Scott Brown Isn't Pleased with Mitt Romney

It was probably only ever a question of when not whether Scott Brown would publicly distance himself from the brouhaha Mitt Romney created in a secretly taped talk with donors, during which the presidential candidate suggested that 47 percent of the country that doesn’t pay federal income tax would vote for Obama because they see themselves as “victims” who are “dependent on government.” And disagree Scott Brown did in a statement to The Hill newspaper in Washington D.C.:

“That’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.”

Brown joins Connecticut’s Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon in calling out the party’s presidential candidate for his video remarks, brought to light by Mother Jones on Monday. We’re not terribly surprised: In his effort to look non-partisan and independent, Brown has already excused himself for the behavior of his party’s candidates, as when he called for Missouri Rep. Todd Akin to withdraw from his Senate race, or when he made a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it visit to the Republican National Convention. And we can’t imagine Romney’s remarks will play very well in the blue states. Late-night comedy had their run at him Tuesday, comparing him to Thurston Howell, Monty Burns, and the captain of a ship headed for an iceberg.

But still, calling out a contrite Senate candidate is a matter apart from calling out your party’s presidential nominee, one who governed your home state, and especially one who isn’t apologizing for his words. So if you’re wondering why he might have done it, look at the trio of polls that have put his opponent, Elizabeth Warren, just ahead of him this week. Pollsters suggest that the shift comes in large part because Democrats who supported Brown are starting to move to Warren simply because they don’t want a Republican majority in the Senate. In other words, for some voters, it’s not Brown, it’s his party. Warren herself has certainly taken on that strategy. Just look at her comments on the Romney video, made to The Washington Post:

“It’s a party that says, `I’ve got mine and the rest of you are on your own,’ versus those who say, `We’re all in this together,’” she said. “There’s a clear choice in this election, between those who believe that to build an economy, the rich and powerful should get richer and more powerful, with tax cuts for the wealthiest and deregulation, while everyone else is left to pick up the pieces.”

Notice who she doesn’t mention? Oh, yes, Scott Brown, her actual opponent. And if Romney keeps it up, she won’t often need to.