NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Election Connection

August 16, 2012

U.S. Chamber backs Tisei, calls Tierney 'hostile'

LYNN — The national political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce worked double duty yesterday in Massachusetts, first stopping in Roxbury to endorse Sen. Scott Brown, then making a trip to Lynn to formally endorse U.S. House candidate Richard Tisei.

In the first stop, director Rob Engstrom called Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren “a threat to free enterprise,” then did one better on Tisei’s opponent Rep. John Tierney in front of a room full of business leaders and Tisei supporters.

“I didn’t think anyone could be more extreme than Elizabeth Warren, but we might have it here with John Tierney,” Engstrom said at the formal endorsement held at Old Neighborhood Foods in Lynn. “He has perhaps the most hostile voting records in Congress when it comes to business, and that’s saying something in this day and age.”

Tisei, a Wakefield Republican and former longtime representative and senator in the Massachusetts Legislature, said he was happy to receive the U.S. Chamber’s endorsement and vowed to repeal the medical device tax, remove obstructive regulation and enact legislation to promote free market growth.

“I understand that free enterprise system in America is what made this country so special,” Tisei said to supporters in a speech yesterday. “It’s the reason we have such a high standard of living today. ... You’ll never hear me say small-business owners are extremists or have a radical agenda as our congressman did.”

When the chamber first announced its endorsement of Tisei in July, Tierney fired back, saying the private organization had an “extreme agenda” that includes privatizing Social Security, repealing President Barack Obama’s health care act, opposing attempts to block the outsourcing of jobs and denying climate change.

About a dozen Tierney supporters gathered outside the chamber’s endorsement event yesterday holding signs that read, “A vote 4 Tisei = A vote for Ryan,” referring to vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who has authored Republican-backed budgets that propose to cut spending and tax rates and privatize Medicare, which have drawn the ire of Democrats. Another sign read, “Hey Tisei: Hands off my Medicare.”

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