O’Brien Backers Rip Rival Romney
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BOSTON (AP) _ Supporters of Shannon O’Brien, the Democratic candidate for Massachusetts governor, accused Republican opponent Mitt Romney of gender-stereotyping when called her attacks during a debate ``unbecoming.″
U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton led the chorus of condemnation Wednesday at an O’Brien fund-raiser, saying that years ago women who wanted to run for office were called ``unbecoming.″
Romney, a businessman and former Salt Lake City Olympic chief, used the word Tuesday when O’Brien questioned his promise not to change the state’s abortion laws.
``Your effort to continue to try and create fear and deception here is unbecoming,″ he said.
Romney later said the term was gender-neutral, but O’Brien said he wouldn’t have used it if she were a man.
``It’s an adjective that refers to (O’Brien’s) rude behavior,″ said Romney campaign strategist Mike Murphy. ``It’s not a gender thing. She’s got the problem, we don’t.″
A Boston Herald poll published Tuesday showed the race was close, with 44 percent supporting O’Brien and 38 percent for Romney. The poll of 421 likely voters, surveyed Friday to Sunday, had a sampling margin of error was plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.
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