Patrick made the apparent reference to so-called birthers during an interview on WCVB-TV. Birthers maintain President Barack Obama was born in Kenya despite the fact that Hawaii officials have repeatedly verified Obama’s U.S. citizenship.
Brown’s heritage attacks seen as divisive
By Michael Levenson
Some of the ministers had strong words for Brown, part of what appeared to be a growing backlash among Warren supporters to Brown’s strategy of driving the charged issue in the campaign.
“It’s a dead issue,” said the Rev. Jeffrey Brown, executive director of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, a group of ministers that seeks to reduce youth violence. “I know that, as the commercials continue to roll, I cringe. It’s an issue that has no relevance to things that I care about.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who also attended the event at Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, accused Brown of trying to divide the electorate, while Governor Deval Patrick, in a television interview, called Brown a “Bay State birther,” an allusion to the conspiracy theory about President Obama’s birthplace.
Menino and Patrick previously endorsed Warren, but their more heated rhetoric seemed to reflect an emotional boiling point in the bitterly fought race.
“Scott Brown, throughout this campaign, has taken on an issue that I think is very derogatory to” Warren and her claims to Native American heritage, said Menino, who stood with Warren and about a half-dozen ministers. “Elected officials take on those issues because they’ve got nothing else to say. It’s about dividing people.”
'Minority' claim still dogs Warren thanks to her own mishandling
By Peter Lucas
Granted, Warren had to answer Brown's critical ads, but the big television buy not only has kept the issue in the forefront of the campaign, it has taken time, money and energy away from other, more important issues. Still, the fact that her campaign decided to spend so much money on television advertising to deal with the issues shows how deeply it has cut into her campaign and how much it has hurt.
What has amazed political watchers is how her highly paid team of political consultants has let the issue of her alleged American Indian ancestry get so out of hand. It is the type of issue that should have been addressed and dealt with in a press conference when the Herald first broke the story. Instead, Warren has been all over the place on the issue, and it has been allowed to fester for weeks.
In between, Warren has often made the matter worse by declining to meet with representatives from the Cherokee community, headed by Twila Barnes, a Cherokee genealogist, when they came to Boston to meet with her in June, and also when she also refused to meet with a Native American delegation to the national Democratic Party Convention last month in Charlotte, N.C., where she was a featured speaker.
Below: "Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaks during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 4, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C." (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)