Facing a female challenger for his Senate seat, Scott Brown has been working to bolster his support among Massachusetts women. In recent months, Brown spoke out in favor of allowing women in combat, supported extending the Violence Against Women Act and was one of the strongest Republican voices condemning Rush Limbaugh's derogatory comments about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke.
But women's groups and Massachusetts Democrats have attacked Brown's focus on women's issues as an election year ploy, citing his cosponsorship of the "Blunt Amendment" that would have overturned the Obama administration's rules on contraception access. Now, Brown's comments at a Monday press conference may fuel their claims.
Appearing with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) at his campaign headquarters in Boston, according to the Associated Press, "Brown said he's used to being surrounded by 'strong willed women'" and praised the influence of his wife and daughters in his life.
Brown's wife, former television reporter Gail Huff, also told reporters at the press conference that the couple's two daughters "have very, very specific ideas about what they do and don't believe and they chime in with a lot of great ideas, and it's wonderful for both of us to be able to bounce things off of them because their generation sees things very differently."
But when pressed for details of that influence, Brown simply said these strong-willed women taught him "how to cook."
"Yeah, how to cook, how to sew, how to clean," Huff added.
The comments came at an event where Snowe praised her Massachusetts counterpart as "a critical vote in favor of issues important to women."
Brown had led Elizabeth Warren, his Democratic challenger, by as many as eight points in February, but a new poll released last week has the former consumer protection advocate ahead with 46 percent to Brown's 41 percent.