Scott Brown's Staff Mocks Warren With "Tomahawk Chop"

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 25 2012 12:40 PM

Here's Scott Brown's Staff Mocking Elizabeth Warren With The "Tomahawk Chop"

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Scott Brown speaks during a 2010 Senate hearing

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images.

Liberal blog The Blue Mass Group has the latest submission in the category of YouTube videos that may cause headaches for politicians.

In the short clip posted today, a handful of Republican Sen. Scott Brown's staff can be seen doing the "tomahawk chop" along with a smattering of other "war whoops" at a political rally in Massachusetts earlier this month. The gestures appear to be a reference to Elizabeth Warren's unproven claim that she is of Native American heritage.

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Here's the video:

Local news station WCVB has confirmed that the among the men seen in the video are Brown’s deputy chief of staff Greg Casey and constituent service counsel Jack Richard, along with local Republican activist Brad Garrett. A number of Warren supporters can also be seen in the video holding signs supporting their candidate. At one point both sides appear to break into a "Yankees Suck" chant, proving that no matter how nasty the Senate campaign gets, there is at least one thing that remains a bipartisan issue in the Bay State.

Asked about the video by the Boston Globe today, Brown said he had not yet seen it but that it is "not something I condone." While the senator said he plans to tell his staff "never to do that again," he nonetheless stopped short of apologizing. "The apologies that need to be made and the offensiveness here is the fact that professor Warren took advantage of a claim, to be somebody—a Native American—and using that for an advantage, a tactical advantage,” he said. Warren has denied accusations that she gained an advantage from identifying as part Cherokee.

As the Washington Post's Karen Tumulty pointed out this morning, the high-profile Senate race has become increasingly combative as November nears with each candidate doing their best "to undermine the other on the very traits that had been considered their greatest political strengths: his independence and her character."

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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