A day after criticizing Mitt Romney for saying that 47 percent of Americans are “dependent upon government” and see themselves as victims, Republican senator Scott Brown (MA) refused to say if he supports his party’s nominee for president. Asked by reporters on Wednesday if he still backs Romney’s candidacy, Brown — who is battling a tight race for re-election against Elizabeth Warren — demurred, saying only that he doesn’t agree with him on everything:
“He’s working hard to get his message out. I don’t agree with him on everything but that’s what being an independent senator is about: criticizing my party when it’s appropriate and then praising people when they have an opportunity to do something well,” he said before stepping into an elevator off the Senate floor.
The remarks represent the most substantial backlash from Republicans following Mother Jones’ release of a secret video of Romney telling wealthy donors at a fundraiser in Florida that he doesn’t have to worry about half the country because they won’t vote for him anyway.
Brown and Romney share an adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, and the former Massachusetts governor campaigned for Brown during a 2010 special election in the state to fill Ted Kennedy’ seat. “[W]e’ve done a bunch of fundraisers for Scott,” Romney bragged during a January 2010 appearance on Fox News, “my team is helping run his campaign!” During another interview he added, “[H]e’s an independent-minded Republican. He’s not just a, you know, rubber stamp kind of guy.”
A Brown spokesperson says that the senator still supports Romney.