NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Election Connection

September 25, 2012

Warren defends herself, blasts Brown

BOSTON - U.S. Sen

ate candidate Elizabeth Warren spent an hour on the radio yesterday morning defending her work for an insurer in an asbestos lawsuit and knocking her opponent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown for his positions and votes.

On her legal work for Travelers Insurance to help it set up a $500 million trust for future victims of asbestos poisoning, Warren told listeners on WTKK, “During the time that I was involved in the case they were going to pay a half a billion dollars.” She said, “After I left the case … it went to a different court in the second circuit. I wasn’t part of it, and I think the court decided the case wrong.” The company reportedly did not wind up paying any money because of that second circuit ruling.

Asked about an area in which she agreed with a Republican idea, Warren started by noting Brown votes she sided with, saying, “I agree with him on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I think that was the right vote,” and then criticized Brown on his stance that states should set their own gun control policy for assault weapons. Pressed on an area in which she agrees with Republicans, Warren said, “Fannie and Freddie. I think that we have to have significant reform on Fannie [Mae] and Freddie [Mac]. And when I say significant, I don’t mean around the margins. There’s been a lot of criticism on the Republican side, particularly, of Fannie and Freddie, and I think they’re right. I think there’s a lot there that’s wrong.”

On whether Sen. Brown deserves credit for his vote in favor of the Dodd-Frank Act, financial reforms that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Warren said, “He certainly does. But let’s keep in mind, what you’re really talking about is the guy who held the card…. whether or not the bill would go forward, and that’s a really powerful position to be in.” Later she said, “At the end of the day it was a deal and they got the deal through and they all stood up and said they were glad to have a deal, but I think Scott Brown – this is really the point – he made it clear on whose behalf he was negotiating.

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