BOSTON (AP) — Staff members for Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and the state Republican Party are seen in a new video shouting war whoops and performing tomahawk chops in an apparent reference to Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren's claims of Native American heritage.
Brown said Tuesday he hadn't seen the video, which surfaced online the day published reports outlined legal work Warren performed for a company fighting a federal mandate to pay additional money into a health care fund for retired coal miners.
The video shows supporters of Brown and Warren shouting and chanting. It was posted online by the Democrat-leaning Blue Mass Group, which said it was recorded at a Brown rally on Saturday in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. During the 46-second clip, supporters waving Brown signs are seen making tomahawk chopping motions with their arms and making war cries.
Brown, who won a 2010 special election to succeed the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, has made the question of Warren's heritage a central theme of his campaign.
Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, listed herself in law school directories as having Native American heritage, but records show she identified her race as "white" on an employment record at the University of Texas, where she worked from 1983 to 1987.
Warren also has acknowledged telling officials at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania she had Native American heritage but said she offered that information only after being hired.
"I didn't check a box to go to college. I didn't check a box to go to law school," she said Monday. "The only box I checked was in a directory. I didn't do this to get a job."
A Massachusetts Republican Party spokesman confirmed one of its field coordinators, Brad Garnett, is seen on the video leading the whoops and making tomahawk gestures. State Democratic officials identified another person making tomahawk motions as Jack Richard, a member of Brown's U.S. Senate office.
Officials from Brown's campaign and his Senate office wouldn't say if any of their staffers were involved. Garnett did not immediately return a call or email.
Brown stopped short of saying he would apologize to Native Americans or discipline any staffers if they had been involved.
"That's not something I condone. That's certainly something, if I am aware of it, I would tell that member not to do it again," he said. "I know everyone is in the throes of the political season. I ask everyone to show real class and decorum on both sides."