Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry told voters control of the Senate—and with it the national agenda—is in their hands in the upcoming election between Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Scott Brown.
Kerry, speaking at NGP VAN, a Democratic campaign technology firm based in Somerville's Davis Square, endorsed Warren and said if Brown wins reelection, his vote in the chamber could hand control the Senate to Republicans, something Kerry said would be bad for Massachusetts.
Speaking about the idea of Republicans chairing committees in the Senate, Kerry said, "It matters whether someone who boasts publicly that global climate change is a hoax suddenly turns the environment committee into a platform to roll back mercury laws and do the bidding of the Koch brothers and the climate deniers and the big oil companies."
"What happens if the Tea Party sets the agenda for the foreign policy of the United States?" he asked. "It means the power over the foreign affairs budget, our nuclear nonproliferation policy is turned over to people who don't believe in the power of alliances, who want to go back to the days when the United States didn't pay its dues to the United Nations."
Kerry said Republicans in Congress "surrender to the marching lock-step stanglehold of a single lobbyist called Grover Norquist."
Massachusetts will likely vote to reelect President Obama, Kerry said, so "why would we ever choose to turn the United States Senate over to a majority leader who would do from the Senate the very things that we would never give Mitt Romney the chance to do in the White House."
Kerry stayed away from openly criticizing Brown, Kerry's junior colleague in Washington, but he said that "for independents and thoughtful Republicans," ensuring Democratic control of the Senate makes more sense.
Electing Warren, therefore, is important, Kerry said. "The Senate is in your hands," he told voters.