Brown’s office reiterates senator’s support for Romney

Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) office on Wednesday said the senator supports Mitt Romney’s presidential bid after the lawmaker gave an indirect response to an inquiry by The Hill.

"He absolutely supports Romney, there's no doubt about that,” an aide to Brown said.

The aide spoke after The Hill asked Brown if he supported Romney's bid.

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Brown, speaking to reporters in the Capitol, for a second day in a row distanced himself from Romney's remarks that 47 percent of Americans don't pay an income tax, are dependent on government and see themselves as "victims."

Brown, who faces a tough reelection bid in a state President Obama is expected to capture easily, criticized Romney's remarks on Tuesday and echoed them again on Wednesday.

"I made it very, very clear where I stand on these issues," he said Wednesday.

A reporter for The Hill then asked Brown if Romney's comments made him hesitant to support the GOP nominee.

"Listen, you're going to have to speak to Governor Romney about what his plans are. I'm doing what I've been doing," Brown said.

When asked again if he still supported Romney's campaign, Brown said: "He's working hard to get his message out. I don't agree with him on everything but that's what being an independent senator is about: criticizing my party when it's appropriate and then praising people when they have an opportunity to do something well."

Brown then stepped into an elevator off the Senate floor.

Democrats, including Obama’s reelection team, blasted out The Hill’s story to reporters and tweeted it repeatedly.

Both Brown’s Senate office and campaign office called The Hill after the story was posted to say the freshman senator supported Romney.

In criticizing Romney's comments Tuesday, Brown said it’s "not the way I view the world."

"As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in. Too many people today who want to work are being forced into public assistance for lack of jobs," he said in an email to The Hill.

Romney's comments were posted online on Monday by the liberal magazine Mother Jones and quickly went viral, dominating news coverage.

The following is a transcript of The Hill's recorded interview with Brown:

The Hill: Did the comments make you hesitate about supporting Gov. Romney at all, or are you still behind his campaign?

Sen. Brown: Listen, you're going to have to speak to Governor Romney about what his plans are. I'm doing what I've been doing...

The Hill: But I'm wondering, do you support his campaign at this point?

Brown: He's working hard to get his message out. I don't agree with him on everything.

The Hill: But do you still support him?

Brown: If I could just finish.

The Hill: Sorry.

Brown: But that's what being an independent senator is about is criticizing my party when it's appropriate and then praising people when they have an opportunity to do something well. That's what being an independent senator is about (steps into elevator).

— This story was originally posted at 2:02 p.m. and last updated at 6:16 p.m.

Alexandra Jaffe contributed