March 20th, 2014
09:23 AM ET
9 months ago

Obama: 'Happy if Scott Brown' moves to Texas

(CNN) - President Barack Obama's weighing in on what could turn into the hottest U.S. Senate battle this year.

When asked during an interview Wednesday with New England Cable News whether former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts - who's taken an important step towards running for the Senate this year in neighboring New Hampshire - is the kind of moderate Republican needed on Capitol Hill, the President said he'll wait to comment until Brown formally announces his candidacy.

But Obama went on to say that "I'd be happy if Scott Brown wants to move down to Texas," adding that "we could always use some moderate Republicans in other parts of the country."

The President also touted Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, the Granite State's incumbent Democrat, who's running for re-election this year, and who could face a tough race if Brown does formally jump in and wins his party's Senate nomination.

Brown invites Obama to N.H.

Brown reacted to Obama's comments Thursday morning, inviting the President to join Shaheen on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

"President Obama and Jeanne Shaheen are joined at the hip. If it wasn't for Jeanne Shaheen, Obamacare would not have become the law of the land. He is going to do everything he can to help Jeanne Shaheen in this election, and today I am inviting her to bring him to New Hampshire to defend their health care law. Nothing will stop me from continuing to tell the truth about this disastrous health care law and its negative effects on the people of New Hampshire," said Brown in a statement.

The Republican Party of New Hampshire chair Jennifer Horn echoed Brown's comments in a statement of her own.

Then-Sen. Obama won New Hampshire, which is considered a battleground state, by nine percentage points in his 2008 presidential election, and carried the state by six points in his 2012 re-election. The President made five campaign stops in the Granite State during the 2012 election cycle, according to an unofficial count by CNN. But the President's current approval rating in the state stood at 40% in a recent Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll and at 31% in an American Research Group survey.

Brown joins three other Republicans who are running for their party's Senate nomination in New Hampshire: former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, former state Sen. Jim Rubens, and conservative activist Karen Testerman.

CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, a native of New England, said he thinks the President's comments may help Brown as he battles for his party's Senate nomination.

"He's (Brown) now going to go around and start saying 'the President's talking about me.' It helps boost him," said King, adding that "from an ego standpoint, this was a boost to Scott Brown."

If Brown ends up winning the party's September primary, it could expand the map for Republicans. Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like New Hampshire.

But the Suffolk University and ARG polls indicate Shaheen has a double digit lead over Brown in a general election showdown. According to the ARG survey, 50% of Granite State registered voters say they would support Shaheen, with 38% backing Brown and 12% undecided. And Shaheen had a 52%-39% lead among New Hampshire voters in the Suffolk University poll.

From state house to Senate

In January 2010, the then little-known Republican state senator in Massachusetts pulled an upset in a special election to serve the final three years of the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy's term. But Brown's time in the Senate was cut short when Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren defeated him in the 2012 election.

Last year, Scott passed on running in a special election in Massachusetts to fill the term of John Kerry, who left the Senate to become secretary of state. And at the time, Brown also announced that he wouldn't make a 2014 bid for an open governor's seat in the Bay State.

Brown last year made a number of speaking appearances at GOP events in the Granite State, where he spent much of his childhood and where he owned a vacation home. Last fall, in another hint about a possible run, he dropped the 'MA' from his Twitter handle.

A few months later, he sold his home in Massachusetts and moved his residency north to New Hampshire.


Filed under: 2014 • New Hampshire • President Obama • Scott Brown
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. bobo

    Any Republican is better and any Democrat.... that is for sure!

    March 20, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    "Jeanne Shaheen votes with President Obama 99% of the time and cast the deciding vote for his failed health care law."
    said the NH gop chair.

    The gop/tea bags are using the same tactics they always do: Lie (Obamacare is not a failure) enough times and your low-information, hateful base will believe it – and never believe any facts contrary to their position.

    Further proof the gop/tea bags are nothing more than a bunch of sheep herders.

