Hoping to frame Republican Sen. Scott Brown's reelection fight as central to Republican efforts to retake the Senate, Democrats in Massachusetts will seek to link Brown to GOP presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party is planning to hit Brown for pursuing the same approach to governing as the former House Speaker, The Hill has learned. State party Chairman John Walsh will dub Gingrich and Brown "birds of a feather when it comes to slashing Social Security, protecting millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class and bowing to Republican activist Grover Norquist.”
Turning the tables on Democrats, Brown's campaign pivoted to an attack on Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic front-runner trying to unseat Brown, denouncing Warren for advocating for a single-payer health insurance program.
"This will bankrupt our country and destroy our fragile economy," said Brown spokesman Colin Reed. "Scott Brown wants to repeal Obamacare and return to the states the power to determine their own healthcare solutions."
Employing Gingrich in an attack against Brown marks a substantive shift for Democrats in the Bay State, whose focus in recent months has been on undermining Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor. Walking in lockstep with the Democratic National Committee, the state party has worked to impugn Romney's record as governor, as well as raise questions about attempts by former Romney staffers to purge or hide records from his administration.
But over the past week, as Gingrich has solidified his position as the biggest threat to Democratic control of the White House, the DNC has refocused its gaze at Gingrich, and it appears state party organizations will follow suit.
"Brown needs Obama voters to win, and Gingrich's comments highlight the difficulty Brown faces by an increasingly nationalized political conversation," said a Democratic strategist in Massachusetts.
The more Brown's reelection is perceived as key to Republican control of the Senate, he said, the harder it gets for Brown in Massachusetts.
Brown, who endorsed Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in April, campaigned in 2010 largely on his commitment to repealing Obama's healthcare law. If Republicans lose his seat in 2012, it will put them one seat further from having the majority they need to push through a repeal.
Brown's victory in a special election in 2010 was a stinging defeat for Democrats in a state where every other member of the congressional delegation is a Democrat.
Brown was successful in convincing voters that despite being a Republican, he would be an independent voice unafraid to challenge his own party. But the vocal support of major GOP presidential candidates could make it more difficult for Brown to profess independence from the Republican establishment.