Menino on Sen. Brown: Still unbeatable

Mayor Thomas Menino is sticking with his assessment of U.S. Sen. Scott Brown being tough to beat in 2012.

Menino, a Democrat, told the hosts of WCVB-TV’s “On the Record” he doesn’t see anybody from the current crop of Democratic candidates unseating Brown, a Wrentham Republican. There are currently four announced candidates: immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco; youth program co-founder Alan Khazei; unsuccessful lieutenant governor candidate Bob Massie; and Newton Mayor Setti Warren.

“You know, I get criticized by my colleagues in the Democratic Party because I’m honest about it,” Menino said. “I just say it’s very difficult right now to think about who can beat him. I hope we can organize and have a candidate because I think some of the issues that are so pertinent to the quality of life--”

“So it sounds like you’re saying no, that they don’t have a candidate right now,” one of the political chat show’s hosts, Janet Wu, cut in.

“Right now, right now. I don’t think we have a candidate right now who can do it,” Menino said.

Noting that Brown remains popular and in control of a healthy campaign kitty, Menino said Democrats have to organize behind a single candidate.

Other Democrats are reportedly mulling whether to jump in.

Menino told the Boston Herald in January there is “nobody that can beat him."

When asked about former Gov. Mitt Romney’s run at the Republican presidential nomination, Menino told "On the Record" Romney is the “best of what they have today” and praised Romney’s fundraising prowess.

Asked about his own campaign account, Menino said he’s been fundraising because he gets asked to contribute to Little Leagues and nonprofits. The Boston Herald reported Thursday that Menino, who as of July will have been in office for 18 years, raised $140,000 in the last six weeks.

“And that’s the only reason you’re raising money?” Wu asked.

“That’s the only reason,” Menino said.

When Wu pressed him on whether he was mulling a run for a sixth term, Menino said, “I have two and a half years left in this term. I’m having a lot of fun, we have a lot of things we’re trying to accomplish, education and making this a better city.”

Menino also fielded questions as part of the show’s pop quiz. Asked by co-host Ed Harding what was the name of the former nun who ran for mayor, Menino quipped, “It wasn’t Peggy Davis-Mullen, that’s for sure.”

Davis-Mullen, a former city councillor, ran for mayor in 2001, losing to Menino by a 72-23 percent margin.

The answer to the pop quiz question was Rosaria Salerno, the current city clerk and former city councillor. Salerno ran for mayor in 1993.

“On the Record” airs Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. on WCVB-TV.