Game on in New Hampshire: Brown enters Senate race
April 10th, 2014
08:49 AM ET
7 months ago

Game on in New Hampshire: Brown enters Senate race

(CNN) - Former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts will tout his Granite State roots Thursday as he formally launches a Republican bid for the Senate in neighboring New Hampshire.

And the Republican will criticize the federal health care law and criticize Jeanne Shaheen, the incumbent Democratic senator he hopes to oust in November, saying "I am running to hold Senator Shaheen accountable."

Hours before Brown officially kicks off his campaign, Shaheen's campaign touted its expanding cash war chest.

Brown, who's entry into the race could turn the contest into one of the most expensive and high profile Senate battles in this year's midterm elections, kicks off his campaign in Portsmouth.

Highlighting his Granite State heritage

The sea coast city's setting emphasizes Brown's roots in the Granite State. His mother lives in the vicinity, he spent a lot of his childhood in the area, and he was born just across the Piscataqua River, in Kittery, Maine.

"Our campaign for the U.S. Senate begins not far from where my life began. I was born right over there at the Naval Shipyard. When my Mom was a young woman, she was a waitress in Hampton Beach, my Dad an airman at Pease. They met, fell in love, and a year or so later I came along. When they carried me home, it was to a house not far from here on Islington Street," Brown will say according to excerpts of his speech released by his his campaign.

Since late year, when he began considering a Senate bid in New Hampshire, Brown's been highlighting his ties to the Granite State, to push back against Democrats' characterizations of him as a "carpetbagger" from Massachusetts.

Obamacare in the spotlight

Brown has made his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, a key part of his campaign, and he'll slam the health care law again as he formally throws his hat into the ring.

"I think of the small business owner I met in Henniker. The guy's paying twice as much for health care now. It's meant some tough decisions he never thought he had to make. And along with our money and our health plans, for a lot of us it feels like we're losing our liberty, too. Obamacare forces us to make a choice, live free or log on – and here in New Hampshire, we choose freedom," Brown will say.

And he'll also attack Shaheen for her support for the law, saying "I worked with Senator Shaheen in the U.S. Senate for three years. She is a nice person, but wrong on the issues facing the people of New Hampshire. She made that clear when she cast the deciding vote that forced Obamacare on this state and our country. A lot of people aren't aware of that vote to pass Obamacare. But it's important to know if we are ever going to get past Obamacare and get America moving in the right direction."

Shaheen's big numbers

As Brown was preparing for his kickoff in Portsmouth, Shaheen reported her best fundraising quarter in her nearly six years in the Senate. Her campaign announced that they raised more than $1.5 million the past three months. They say that brings to $7.3 million the total amount they've raised so far this election cycle, and that they've got $4.35 million cash on hand. The campaign adds that 27,000 people donated to Shaheen in the first quarter, up 12,000 from the previous three months.

"Our campaign is proud of all the grassroots support our campaign has generated to date and we're confident we'll have the resources we'll need to win this November, regardless of whom Republicans nominate to run against Jeanne Shaheen," said her campaign spokesman Harrell Kirstein.

From Massachusetts to New Hampshire

Brown, then a little-known state senator, in Massachusetts, scored an upset victory in a special election in January 2010 to serve the final three years of the term of the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, who had died the previous summer. Brown lost his bid 2012 re-election bid for a full six-year term to Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.

Last year, Brown 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 made a number of speaking appearances at GOP events in New Hampshire last year, 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 the Granite State.

Last month, Brown announced that he was forming an exploratory committee, which allowed him to raise money and hire staff for a Senate bid. He immediately began a listening tour across New Hampshire. And last Friday CNN confirmed that a former longtime close aide, Colin Reed, had left his job as deputy communications director for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to serve as Brown's campaign manager.

Battle over a pledge

Earlier this week Shaheen's campaign once again criticized Brown for not signing a pledge to keep outside money out of the Senate race.

