Scott Brown questioned Obama’s parentage

Just in time for Obama’s visit, a rather nasty piece of video emerges from 2008.

Martha Coakley’s string of campaign gaffes – all trivial – have diverted attention from her opponent, Scott Brown and his rather nutty voting record – he was one of three members of the Massachusetts legislature to vote against giving Mass. state employees who were Red Cross volunteers paid leave to help with rescue work after 9/11.

Just in time for President Obama’s visit in support of Coakley, a little bit of Brown videotape from 2008 has surfaced. It may help the voters focus a bit on the character of the would-be “Mr. 41.” (Can you imagine bragging about your intention to obstruct the public business?)

It seems that, in responding to attacks on Sarah Palin’s competence as a mother after the out-of-wedlock birth of her grandchild, Brown chose to mention the fact that “Barack” – as Brown referred to then-Senator Obama (well, at least he didn’t call him “boy”) had been born when his mother was 18 years old. When someone else added “and married,” Brown chuckled and said, “Well, I don’t know about that.”

Rich Yeselson nailed his one:

It’s like something out of a Victorian novel – denouncing the child for the “sin” of being born out of wedlock. Which is this case isn’t even true! Which makes the guy both a moralistic crackpot and a defamatory slimebag at the same time.

To put the matter slightly differently: There’s only one actual bastard in this story, and he was born to Scott Brown’s mother.

Update On the other hand, the Mass. Democratic State Committee has put out a hit-piece on Brown’s abortion record that crosses the line that separates mere hyperbole from flat-out lying. Brown sponsored a “conscience clause” amendment that would have allowed hospital workers with religious scruples to refuse emergency contraception to rape victims. That’s bad. But it’s not the same as voting to turn rape victims away from hospitals. Coakley should ask the State Committee to retract. And of course Brown should read the Constitution before he demands criminal prosecution for over-the-top campaign ads.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

9 thoughts on “Scott Brown questioned Obama’s parentage”

  1. I'm hoping for Coakley to win, but I can't really say I'm rooting for her. I know, you fight an election with the candidate you've got. I just really wish we had a different candidate.

  2. Desperation.

    The suggestion that Brown is racist because he referred to then-Senator Obama as "Barrack" is simply beyond belief. Absolutely disgusting.

    Brown's response to the ugly attacks on the Palin family was to point out, as Obama himself did, that Obama was born to an 18-year old mother. When his television opponent–apparently someone who believed that the ugly attacks on the Palin family were justified—suggested that the comparison first made by Obama wasn't relevant, because Obama's mother was married at the time, Brown chuckled and said he didn't know about that. Which was probably true, since I'd bet that what Brown knew about the comparison was only that Obama had made it. (The "and married" defense wasn't particularly relevant at the time, since Obama's parents married after they discovered that Obama's mother was pregnant, and Bristol Palin was engaged to be married to the father of her child at the time Brown spoke.)

    And the comparison from your correspondent is just bizarre. Brown obviously doesn't mean to attack Obama with this, but to defend the Palin family. It was Mark's friends and Brown's television opponent who were up in arms about Bristol Palin's pregnancy, not Brown. The idea that it was Brown–and not Mark and his friends– who was being moralistic is just an inversion of reality.

  3. God you people are stupid. The context of that clip was jacasses like you going after a teenage girl (bristol palin) because she was haviing a baby out of wedlock. Brown was actually defending her against slimebags and crackpots like you why cynically took a page out of the GOP playbook to act all shocked and victorian yourselves. This is classic Axelrod/Obama campaign here. Throw as much crap as you can and see what sticks. Kinda like the RFK assassination lies about Hillary before SD/PR–not to mention the lie spread by the AP that she had suspended her campaign while people were still voting in those primaries. As far as the "rape victim" claim, you can bet that came from the unending Obama campaign too. Even though he and coakley both support the HCR bill which includes the very same "conscience clause" language. Barack Obama may have been born to a married mother, but he (and his thugs like you) are still bastards.

  4. I would hate to be perceived as even somewhat on the side of someone like gaylib, but all Brown said regarding Obama's mother being married was "I don't know about that." We need more information to say that's a denial of the marriage instead of a statement that he's unsure and unwilling to take his opponent's word for it.

  5. I'm confused about billing this as a question of "parentage". The only question seems to be whether or not Brown knew that Obama's parents were married at the time he was delivered, not whether he had doubts as to who they were.

  6. Brian Schmidt says:

    "I would hate to be perceived as even somewhat on the side of someone like gaylib, but all Brown said regarding Obama’s mother being married was “I don’t know about that.” We need more information to say that’s a denial of the marriage instead of a statement that he’s unsure and unwilling to take his opponent’s word for it."

    In terms of strick slander laws, it wouldn't surprise me if this statement was not actionable (IANAL).

    However, in terms of everyday usage, the meaning was crystal clear.

  7. I need to update my last comment – consider it addressed to Brett 'I dunno what the fuss is' Bellmore, as well.

  8. Nah, it's "I donno why you used that particular WORD." Barrak's parentage, which is to say, who his parents are, was not being questioned. It might have been implied he was a bastard, but that's not "parentage".

    BTW, I must admit that until I looked into this, I had no freaking idea how confused the guy's upbringing was. Geeze, what a soap opera.

Comments are closed.