2016 watch: Scott Brown makes a stop in Iowa
August 19th, 2013
08:03 AM ET
1 year ago

2016 watch: Scott Brown makes a stop in Iowa

(CNN) – Former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts stopped by the Iowa state fair on Sunday for some corndogs and some beer-and, as he said, "to meet some voters."

The recently-out-of-office Republican lawmaker seems to be exploring a number of options as he moves forward after losing his Senate seat in November to now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.

He hasn't ruled out a bid for governor of Massachusetts next year, nor a potential campaign for senator in New Hampshire. And his visit to Iowa–a crucial early voting state in the presidential primary process–now puts him in the crowded list of Republicans with potential 2016 presidential aspirations, some of whom have already visited Iowa this summer.

"I'm gonna have a lot of calories today and grab a beer," he told reporters Sunday on state fairgrounds, which was recorded CNN affiliate WHO in Des Moines.

All kidding aside, he said, he's traveling across the country (and to other countries) to not only lament "Washington's dysfunctionality" but to highlight that the Republican Party "has room for everybody."

"You have the Rand Pauls, the Sarah Palins. You have people like me and Chris Christie and others. There should be room for all of us. We shouldn't be vilified or demonized when we are trying to present our positions," he said.

Paul on Christie: There's room for both of us

Brown, a friend of Christie's, seemed to be weighing in on the recent back-and-forth between the New Jersey governor and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. The two potential 2016 contenders have publicly feuded over national security and government spending, a spat that has represented a broader divide within the Republican Party and caused many to take sides.

Oh, and Brown is in Iowa "obviously to meet some voters," he added.

But back to the Republican Party. Interestingly, the former senator repeated an argument used frequently by Paul in recent days, that the GOP "needs to have a larger tent" and be more "respectful and tolerant of our beliefs."

Christie raps potential 2016 rivals at Republican confab

Since leaving office, Brown now works as a Fox News contributor, as well as a colonel in the Army National Guard's office at the Pentagon, and an attorney at the Boston law firm of Nixon Peabody. His comments Sunday certainly gave the appearance that he was angling for another job, though it's unclear what exactly he's after.

"I want to see if there's interest in my brand of politics, being a strong national security hawk and a fiscal conservative," he told the Des Moines Register this weekend, ahead of his trip to the state fair.

He said in an interview with The Boston Herald that he wants to "get an indication of whether there's even an interest, in Massachusetts and throughout the country, if there's room for a bi-partisan problem solver."

As for 2016, Brown said he isn't close on making a decision. "It's 2013, I think it's premature, but I am curious."

On Sunday, he told reporters he's ready to put his "national security credentials of 34 years in military" and "fiscal conservatism" against anybody in the country.

Answering questions about his election loss to Warren last year, Brown noted he was on a ballot in a largely blue state during a presidential election year that went for President Obama.

"It's an uphill battle certainly in the Northeast to be a Republican. But I'm a pragmatic, common sense, problem solving Republican," he said. Similar refrains have been heard by Christie lately. "Very similar to the people not only in Iowa but in New Hampshire and many parts of the country,"

His wife, Gail, was born in Iowa, so he added they're also in the Hawkeye State to see her family in Madison.


Filed under: 2016 • Iowa • Scott Brown
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    "Hi folks. You may not recognize me, but my name is Scott Brown. I served for a couple of minutes as the Junior Senator from Massachusetts until I got defeated in the first real election I actually ran in.
    "Just so you know, I haven't completely faded from the scene. I am planning on running for Senate from my now new favorite state – New Hampshire. They are usually more generous to Republicans than my old favorite state. Unfortunately they have a couple of other Republicans that have more recognition than I do, so I may not win my primary.
    "That is why I am here. I want to make you remember my name in January 2016 when you caucus for President. I figure if I can't get elected Senator from my new favorite state, I will run for that job. After all, I have almost the same pedigree as the last guy from Massachusetts that was nominated for Republican Presidential candidate – except I was never a governor, am not a member of a church that has magic underwear, and did not make billions by gutting companies I took over.
    "But I hope you like me, anyway."

    August 19, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    save it poster-boy. you won't ever become governer of MA and NEVER EVER president.

    August 19, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Good. A Scott Brown run for POTUS would serve as an excellent memory test for the right wing, more specifically the Tea Party right wing. Brown allowed himself to be swept into office with strong Tea Party support. But once he was in office, the Tea Party watched Brown vote against the way they would have wished. Brown ran as a stern conservative, but wound voting ilke a moderate conservative.

    August 19, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    "Brown, a friend of Christie's, seemed to be weighing in on the recent back-and-forth between the New Jersey governor and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. "
    ----------------------
    Let's not loose sight of the fact that it was without question Rand Paut who started it by criticizing and voting against Sandy relief for New Jersey. He doubled down on his criticism of Sandy relief when he made it personal by attacking Christie, who promptly pointed out the hypocrisy of Paul's argument.

    Paul had argued that Kentucky would not need government relief funds. Apparently, Paul was totally ignorant of the fact that Kentucky receives $1.51 for each federal tax dollar it contributes while New Jersey recieves only $0.61.

    August 19, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  5. Pete

    Brown doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell of running either in the presidencial primaries or anything political again,just another republican flash in the pan that rode the tea party wave of hate,racism to get into office ..But republicans found out once there he had as much trouble running the states government as tying his shoes and his job was gone not too long after that wasn't it!!

    August 19, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    All the GOP clowns are starting to fill up the GOP clown bus,should be lots of laughs in 2014!!!!!

    August 19, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. jinx9to88

    Clown car is really full!! LMAO!!

    August 19, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The recently-out-of-office Republican lawmaker seems to be exploring a number of options as he moves forward after losing his Senate seat in November to now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat."

    Might I suggest he continue to move forward in the private sector? He has no future in politics. He never did.

    August 19, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. Data Driven

    "But back to the Republican Party."

    Yes, back to the Republican Party. That's all this site reports on. Take away the Clinton stories or the Obama stories, and there are no stories about the Democratic Party. We read about every corndog every two-bit failed GOPher eats in Iowa. A related anecdote: a recent report came out saying the legacy networks book Republicans 2 to 1 over Democrats on the Sunday chat shows.

    August 19, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |