Video: Sen. Brown takes heat for nude photo quip
Transcript of: Sen. Brown takes heat for nude photo quip
MATT LAUER, co-host: Now to a Senate battle in Massachusetts that's turning personal, and the controversy stems from the incumbent's nude photo spread nearly 30 years ago. NBC 's Capitol Hill correspondent, Kelly O'Donnell , has the details on this. Kelly , good morning.
KELLY O'DONNELL reporting: Good morning, Matt. Well, not every Senate race gets this kind of national attention, but consider that Scott Brown has often been named the most popular elected official in Massachusetts , according to polls, so it was only a matter of time before that centerfold from way back when would become an issue and a punch line in 2012 . Well, it's started; the insults have begun in Massachusetts . Rarely do two simple words cause such an uproar.
Senator SCOTT BROWN: Thank God.
O'DONNELL: Was that just a snappy comeback, or a personal insult from Republican Senator Scott Brown aimed at potential Democratic challenger Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren ?
Professor ELIZABETH WARREN: Hi .
O'DONNELL: It all goes back to this. In 1982 Brown bared it all for Cosmopolitan magazine . He said he needed the money for tuition.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, anchor: You were a Cosmo guy.
Sen. BROWN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Do you have it on your screen saver ?
GUTHRIE: Yeah -- oh.
Sen. BROWN: Is it on your screen saver ?
GUTHRIE: I'll never confess.
O'DONNELL: A photo that won't ever go away. This week, in a Democrats' debate, that nude centerfold was mentioned in a question to Warren .
Unidentified Man #1: To help pay for his college law school education, Scott Brown posed for Cosmo . How did you pay for your college education ?
Prof. WARREN: I kept my clothes on.
O'DONNELL: Brown 's campaign says Warren 's answer was offensive and an insult. On a Boston radio show Wednesday, the senator jabbed back.
Mr. KEVIN KARLSON: Have you officially responded to Elizabeth Warren 's comment about how she didn't take her clothes off?
Sen. BROWN: Thank God.
O'DONNELL: Some Democrats and women's groups angrily said Brown 's comment was more suited to a, quote, "frat house" and a dig at Warren 's appearance. A race getting personal.
Mr. GLEN JOHNSON (The Boston Globe): I'm not sure that Elizabeth Warren 's remark was entirely innocent, but there's been a real sort of towel-snapping quality to Scott Brown 's campaign so far.
O'DONNELL: Brown 's upset victory last year to succeed Ted Kennedy stunned Democrats , who want desperately to knock him out in 2012 . Warren , who worked for the Obama administration as a consumer watchdog, has never run for office before.
O'DONNELL: Brown 's campaign has labeled Warren elitist. He defended his '80s centerfold in that radio interview.
Sen. BROWN: Let them throw stones. I did what I had to do. And but not for having that opportunity, I never would have been able to pay for school and never would have gone to school.
O'DONNELL: Thursday, Warren brushed it off.
Unidentified Man #2: You don't care to dive into those waters?
Prof. WARREN: I'll survive.
O'DONNELL: She says, "I'll survive." Well, there are six Democrats who are trying to win the nomination to challenge Scott Brown , and Elizabeth Warren 's just one of those. Now, there were a couple of women in the Senate , Republicans , who did back up Scott Brown . Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Susan Collins of Maine said that no one should make fun of how he had to pay for school because he had a humble
background. Matt: All right, Kelly O'Donnell following the story. Kelly , thank you very much .
Vote: Was Sen. Brown's comment about taking off clothes insensitive to female challenger?
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