The Associated Press

Scott Brown Announces Senate Campaign In N.H., Says Health Law Erodes Freedom

With his family at his side, daughters Arianna, left and Ayla, and his wife Gail, former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown announces his plans to run for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire Thursday, April 10, 2014 in Portsmouth, N.H. Brown hopes to unseat U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. (Jim Cole/AP)

With his family at his side, daughters Arianna, left and Ayla, and his wife Gail, former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown announces his plans to run for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire Thursday, April 10, 2014 in Portsmouth, N.H. Brown hopes to unseat U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. (Jim Cole/AP)

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Announcing his campaign to return to Washington by way of New Hampshire, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown tweaked the state’s “Live Free or Die” motto Thursday to bash both President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen’s support for it.

“It forces us to make a choice: Live free or log on,” Brown told supporters gathered in a hotel ballroom. “Guess what? In New Hampshire, we choose freedom.”

Brown, whose formal campaign announcement comes four months after he moved to New Hampshire, faces several other Republican primary opponents hoping to defeat Shaheen in November. And while recent polls give Shaheen the lead, Brown’s strong name recognition and national fundraising network makes him a serious contender, and his candidacy helps the GOP’s push to claim the Senate majority.

“As bad as Jeanne Shaheen’s record is, we’re actually here for an even more important reason,” former Gov. John H. Sununu said in introducing Brown. “We’re here because we can count to 51. … Fifty-one Republican senators, that’s what it’s all about in 2014.”

Both Sununu and Brown cast Shaheen as a rubber stamp for the president’s agenda, and Brown promised he would be an independent voice who would “get America off the road of big government.”

He zeroed in on Shaheen’s support for the health care overhaul law, though he did not repeat a claim he made earlier this week about a survey showing “insurance premiums are going up 90 percent in New Hampshire because of Obamacare.” Similar language was included in an earlier draft of his speech, as well, but Brown didn’t mention it Thursday, after news reports pointed out only a single New Hampshire broker was surveyed.

Brown instead argued that Shaheen was the “deciding vote” to pass the health overhaul law – a label Republicans can apply to any Democrat because the bill passed with the exact number of votes necessary to avoid a GOP filibuster. And he warned that the worst is yet to come, particularly for business owners.

“There’s another wave coming, and it’s going to be a big wave folks,” he said. “Let me be the one to stop it for you.”

Brown, who won a special election in Massachusetts in 2010 before losing his seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren two years later, made his New Hampshire announcement in Portsmouth, where he lived as a baby and where he frequently visited his grandparents while growing up.

“Our campaign for the U.S. Senate begins not far from where my life began,” he said.

In response to Democrats who have called him a carpetbagger, Brown has pointed out that Shaheen was born in Missouri. But Shaheen has lived in New Hampshire for more than 40 years, and served in the state Senate and three terms as governor before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008.

A WMUR Granite State Poll released Thursday showed Shaheen slightly ahead of Brown among all likely voters. Brown led among residents who have moved from Massachusetts, Shaheen led among those who moved from other states, and they were about even among lifelong New Hampshire residents.

Brown faces three GOP primary challengers: former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, former state Sen. Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman.

“If Scott Brown gets through the Republican primary, this election will be a choice between someone who cares only about himself and the big corporate interests that fund his campaign and someone who works every day to make a difference for New Hampshire families. New Hampshire voters know Jeanne Shaheen shares their values,” Shaheen campaign manager Mike Vlacich said.

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  • joebuilder

    We’re quickly finding out that the best shot that the NH Dem party can throw at Brown the “carpetbagger” term is not getting any real traction from thinking voters. Only about 50% of NH residents are life long residents and that is the way of life today, in fact many independent social moderate conservatives are transplants from Mass who moved to NH for the independence and smaller government policies. These folks are Brown voters.

    Many NH voters still think kindly of “Governor” Shaheen a conservative Democrat with NH Values who vetoed the death penalty repeal legislation in 2000. Unfortunately we’re competing against a different Shaheen. Sen Shaheen is
    from the Massachusetts Kennedy School of Government a full progressive training
    site. She has voted 99% with Washington Progressives and as a good rubber
    stamper she is being fully funded with outside money.

    Brown can be a good NH Senator, he was rejected by Mass because
    he was too independent and voted with this independence, this is a strong NH
    value. I’m supporting Brown and it was good to see other long time
    conservatives out in force to support him, like Doug Scamman.