    March 20, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. pkMyt1

    Well that killed Brown's chances.

    March 20, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. Gunderson

    My Gawd,
    Just when things quiet down for the Liberal's old Whats-His-Name opens his big mouth again. The Liberal's are all for giving away the store. Obama cares nothing about the National Debt but wants to Spend, Spend, Spend. The Liberal's have done everything Bass Akwards. The ACA has killed too many jobs, the Tax Base has gone to hell, and we have Nero at the Helm. People need jobt Welfare. Something the Liberal's no nothing about. The Country has tried the Liberal Path for the last 100 years. So far it has been a Glaring Failure.

    March 20, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. kurt

    The key points here.

    1. Shaheen is already at 50% in the polls.
    2. Shaheen has already proven she knows how to run a Senate campaign when she defeated incumbent Republican John Sununu. This isn't another Coakley like Brown faced in Massachusettes who didn't realize she was in a campaign until it was too late.

    Combine those two... something drastic needs to happen for this seat to be in play. 50% with a huge amount undecided is pretty much a "sure thing" at this point.

    March 20, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    If Republicans want to enclose themselves into yet another hardline box by campaigning against Obamacare, then I would invite them to do so with gusto. I would beat them down like weeds gone to seed.

    For example, the right wing loves to rant about a few million people have had their existing health care plans cancelled. They want to paint the picture that those "victims of Obamacare" no longer have health insurance, but most of them do. The real kicker are the Republican governors who are participating in the expansion of Medicaid, which denies hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people in their states health care coverage.

    Run the numbers, folks. Compare the number of "victims of Obamacare" to the numver of "victims of GOP Governors", and guess which one is larger. The "victims of GOP Governors".

    March 20, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. Tampa Tim

    Gunny – Please fact check. Everything you posted was a lie. The store was given away with unfunded wars, unfunded tax cuts, unfunded drug programs, jobs outsourcing, record job loss and Trickle down economics. When you put Bush's wars on the books, TARP, and tax breaks for big business, along with his $1.5 trillion deficit, you get the vast majority of our national debt. As for ACA killing jobs, that too is a lie. People no longer have to work multiple jobs to be insured.

    March 20, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. don in albuquerque

    bobo
    Be willing to bet the thousands W put in their graves would disagree with you about any republican would be better "and any democrat".

    March 20, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. Victoria

    Obama needs to keep his trap shut. It is shameful how often he goes on shows like Ellen, Jon Stewart's show, and praises celebrities. In a ceremony for Lenny Kravitz's uncle, a deceased war hero, Obama had to go all star struck on Kravitz, instead of keeping the focus on the uncle.

    Obama is a disgrace

    March 20, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. smith

    @don-And the Dems sent way more to their deaths in Veitnam. So whats your point?

    March 20, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. Silence DoGood

    @Gunderson
    My Gawd,
    Just when things quiet down for the Liberal's old Whats-His-Name opens his big mouth again. The Liberal's are all for giving away the store. Obama cares nothing about the National Debt but wants to Spend, Spend, Spend. The Liberal's have done everything Bass Akwards. The ACA has killed too many jobs, the Tax Base has gone to hell, and we have Nero at the Helm. People need jobt Welfare. Something the Liberal's no nothing about. The Country has tried the Liberal Path for the last 100 years. So far it has been a Glaring Failure.
    -----------
    Old Gunderson fall asleep. Miss reality parade passing by. Wake in time to wonder.

    CBO report did not say that. Is this all the conservative have to argue? Conspiracy theory and people proud of being clueless.

    March 20, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. Wake up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Actually Victoria he is the President of the United States of America and can say whatever he wants to. This is a free country.

    The only disgraces are the GOP who have done absolutely nothing but obstruct, lie and throw temper tantrums due to their losing the WH.

