Surrounded by supporters at her campaign headquarters, Martha Coakley was as riled up as she's ever been on the campaign trail over the latest TV ad by a pro-Baker, Republican-funded Super PAC, Commonwealth Future.
"If he stands on the sidelines now while this ad airs, I suggest, he's not a suitable Governor for Massachusetts," Coakley said.
The ad asserts that Coakley knew about mismanagement at the Department of Children and Families resulting in the abuse, neglect and death of more than 50 children in state care, but that she still chose to defend the state against a lawsuit filed by a national child advocacy group. Fifteen of the 20 states sued chose to settle.
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"I was disgusted when I saw that ad. Not because it attacks me, but because a Republican National organization is using the abuse of children as a political football," Coakley said.
Coakley, chief of the Middlesex County child abuse unit in the 1990s, called the ad intentionally misleading, deceitful and outrageous. Baker, she said, was cheering from the sidelines.
"I think he needs to disavow it and he needs to ask that it be pulled down," she said.
"I don't like the tone of the ad. It reminds me of the tone used against me," Baker said.
However, Baker would not disavow the ad, saying that Coakley has yet to explain to voters her decision to fight child protection advocates trying to reform a broken DCF that has placed children in harm's way. He urged others to do some research to learn the facts - that Massachusetts was not meeting it's own internal standards and flunked every aspect of its federal audit.
"Read the brief before you make a decision," Baker said. "It makes me sad, case after case of kids being ping ponged in really disturbing ways."
He said attack ads from the Coakley Super PAC are using a similar tone against him, adding, "The attorney general has as much ability to take those down as I do."