Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and leading Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren scrapped Thursday over a nude photo shoot Brown participated in decades ago, with Brown thanking God that Warren never took any such photos.
During a debate Tuesday for Democratic Senate candidates in Massachusetts, Warren took a shot at Brown, who posed for Cosmopolitan in the 1980s to help pay for college, saying she had chosen to keep her clothes on and borrow money to fund her education instead.
The host laughed and agreed.
"I didn't go to Harvard. I went to the school of hard knocks," Brown elaborated. "I did what I had to do, and but not for having that opportunity, I never would have been able to pay for school, and never would have gone to school, and I wouldn't probably be talking to you, so whatever."
Warren did not study at Harvard, but is a member of the faculty at Harvard Law School — a position Brown has argued makes her part of an out-of-touch class of intellectuals.
Warren's campaign declined to comment on Brown's remark, but the state Democratic Party called it gutter campaigning and a dirty trick.
"Sen. Brown's comments are the kind of thing you would expect to hear in a frat house, not a race for U.S. Senate," said Massachusetts Democratic Party Executive Director Clare Kelly, who added that Brown's comments "send a terrible message that even accomplished women who are held in the highest esteem can be laughingly dismissed based on their looks."
Warren is at the head of a pack of Democratic candidates vying to take on Brown, who won a special election in 2010 and will face reelection to his first regular term in 2012.
Despite being a Republican in a heavily Democratic state, Brown has remained popular in Massachusetts — but his recent comment is unlikely to help him with women voters.