March 9th, 2014
11:00 AM ET
7 months ago

Empty your notebook: Scott Brown sending signals that he intends to jump in and 5 other things you learned on ‘Inside Politics’

1. GOP JITTERS IN FLORIDA: The special House election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District is Tuesday, but many plugged-in Republicans there are predicting defeat – and are already finger pointing.

It’s a competitive district, but the seat has been in GOP hands for decades, so a win by Democrat Alex Sink would sting the GOP, and no doubt set off a round of debate about the party’s midterm election strategy – despite the fact history suggests the results of special elections often say very little about what will happen come November.

Again, let’s await the results. But already many Republicans involved in the race are complaining the party is falling short of its promise to make dramatic improvements in its use of data and technology to identify and turnout voters.

2. GOP OUTREACH: Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times made note of another Republican promise being called into question. Remember after Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss, there was a pledge for much more aggressive GOP outreach to younger voters, women, African Americans and Latinos.

Maeve noted that at this weekend’s big Conservative Political Action Conference “there was strikingly a lack of a message still at this point to these voter groups that they have had such a tough time with...They are going into all of these communities but they are still figuring out what they are going to say and so I think we need to watch very closely as to whether there is any evidence that they are making progress on that front.”

Breakdown of the CPAC straw poll vote by gender:

cpac straw poll gender

3. CRUSHING HIS CRITICS: Audie Cornish of National Public Radio noted the dramatic shift from Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell: usually silent about his primary opponent and conservative groups that attack him, now suddenly he vows to “crush them everywhere.”

In a new radio ad, McConnell specifically attacks the Senate Conservative Fund, which had made a name for itself the last few cycles by supporting primary challenges to GOP establishment figures.

“So the gloves are not just off, they are in another room, they are under the bed,” is Audie’s take on the McConnell shift. “It just seems that they are going to go hard.”

4. THE RIGHT STUFF?: Look for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to highlight his anti-abortion views as part of an effort to show the conservative GOP base it’s unfair to dismiss him as just another Northeast moderate.

Robert Costa of the Washington Post shares a conversation with Christie’s top political operative. “All he was telling me about was Chris Christie's pro-life record and at CPAC we heard that from Chris Christie,” Robert said. “My predictions is in the coming months as Christie continues to travel ... he's going to emphasize that pro-life record, looking ahead to Iowa and South Caroline in the 2016 campaign.”

5. DEEP CHILL: One person Christie apparently isn’t interested in persuading is fellow Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. And vice versa.

CNN’s Peter Hamby took us behind the CPAC curtain to show how the deep chill between the two 2016 prospects continues. Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association; Jindal is the vice chairman. Both spoke at CPAC.

“I'm told that these two didn't even cross paths backstage, there was no time set up to meet - even say hello in this green room where all these stars were crossing paths,” Peter reports. “Jindal spoke right after Chris Christie and they didn't even talk afterward.”

A flashback to Jindal's frosty defense of Christie over Bridgegate a month ago:

6. HAMLET ON THE MERRIMACK?                       

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and key allies are suddenly sending signals he intends to jump into the 2014 Senate race in New Hampshire. Brown has been debating for months about whether to challenge Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, torn, friends say, about whether he should instead run for president in 2016, or just forgo running for elective office again.

Well a number of GOP sources in New Hampshire report receiving calls in recent days from Brown or his top allies, and there’s word from GOP operatives that there are conversations about building a Senate campaign staff.

So all systems are go?

Not so fast. Because Brown has been pondering this for months, the GOP activists I spoke to say they won't believe it until he makes a public statement or files candidacy papers.

The wait for Brown’s final answer may be short.

“I will make an announcement sooner, rather than later,” he told Neil Cavuto of Fox News on Thursday. “Obviously, it's a very, very big decision –a very, very big decision for me and my family. And I'm going to make sure that I cross all T's and dot all I's. So it will be sooner, rather than later, and I'll certainly let everyone know.”


Filed under: Inside Politics • Uncategorized
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he is opposed to freezing construction in settlements as a means to extend US-sponsored peace talks with Palestinians. Such a freeze "would serve nothing," Netanyahu told public radio. "We imposed one in the past and it brought no results," the…

    This is why I won't be voting republican .

    March 9, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Massachusettz

    Hey Scott, give it up already. Your candidacy in mass showed us you have nothing to offer but personal attacks and little more than a facade of bipartisanship.

    March 9, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Witness

    The GOP is like a six-year old kid who's gonna be a fireman when he grows up and chatters incessantly...fairly adorable in some eyes but nobody takes him seriously. It isn't so much that they lie and deceive; we expect that from pols. But it's downright perverse how they miss every goal.

    March 9, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. GODZILLA1

    The GOP primaries two years from now will be such fun. It will be like a demolition derby of clown cars.

    March 9, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Scott

    I think Republicans may be finding difficulty in locating and turning out voters because those voters simply no longer exist.

    March 9, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Really GOP?

    The GOP has declared war on just about everyone is America that is not a rabid foaming at the mouth christian conservative. Let then, they are so out of touch with main stream America it is not even funny anymore. Outreadch? Get serious, Maybe at the local KKK or Jim Crow Society...

    March 9, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. RickFromTexas

    Lol, it's only March and already the GOP election bus is rattling itself to pieces as it lurches towards November.

    This is really going to be fun to watch, republicans are such despicable and reprehensible people and I just love it when they fall flat on their faces in full view of the public.

    The tea party has turned the GOP into the party we all love to hate. Enjoy!

    March 9, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Scott

    Neither political party has made any changes and they remain clueless. It is like we are stuck in a waiting for Hillary pattern for the next two years. I don't see much leadership in either political party. They just want to blame someone else. How lame.

    March 9, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    the liberal agenda has cost americans a heavy price. far right conservitives have done nothing but bash obama. The country is in desperate need of true leadership. They want better education for our children. They want to work,pay their bills and hold their head up high. Politics is one big game.its time for the people to revolt!

    March 9, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. just askiing

    scott brown could easily knock of that obamacare supporting shaheen. hopefully obama comes to nh and gives shaheen a nice big hug to seal the victory for scott brown. come on voters of nh, scott brown is a great guy! he will work hard to save your healthcare system from the democrats and shaheen. flush her!!

    March 9, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP party of stupid is a national joke and is going to lose EVERYTHING in November . Just vote dems!!!!!

    March 9, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    I am a NH republican and I will be voting for Sen Shaheen

    March 9, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. CoolCMo

    Scott Brown is the definition of an "empty suit."

    March 9, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. navaJohn

    So according to Scott Brown's friends he can't decide whether to:

    1. Move to NH and run for Senator there
    2. Run for President in 2016
    3. Give up politics

    Pretty big spread there Mr. Indecisive.

    March 9, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. Jessica McGwin

    I would love to file on all of them. Run as an American/ US Citizen. I need .20 cents out of everybody and a legal secretary that can file the papers. OR signatures from every State.

    March 9, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. griffbos

    Scott do everybody a favor and stay home, NH is not Ma they are not so easily fooled............

    March 9, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. DENNA

    The GOP are apparently clueless to what Americans want. And why can't they diversify their ranks? What? Blacks, Hispanics, Women and other nationalities plus gay Americans aren't enough for you? Get a clue. You are even turning off the progressive white Americans who have moved into and embraced the new century. We are not all liberals, just people who understand that America has changed and the change is good.

    March 9, 2014 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |