Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jeff Beatty Kicks Off Run Against Kerry

Republican challenger Jeff Beatty took aim today at US Senator John F. Kerry, chiding him as an "elitist" who is "worried about becoming the secretary of state instead of worrying about the secretaries in our state."

The attack came less than 24 hours after Kerry shook off a primary challenge from Gloucester Lawyer Edward O'Reilly. Beatty, a counter-terrorism consultant and former CIA agent, reached out to the 31 percent of Democratic primary voters who cast ballots for O'Reilly.

"There's a significant number of people, even among the Democratic base, that hard-working base that John Kerry has abandoned in favor of illegal aliens, who are ready to make a change," Beatty said at a lightly attended news conference in front of Financial District office tower that includes offices of the troubled mortgage giant Fannie Mae.

Borrowing a line of attack used by Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama, Beatty said voters had had "enough" of the 24-year incumbent.

"We've had enough of a senator who puts special interests ahead of the public interest," Beatty said. "We've had enough of a senator who will go on a five-week paid vacation when citizens in Massachusetts are filling their oil tanks paying nearly twice what they paid last year."

Kerry's re-election campaign dismissed Beatty's attempts to present himself as an ally of blue-collar voters.

"John Kerry has a proven track record of fighting for the interests of everyone in Massachusetts -- secretaries, fishermen, firemen, school teachers -- you name it," spokeswoman Brigid O'Rourke said in an e-mail. "And he’s going to continue fighting for issues that are important to our state for the next six years."