"In 2012, Scott Brown said Massachusetts voters deserved better than outside third-party attack ads. Well, the people of New Hampshire deserve better too. We hope, now that he is officially a candidate, Scott Brown will commit to the same standard he set in his last race on the other side of the border and tell the special interests to stay out," said Mike Vlacich, Shaheen's campaign manager.

Both Brown and Warren signed the pledge in their 2012 contest, but he won't sign the new pledge, saying it comes too late because outside groups have already spent big bucks on the race.

One of those groups, the Ending Spending Action Fund, a pro-Republican outside group, went up this week statewide with a TV commercial that uses a clip of Brown from four years ago slamming the new federal health care law. The spot ends with the narrator saying that "Scott Brown was right on Obamacare then, he's right for New Hampshire Now.

The group put out a spot last year in an effort to convince Brown to run for the Senate in New Hampshire.

Separately, two of the biggest players when it comes to outside spending, Americans for Prosperity (which is backed by the big bucks of the billionaire industrialist Koch Brothers) and American Crossroads (which was co-founded by Karl Rove), have poured more than $1 million into the race, mostly to attack Shaheen for her support of the health care law.

"Scott Brown is for Scott Brown. He moved to New Hampshire and aligned himself with the third party special interest groups trying to buy New Hampshire's Senate seat," said Granite State Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, in a statement.

State of Play

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. The winner of the September 9 primary will face off against Shaheen, who moved to New Hampshire 40 years ago and served for six years as the state's governor.

If Brown ends up winning the GOP'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.

The most recent public opinion polls in a possible Brown-Shaheen November showdown give the incumbent a double digit advantage. According to a Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll conducted in March, Shaheen had a 52%-39% lead among New Hampshire voters. And the senator was up 50%-38% over her potential GOP challenger in an American Research Group survey conducted around the same time.


Filed under: 2014 • Jeanne Shaheen • New Hampshire • Scott Brown
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Just look at Scott Brown's license plate: Massachusetts. Ask Scott Brown New Hampshire's motto: Live Free AND Die. Scott "BQUWHATVER" Brown is a fraud!

    April 10, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. Lac

    A father with several daughters......and he would no doubtedly vote almond party lines..... no to income equality.
    Think twice before voting for this man.

    April 10, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. Peace

    Does Scott Brown know where he belongs? What is the use of moving from one place to the other like a Nomad in the desert? What will be his next checkpoint after New Hampshire? He shouldn't underestimate the thinking of the people there. They are quite clever to study and know one's motives.

    April 10, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. Hector Slagg

    We need fiscal Responsibility and common sense in Washington. We also need a senate that at least takes up bills for approval or rejection. With Harry Reid the democrats are holding on with their fingernails protecting a failed policy it is time for a change. If the Republicans hold the House Obama is thru. There may be another long run of Republican Presidents and Congress. Thank you Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama.

    April 10, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    I back Brown. He demonstrated that he votes for what's best for America, in a bi-partisan manner, which is what is totally lacking among Democrats.

    April 10, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. smith

    It would be a huge upset for Brown to win. Shaheen should take it. There is alot money being poured into this one.

    April 10, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. God MAY NOT be a Liberal BUT He IS a Democrat

    Scott Brown is running g so he will ha v e as job; have a n income. He was FIRED as Senator from Massachusetts as part of the partisan obstructionism of the Republican Party. He cares nothing / knows little about NH. The Sheehen woman was Governor before being Senator. SHE knows the state and has done a fine job. She is a part of that cabal of so.we n that lead compromise to get things accomplished like ending the GOP shutdown. NH would be follow to pick Brown over her.

    April 10, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Rick McDaniel
    I back Brown. He demonstrated that he votes for what's best for America, in a bi-partisan manner, which is what is totally lacking among Democrats.
    -------------------------------------
    He demonstrated that he is in Wall St's back pocket and that's why he was dubbed "Wall St's Favorite Senator."