    March 20, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Silence DoGood

    @Victoria
    Obama needs to keep his trap shut. It is shameful how often he goes on shows like Ellen, Jon Stewart's show, and praises celebrities. In a ceremony for Lenny Kravitz's uncle, a deceased war hero, Obama had to go all star struck on Kravitz, instead of keeping the focus on the uncle.

    Obama is a disgrace
    -------------–
    Yes it must be hard to have a politician you don't like that can speak in full clever English sentences, and even say "nuclear" properly. Odd that hardened conservatives want English as the official language of the New Empire yet cannot seem to speak it consistently.

    March 20, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. salty dog

    Victoria, feel free to leave at any time, thanks.

    March 20, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. salty dog

    Wake up, thats funny stuff, sad but true.

    March 20, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. S.B. Stein

    I wonder if the N.H. voters want someone from another state (excuse me, commonwealth) representing them in the US Senate. That would give MA 3 votes in the Senate to along with the Tom Leher song where he mentions that before starting the song.

    March 20, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. Gunderson

    Well T,T,
    it's always easy to ignore half the problem. Hindsight is 20-20. Most of the 17.5 Trillion Dollar Federal debt was on the Democrat Watch. Lyndon Johnson, a Proponent of Franklin Deleno Roosevelt took a crooked path to the U.S. Senate. After he became president he took a look at the money in the Social Security fund and Proclaimed, WE ARE GOING TO SPEND THIS MONEY. Sorry to say but the Peasants let him do it. They voted for it. As a result the SS Fund is empty.

    And Tim, as soon as you get out of your P.J's open your eyes. Google the National Debt Clock. That is your Party's Legacy. Your Liberal friends don't talk about the National Debt. Why do you defend it? Don't know what is going to happen in the next election, but I suspect more of the same as in 2010.

    All Liberal's Light up a Camel, then jump off a high bridge!!!

    March 20, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. don in albuquerque

    smith

    My point, dear boy, is that neither side is any better then then the other. When you make blanket statements be prepared for a comeback. Oh and by the way, since we are going back a few decades, the republicans ordered the invasion of the south in the Civil War...and a whole lot more people died there.

    March 20, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. ST

    Scott Brown looks like a Nomad in the desert, moving from one place to the other, no any idea where he will end up and settle. Who would admire such a person?

    March 20, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Pollopa

    At a Scott friendly town hall yesterday, he was confronted by a Republican family that was "saved by Obamacare". Scott had no answer to the clearly stated fact by his constituent. Clearly the tide is swinging, and with six months to go before the election that tide is against the GOP. Check out the New Hampshire Democrat newspaper for the article.

    March 20, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. Pollopa

    At a townhall meeting with Scott Brown yesterday a republican stated that he was "saved by Obamacare" when Scott had stated it was the worst thing to happen to America. His constituent clearly took exception. Scott had nothing to say in response. The tide is turning, and with six months to go to the election it's turning against the GOP. Check out the story at the New Hampshire Democrat newspaper.

    March 20, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. Ol' Yeller

    @smith

    "@don-And the Dems sent way more to their deaths in Veitnam. So whats your point?"

    That's why Nixon got us out immedieately... oh yeah, he didn't.
    What's YOUR point... this has nothing to do with scott brown.
    Uh... Lincoln sent even more Americans to their death than anybody ever, and he was republicant, so there!
    (This is what I would post if I were in the third grade with you).

    March 20, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. smith

    @don-Wrong, your first comment was hardly bi-partisan. To try claim that it was is laughable. Your spin attempt from your double standard failed.

    March 20, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Ol' Yeller

    @salty dog

    Victoria, feel free to leave at any time, thanks.

    (co-sign)

    March 20, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. wendel

    amazes me how stupid most republicans are like ol Victoria. They just plane hate the president no matter what he says or does. Time to just write them as looney tunes along with their dysfunctional party of crazies. Republicans can not function the real world at all anymore. and their ideas are old stale and out of date

    March 20, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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