PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Tours West Roxbury
Scott Brown's likely Senate challenger spent Tuesday afternoon visiting the neighborhood's businesses.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday that she thinks West Roxbury, and other communities that voted for Republican Sen. Scott Brown in the 2010 Massachusetts special election, would be swayed to vote for her in a possible November race because "the economic issues in America today are not partisan," she said.
Warren, who appears likely to challenge Brown for his seat this fall, spoke with reporters after touring several Centre Street businesses, meeting voters along the way.
Warren's walking tour began at Boomerangs before moving along to Images Hair Studio, The Real Deal, and Sugar Bakery. She finished her tour at Roche Bros., where she collected signatures to get on the Democratic Senate primary ballot and met voters. Warren was joined by city councilors Matt O'Malley and John Connolly, both of whom plan to campaign on her behalf this fall.
Warren helped establish the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She is an advocate for stronger regulation of big business and Wall Street, which she believes would better serve the middle class than Brown's more conservative policy preferences. (Brown also says he is an advocate of the middle class, but emphasizes support for lower tax rates and decreased in government spending in so doing.) She highlighted these differences Tuesday in West Roxbury.
"Scott Brown has voted to preserve tax breaks for oil companies, voted to protect hedge funds," she said. "I think the US Senate should be voting to protect families."
She added, "Oil companies and hedge funds get billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks, while there's not enough money to support public education and programs for seniors. This is an issue not only about economics, but about values."
Connolly agreed that Warren best spoke for the middle class, and by extension, West Roxbury.
"This is a middle class, urban neighborhood," said Connolly, "and she's built her campaign around middle class issues."
Brown, though, won West Roxbury in 2010, collecting 49.4 percent to Martha Coakley's 48 percent. Brown's approval rating state-wide stands at 54 percent. And Ward 20 GOP leader Brad Williams said in an e-mail that he's seen strong support for Brown in West Roxbury. He and several members of the ward's Republican committee spent the day collecting ballot signatures in support of Brown.
"We are...signing up volunteers for the Scott Brown campaign," he wrote. "The response for Senator Brown in West Roxbury has been overwhelming. We had lines of voters waiting to sign his nomination papers. Many of the Democrats we spoke to said they are voting for Brown."
Warren said she hopes she can win some of those voters over by meeting voters state-wide, as she did Tuesday.
"I just get out and talk to families about the direction our country is taking," she said. "I'm glad to get out there and talk to people all across the commonwealth. And I'm glad to have the chance to do that."
Boomerangs Vice President of Operations Susan Kelly -- a Warren supporter -- thought that such actions were needed, with polls showing Brown leading Warren by eight points.
"I'm glad she's walking around because I think she needs to get the word out," she said. "This is what she needs to be doing."
O'Malley said he will be campaigning in support of Warren however he can this fall, with City Council not in an election year.
"Oh yeah," he said. "Door-to-door, whatever it takes."
Warren will campaign in Charlestown and Plymouth on Wednesday.