Brown and Romney, Massachusetts Democrats are hoping to link Brown to the hard-right positions backed by Romney and other national Republicans.
"The easiest way to tie somebody to something is with their own words. Scott Brown’s endorsement of Mitt Romney, his long history, their shared staffers and advisers — there’s a close tie between these two guys,” state party chairman John Walsh recently told the Washington Post.
Brown has made a particular effort to distance himself from the national party on women's issues, seemingly with mixed results. He backed expanded combat roles for women and a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, but also consponsored the Blunt amendment that would have limited contraception access and made comments about the "strong-willed women" in his life teaching him about domestic chores.
The two men also share a key staffer, Eric Fehrnstrom. The man now famous for his Etch A Sketch gaffe has worked for Romney since his 2002 gubernatorial race, but also played a large role in Brown's 2010 campaign and still helps craft his message.
Watch the ad above.