Ahead of an Oval Office meeting with President Obama Wednesday, Sen. Scott Brown told WBUR he was underwhelmed by the president's Gulf oil spill address, and that he and many of his Senate colleagues want to see the federal government step up — and speed up — its efforts to contain the spill and revive affected coastline.
"They don't expect him to put on a wetsuit and go down and plug the hole," Brown said. "People want him to put everybody in a room, come up with the best people in the world to try and solve this problem and then get at it, and there's been too much delay in the regard."
"They don't expect him to put on a wetsuit and go down and plug the hole. People want him to put everybody in a room, come up with the best people in the world to try and solve this problem."-- Sen. Scott Brown
Brown was not informed of a precise agenda for the meeting — scheduled at Mr. Obama's request — but he's ready to talk about the BP oil spill and related energy issues.
It's been speculated in Washington that Mr. Obama wants to ask Brown — in person — to support changes to U.S. energy policy, which he alluded to in Tuesday's speech. Brown has supported the president before — most famously by casting a decisive vote that allowed jobs legislation to move through the Senate.
But Brown says he's not ready to make any promises. “I need to see what bill they’re talking about because if it’s a bill that involves a national energy tax or a cap and trade scheme, I’m opposed to it,” he said.
He added that he would support comprehensive energy policy that took advantage of alternative energy sources, like wind, solar and nuclear power — without a tax.
Brown says his emphasis in any conversation about the oil spill will focus on the cleanup effort, rather than policy change. "We can talk about all that other stuff after we get that hole plugged," Brown said.
Brown expects immigration to come up in the conversation, too. But that's not where he's focusing his attention. "I'm going to try to focus on jobs and see where the plans are to kind of get the economy moving again," Brown said.
This program aired on June 16, 2010.