By Lisa Hagen/BU Washington News Service
CHARLOTTE–The Massachusetts delegation took aim at Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s term as governor Monday, and emphasized the importance of Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren defeating Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown.
Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh told about 100 delegates that the state has “a huge responsibility” to elect Warren.
He criticized Brown’s voting record, particularly on health care. But he wasn’t entirely negative in describing the state’s junior senator, noting that Brown is “handsome.”
“We need someone who’s going to be with us and seniors every day, and that is Elizabeth Warren,” Walsh said.
With the economy a main platform for both Republicans and Democrats, Walsh condemned the GOP tax plan and tax breaks for the wealthy. He said the middle class has a “heavy burden” due to Republican policies.
“We believe in middle-out and not the top-down approach,” he said. “With almost four and a half million private sector jobs that have been created over the past two years by President Obama’s policies, we have to take a look at what direction we’re going to go.”
Walsh also criticized the dramatic empty chair reference during Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National Convention, saying it was confusing to viewers.
“This week, we together are going to experience and millions of voters are going to see something different,” he said. “They are going to see the Democrats, Barack Obama and Joe Biden tell the truth about how we got to where we are, where do we sit today, and what’s the plan going forward.”
Other Labor Day speakers to the delegation included state Auditor Suzanne Bump and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress as well as the first African-American representative from his state. The Rev. Jesse Jackson also spoke and was greeted with a standing ovation.
In her speech, Bump pointedly noted that Romney did not reference his time as Massachusetts governor in addressing last week’s Republican National Convention, and only mentioned his successes leading the Salt Lake City Olympics and at Bain Capital.
John Brissette, a Worcester delegate who works for the Braley Wellington Insurance Agency, has attended three Democratic conventions including Denver in 2008. He said there is one purpose to this convention, which is the re-election of Obama.
“We need to move forward and show the accomplishments of the president from the past four years and the continued progress,” he said.
Brissette, who also worked on Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray’s campaigns, does not believe this will be a repeat of 1980, when President Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan.
Gov. Deval L. Patrick spoke at the Virginia delegation breakfast Monday, and will appear Wednesday with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino at a forum on the future of the Democratic Party.