    The Dems are scared to death of Brown and even held an
    unprecedented protest at his announcement with sign holders claiming Brown
    loves big oil. Well Brown does love energy independence and he does
    support projects like the Keystone pipeline which are good for US energy policy
    and good for jobs.

    Sen Shaheen is Massachusetts’ third Senator and we need one for us, a NH independent voice like Scott Brown.

    • Argle_Bargle

      in order:
      1) Carpetbagger: So 50% of New Hampshire residents run for Senate four months after arriving, having never held office in that state?
      2) Is “independent social moderate conservative” code for ‘people who like a functioning society but don’t want to pay taxes’?
      3) Yes, Jeanne Shaheen was elected New Hampshire governor three times, after years of local political organizing and serving in the state senate. She briefly taught at Harvard University and is now the senior senator in New Hampshire. To try and portray such a career as a weakness is delusional.
      4) Senator Brown lost his re-election campaign to a female college professor by a margin of 238,000 votes, a figure which is approximately 27% of New Hampshire’s total registered voters. He had better hope no one notices a pattern.
      5) Scott Brown is a marquee candidate who will get his clock cleaned once again by a better-organized and more conscientious candidate. Not even unlimited out-of-state campaign funding will win him the election.

      • joebuilder

        1) This is a false Dem is. Its OK for Clinton to run in a state she had no history with, but its wrong for brown to run in a state he first lived in as a child and has considerable family history as well as owning a second home in NH since 1991.

        2) “independent social moderate conservative” a 51 percenter, one of those who pay taxes. We just want a fair shot at addressing policy.

        3) Shaheen ran in 2008 on her conservative Democrat Governor record. Now she has to run from her Washington Progressive Senate record. Her ACA vote is just a bonus.

        4) Brown lost in a 60% deep blue state. New is purple with roughly an equal split of Dems, Indies and Repubs. He has an excellent chance of getting the conservative Dem, most independents and most of the GOP vote (some TP’s will sit on their hands). This will be close but well within range.

        5) I agree Shaheen will have all the GOTV help from unions and the SEIU bus up Boston, I hope Shaheen campaigns with Warren it will make the full tilt progressive comparison even easier. This will be pointed out and the non-Dems will resent this type of activity. I look for Brown to surprise and disappoint the true blue left.

        • Argle_Bargle

          1) Why do you hate women in politics?
          2) I was trying to be kind. “Independent social moderate conservative” is code for the selfish ignorant who can’t do math.
          3) Shaheen won elections. Several. Cry in your coffee elsewhere.
          4) Brown lost, period, as was predicted and carried out. See comment #3.
          5) You love progressive policies because you wouldn’t have a life without them, but unfortunately have trouble identifying them and how they affect your life. It’s when the check arrives that your diapers get dirty.

          Your half-formed thoughts give away the game. Like it or not, you’re in it with the rest of us. You’re not going to be a billionaire. Teabagger twaddle doesn’t impress anyone or hold up to scrutiny.

          • joebuilder

            You realize that I’m stating my position while you respond with insults and add nothing to the conversation.

            Bottom line once Brown got serious the Shaheen lead dropped from double digits to single digits and I’m working for Brown to help him win.

            Yes, your you didn’t build it meme is just motivates those that do.

          • Argle_Bargle

            I’m responding to you in the same fashion that the right does to victims of its policies, or anyone who happens to stand in their way. That you’re uncomfortable with this treatment is revealing.

            But my stance isn’t a true mirror. The difference is that I’m not simultaneously claiming victimhood, as the sociopaths of the American Right so frequently do.

          • joebuilder

            You were just interacting with me, not some collective right you disagree with. Need need to work on sorting out all those voices in your head.

          • Argle_Bargle

            Again, with the disowning of the politics – so now the candidate you’re supporting isn’t a raving far-right poster child of thin qualifications and a punch-line platform?

            This is typical of teabaggers – snarling bravery right until confronted. In fact, you sound like Bill Clinton did on the stand those years ago: “It all depends what ‘is’ is.”

          • joebuilder

            Brown was never a far right poster child, although some disillusioned folks on both sides of the aisle may have thought that. Brown was always clear that he was an independent republican who votes on the bill not on the party. Just check politifacts on that one.

            The right rails against him because he is too bipartisan and the left is terrified because they know the moderates are a growing group who vote against progressive and TP candidates. Why, because they create gridlock instead of governance. The beauty of a purple state like NH, is that we get it.

            Brown has excellent credentials to run for Senate. Small business owner, thirty plus years of military experience and 20 plus years of political experience working from the local town level, to state level and now national level. His experience is just what you’d want in an elected official.

          • Argle_Bargle

            Wow. Forget about Brown fumbling his positions, you don’t even have his history correct. He has self-identified as a Reagan Republican, was a ‘commentator’ on Fox News (aka Moderate Central), and consistently votes party line (90% in MA, 80% in DC). Tea partiers flocked to his cause and he won an interim election against a grossly inept opponent.

            It’s obvious to try to portray him as an independent, but he’s no Lowell Weicker – Brown’s too much a herd animal, in all senses of the term. But it’s trying to sell Brown as moderate that lost him the seat, and his campaign’s use of dog-whistle politics wasn’t lost on the public (or on this forum). His record and positions wither under the barest scrutiny, showing him the lightweight he is.

            By American standards, anyone “has excellent credentials to run for Senate,” but against a well-organized and savvy operator like Warren or Shaheen, Brown is toast. The only threat he poses to anything on the left is gales of laughter. As the campaign progresses, tune in to the exceptional Charlie Pierce at Esquire, who is already on the case.

          • joebuilder

            What I really like about Brown is that he drives the Washington progressive left crazy because he is a threat and he drives the TP crowd crazy because he’s not their ideologue.

            You’re making stuff up again with your random number, see below:….hint I’m mainly correct.


            Politifact ruling

            Judging by votes alone, Brown was not always the most bipartisan senator during his time in office, but he was No. 1 for a time, and was close for the rest of the time. We rate Brown’s claim Mostly True.

          • Argle_Bargle

            As a Brown supporter it’s not surprising that you have trouble with facts; that some of these facts come from your favorite (and deeply flawed) website is.

            Scott Brown voted 92% with Massachusetts Republicans, from Politifact: “Also, Brown served for six years in the Massachusetts House, and according to Insta Trac statistics, he voted with Republican leadership there about 92 percent of the time. We tallied all of Brown’s votes in the state House and Senate (3,104 votes in all) and confirmed the Coakley campaign’s claim that he has voted with Republican leadership 90 percent of the time as a state legislator.”

            Scott Brown voted 81% with U.S. Senate Republicans during first eleven months, then 67% for final two years of term, from the Washington Post:

            Aaaand here’s the priceless Gawker on why rubes love them some Politifact:

            Here’s today’s scorecard:
            - Bipartisan isn’t crossing the aisle 8% or 19% of the time.
            - The marginally-talented aren’t a threat to anyone.
            - Grammar is a good thing.
            - The willfully misinformed deserve scorn.

            Much like Brown himself, you’re a Teabagger learned some edjamacated cant, trying to pass for not-crazy. There is no slack for you here, or on election day.

          • joebuilder

            We’re not talking about his Mass Legislative voting record here but, he is you know a republican.

            So in the US Senate you’re saying he voted 67% with republicans, that kind of proves my point thank you, he’s willing to reach across the aisle and govern. He’s not a party of no guy and like Reagan and Clinton 2nd term he already knows how to govern from the middle.

            …and just going back to an earlier post Shaheen lost in 2002 on her first Senate run then she scampered off to the Kennedy School for retraining. So no Shaheen and Brown have both lost one Senate run.

            “you’re a Teabagger learned some edjamacated cant, trying to pass for not-crazy.” you really need to work on your spelling, grammar, thought development and people skills.

          • Argle_Bargle

            He Is Risen, Moldy, Dept: the Brown zombie comes back for more. It looks like the only solution is an electoral head shot in the midterms.

    • maraith

      Scott Brown was not rejected by Mass voters for being independent! It was because he padded like a puppy after Teabaggers and did not represent his constituents (although right before the election he suddenly changed his voting. Can we say opportunistic?). He will do the same for New Hampshire residents…

      • joebuilder

        Yeah he was. Brown was consistent with his statements that he was beholden to no one and was a Scott Brown Republican with an independent voice. Go ahead Google that phrase and it ties directly to his first election against Marsha Chokely. The TP crowd was miffed that they didn’t own him and then sat on their hands and let Warren in. Mass’ loss, NH gain.

  • JohnnyBeagle

    And he has just purchased a “vacation home” in Maine if his “Plan B” if this does not work out.

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