In its first attack of 2014, a main Democratic super-PAC fighting to maintain Democratic control of the Senate is targeting a Republican who hasn’t yet decided whether to run — Scott Brown.
SMP launched its first ad of the new year against the Republican, hammering him on his record on financial issues.
And Brown himself took the attack seriously — on Wednesday afternoon, he lent his name to a fundraising email for the NHGOP that charges Shaheen and Democrats are "scared," in an email that was his most vigorous attack on Shaheen yet and sparked renewed rumors that he's moving towards a Senate run.
The SMP ad cites a Boston Globe report describing Brown as “deliver[ing] for Wall Street” with the elimination of a proposed $19 billion tax on banks from the Dodd-Frank financial regulations bill, as well as a Bloomberg report that declares he wrote legislation that helped big banks make risky investments.
“Now he’s shopping for a Senate seat in New Hampshire. Really? That’s good for Wall Street and great for Scott Brown, but it doesn't make sense for New Hampshire,” the narrator says at the end of the ad.
The ad was blasted out to the PAC's supporters in an email from head strategist Craig Varoga, who also knocks Brown for his “Bqhatevwr” tweet — a tweet sent early last year in response to a critic on Twitter that many speculated was sent while the former senator was drunk.
Brown maintained he was not drunk and the misspelled tweet was a “pocket tweet,” sent because his phone was too sensitive.
“Bqhatevwr your political persuasion, you do have to give the former Senator from Massachusetts some credit — wherever he runs, he always does what’s best for Scott Brown and Wall Street,” Varoga writes.
He adds: “Putting Wall Street profits ahead of people is the wrong policy choice — in New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts or bqhatevwr state.”
Brown was indeed one of the upper chamber’s most prolific fundraisers, in part due to Wall Street support. The finance, insurance and real estate sector was the top contributor to his campaign over the course of his career, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Brown, in the subsequent fundraising email, hammers Shaheen and calls on NHGOP supporters to "hold her accountable" for helping to pass health care reform.
"In November, New Hampshire voters get a chance to hold her accountable and replace her with a fiscally responsible candidate. But Republicans will need to launch a vigorous campaign against the millions of dollars in special interest money that Shaheen's Washington allies are willing to spend to protect her," he writes.
New Hampshire GOP Chairman Jennifer Horn suggested the attack was an indication Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Democrats are in “full-blown panic mode” because they realize Shaheen is vulnerable.
Horn also called Shaheen “a phony, unaccomplished pawn for her party leadership.”
"Despite concerns from her constituents, Jeanne Shaheen continues to vote in lockstep with her party's disastrous agenda because she is bought and paid for by politicians like Harry Reid who are funding her dishonest campaign," she said in a statement. "Granite Staters know that Shaheen is nothing but a phony, unaccomplished, pawn for her party leadership who lacks the independent leadership we expect from our elected officials."
Brown has frustrated some in New Hampshire with his extended flirtation with a Senate bid there, but Republicans believe him to be their best shot at taking down Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), whom Republicans believe to be vulnerable due to discontent with ObamaCare in the Granite State.
He recently sold his Massachusetts home and moved to the state, and has highlighted Shaheen and New Hampshire specifically in broader attacks on Democrats focused on ObamaCare, prompting some to speculate that he’s moving toward a bid.
Brown has also visited early-caucus state Iowa, however, and hasn’t shut the door to a presidential run.
--This piece was updated at 4:20 p.m. to include comment from Brown and the NHGOP.
Watch the ad: