The ad follows up a Tierney campaign ad released Oct. 4 that claims Tisei “defended” the tea party Republican platform banning abortion, by saying on a WCVB interview in August, “It is what it is.”
Tisei responded with a campaign Web video with full clips of the WCVB interview in context. The second question, posed by co-host Ed Harding, asked Tisei if he would go so far as Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who wrote a letter to leadership urging the party to change its platform on abortion.
“I’m pretty libertarian, I know what I believe in. I don’t think the government should be controlling people’s lives and individual decisions. Individual liberties should remain with the individual, not the government,” Tisei said in response. “I think Scott Brown was right to do what he did, and I don’t feel comfortable with every plank in the Republican platform and I know Scott doesn’t either, but it is what it is and I know what I do believe in.”
“Now Tisei and the tea party Republicans want to restrict access to birth control,” the Tierney ad says. “What it is — is too extreme.”
Beverly resident Kerry Healey, the former lieutenant governor and now a top Mitt Romney aide, came to Tisei’s defense, saying in a statement: “As a pro-choice Republican, I can attest that Richard Tisei was consistently one of the strongest and most vocal advocates for a woman’s right to choose during his time in the Massachusetts Senate. John Tierney should be ashamed of himself for suggesting otherwise.”
The Tierney camp stood by its ad in the accompanying statement upon its release.
“The ad uses Mr. Tisei’s own words to expose his defense of the right-wing Republican platform that turns back the clock on women’s rights,” the statement said. “When Washington Republicans, the same ones running Tisei’s campaign, adopted the most extreme party platform in history inspired by tea party rhetoric, Tisei defended the platform, saying, ‘It is what it is.’”