U.S. Sen.-elect Scott Brown neither saw nor approved of the statement issued under his name by birther congressional candidate William Hudak, according to an e-mail I received a short time ago from Brown spokesman Felix Browne.
As I wrote earlier today, both the Salem News and the Boston Globe reported that Brown had endorsed Hudak, who has said President Obama was born outside the United States and who got in trouble with his neighbors during the 2008 presidential campaign for putting up a sign in his yard comparing Obama to Osama bin Laden. Browne’s statement:
Neither Scott Brown or anyone connected with his campaign approved that press release before its release or the quote that was attributed to Scott. Bill Hudak is an energetic candidate who has been working hard as a candidate for Congress. Right now, Scott Brown is focused on the job that people elected him to do. That’s his number one priority.
Needless to say, Browne’s statement raises some questions. Does Brown endorse Hudak’s candidacy or not? Is Brown (or Browne) accusing Hudak of making up words and putting them in the senator-elect’s mouth?
I’ve asked Browne to clarify. From the context of the e-mail, though, my guess is the answers to those questions are “no” and “yes,” but that Team Brown is trying to hold back from saying anything quite that damaging.
Politically, it would make no sense for Brown to endorse a Republican candidate this early. Brown’s stunning victory on Tuesday is likely to bring more-prominent Republican candidates out of the woodwork to challenge U.S. Rep. John Tierney, a Salem Democrat. Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins and state Sen. Bruce Tarr of Gloucester come immediately to mind.
I’d have liked to see a stronger statement from Brown, but that’s nitpicking. I’m encouraged that he’s distancing himself from piece of work like Hudak.
Update: But wait! The Hudak camp says Brown did too endorse their man. From The Hill:
“Scott Brown gave his endorsement to Bill Hudak and it’s unfortunate that the people Scott Brown surrounds himself with are backing down from a commitment that their boss already made,” said Tyler Harber, a spokesman for Hudak.
Harber added that Hudak and Brown are friends and that Hudak worked tirelessly for Brown during his Senate bid.
“If you went to Bill’s office right now you’d probably still find Brown’s people packing their stuff up,” he said.
What is not to love about this story?