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Pres. Obama campaigns for Coakley in Boston

Posted: 01/17/10 at 6:15 pm    Updated: 01/17/10 at 10:12 pm

BOSTON -- President Obama arrived in Boston on Sunday afternoon to boost Democrat Martha Coakley’s campaign in her race against GOP candidate Scott Brown to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

The race between Brown and Coakley got even tighter after the exclusive 7NEWS/Suffolk University Poll showed Brown leading Coakley by a 50 to 46 margin.

The poll shocked the political world and forced democrats to bring big names in to the Bay State. On Friday, former President Bill Clinton appeared with Coakley.

“If you were fired up in the last election, I need you more fired up in this election. I need you out there working just as hard right now in those final days,” said President Obama at Coakley’s campaign event at Northeastern University.

The President in his speech also tried to convince independents and voters angry over Wall Street abuses to support Coakley.

“As a legislator, he voted with the Republicans 96 percent of the time... It’s hard to suggest he is going to be significantly independent from the Republican agenda,” said Obama.

He also referenced Scott’s truck, which has been used in campaign advertisements.

“So I’d think long and hard about getting in that truck with Martha’s opponent. It might not take you where you want to go, and where we don’t want to go right now is backwards to the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place when we just started to make progress cleaning it up,” Obama said.

Three hecklers interrupted the president but were quickly removed.

Coakley after the event said she believed Obama’s visit would be a big boost for her campaign.

“I think people listen to him. They respect him. They like him. When they stop to think, they realize that he is working to solve the problems he inherited,” said Coakley.

Her campaign staffers admitted they were surprised and caught off guard by Brown’s late surge but adding that internal polling shows the momentum swinging back in their direction.

Early in Newburyport on Saturday, the Coakley team was thrilled to see welcoming supporters, who remained resolute, especially since the winner could decide the fate of the president's healthcare plan.

“We need her so desperately, I can’t even tell you, because we need healthcare. We need help for people,” said Coakley supporter Beverly Andrews-Potry.

GOP candidate Scott Brown has said he wants to be the deciding vote defeating the bold healthcare plan, saying that it's just too expensive.

On Saturday, Brown campaigned in the communities south of Boston, bringing his Bold New Leadership Bus Tour through Quincy and Plymouth. While the 7NEWS/Suffolk University Poll may show Brown with a lead, he's not taking anything for granted.

“Well, we’re working hard, and we’re going to continue to work until January 19th at 8:01,” said Brown.

Brown said the Coakley campaign has turned toxic, going so far as to claim he protects rapists. Brown denies the accusation, as he voted to give catholic hospitals the option to send rape victims to other facilities for emergency contraception.

“It’s abhorrent, and shame on Martha. People in Massachusetts deserve better when it comes to learning about the issues. And to go down the gutter like that, I am disappointed and so are many, many other people,” Brown said.

Asked whether her campaign has gone too negative and showed her desperation, Coakley disagreed.

“Absolutely, I don’t agree with either of those premises,” said Coakley.

Later Saturday, Coakley campaigned in Boston and points north, appearing with Sen. Kennedy’s widow, Vicki.

“Martha Coakley is about that march for progress. Make no mistake about it, we are in a fight for the march for progress,” said Vicki Kennedy.

The special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts is on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

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