US Senator Scott Brown has a new radio ad out and it is being slammed by Patrick Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s son. Patrick Kennedy sent a very harshly worded e-mail to Scott Brown and his campaign today and asked him to please stop using Ted Kennedy’s name in ads for Brown’s reelection.
The ad in question has Scott Brown saying he shared a position with Ted Kennedy that a religious conscience exemption should be worked into the new healthcare law allowing religious institutions to opt out of parts of the bill that went against its doctrines. Currently at the heart of the debate is a law that Catholic charities, schools and hospitals will have to provide all their employees with free birth control and the morning after pill.
Kennedy’s e-mail to brown said,
“You are entitled to your own opinions, of course, but I ask that, moving forward, you do not confuse my father’s positions with your own. I appreciate the past respect you have expressed for his legacy, but misstating his positions is no way to honor his life’s work.”
Brown had said in the ad,
“Like Ted Kennedy before me, I support a conscience exemption in health care for Catholics and other people of faith.”
Kennedy asked that Brown take the ad down.
“I respectfully request that you immediately stop broadcast of this radio ad and from citing my father any further,” he said.
Senator Brown wrote a short letter back to Kennedy saying,
“When your father told the Pope in his 2009 letter that he supported a conscience exemption for Catholics in health care, he did not mean to put himself on the opposite side of the church or to suggest that he would force them to accept a situation with which they could not abide. And yet, that is exactly the situation we are faced with today — despite a failed attempt at compromise, the church remains opposed to the federal government’s intrusion into the affairs of private conscience. I’d like to think your dad would have been working with me to find an accommodation that all sides found satisfactory.”
Scott Brown won a special election to replace Ted Kennedy in the Senate. Kennedy had died of a fatal brain tumor.
Do you think Scott Brown should pull the ads?