    April 10, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    It's truly a shame that the GOP has absolutely nothing to run on except being against medical coverage for those Americans who otherwise couldn't afford it. It makes you wonder what sort of people do we have representing us in DC? I don't think I've ever seen so many people voting against their own well being. It's sad. Thank you to my sista for putting that attention seeker in his place yesterday. You have more patience than I....

    April 10, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    "With Harry Reid the democrats are holding on with their fingernails protecting a failed policy it is time for a change."
    -------------------------------–
    What failed policy? Obstruction is NOT a policy. What policy of this administration has failed? Please do tell. The stimulus worked despite the myths. Financial reform is in place. The ACA is succeeding. The Iraq war is over and the war in Afghanistan is coming to an end. Please tell me which policies you're referring to..........

    April 10, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Its really sad when the GOP is happy to go back to an era of denying people coverage, all for the greater good of so-called job creators.

    April 10, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Name jk. Sfl. THE KOCH BROTHERS GOP STOOGES PARTY NEEDS to be VOTED OUT IN NOVEMBER !!!!

    This GOP RETREAD will fall FZlAT in November , the GOP has NOTHING to offer and is ANTI HEALTHCARE !!!!

    April 10, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. rs

    Scott Brown, a.k.a. the "carpetbagger" wants to try to take down a Senator over the A.C.A.? Good luck with that, sir. You and your party are morally bankrupt if you think making healthcare insurance unaffordable (again) will win you voters. The GOP has nothing but obstruction and anti-Americanism. That is not a platform.

    April 10, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Tampa Tim

    Scott Brown is not very bright, but that is a good thing if you are running as a republican.

    April 10, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    The Real Tom Paine wrote:

    Its really sad when the GOP is happy to go back to an era of denying people coverage, all for the greater good of so-called job creators.
    ----------------------
    Most people have no idea what you're *really* talking about. The GOP doesn't want to just repeal the ACA. The GOP wants to go back 50 years, before there was Medicare. They want to return to the day when people worked their entire lives, living the American Dream.

    People saved up a comfortable nest egg, only to have to spend it all, bankrupting themselves in the process, on an ill spouse because insurance companies would not cover people off retirement age. Frequently, the ill parents became a burdent on their kids, In other cases, the parents did not want to be a burdent and just simply dropped out of their kids lives, living the homeless life in parts unknown. This was the motivating circumstance behind Medicare. Insurers didn't want to cover the elderly, so the government took it upon themselves to do it. Why? Because of greed and politicians who defended it.

    It was a misearable, terrible experience to have an elderly family member. Every family would have to go through it because everyone grows old and gets sick. Most families couldn't afford the care, and so people died, often at home in misery and agony. That's what the Republicans want when it comes to health care. They have made it perfectly clear. They want to repeal the ACA, They want to end Medicare as we know it.

    Medicare vouchers? What good is a voucher if an insurance company can turn you away because of age or pre-existing conditions? Exactly, they'd be worthless.

    April 10, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. bcrunner

    Handsome guy... NO brains!! And, oh yeah... try taking people's healthcare away now Mr. centerfold....

    April 10, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. Tampa Tim

    The republican success stories: government shut down costing $24 billion, unfunded unnecessary wars costing over $2 trillion 4500 soldiers lives and 43,000 wounded, unfunded drug program costing $1 trillion, record job loss, stock market drop to under 7000, 54 votes to repeal healthcare for those with preexisting conditions, and voting a few dozen times to repeal women,s reproductive rights. I didn't even mention $775 billion for TARP.

    April 10, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel
    I back Brown. He demonstrated that he votes for what's best for America, in a bi-partisan manner, which is what is totally lacking among Democrats.
    ***********************
    Oh, please. You dissed Brown for being a RINO 2 years ago.

    April 10, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    If he loses in November, where will he go next? We know it won't be to a real job. What's his next home state?

    April 10, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. Malory Archer

    Rudy NYC

    It was a misearable, terrible experience to have an elderly family member. Every family would have to go through it because everyone grows old and gets sick. Most families couldn't afford the care, and so people died, often at home in misery and agony. That's what the Republicans want when it comes to health care. They have made it perfectly clear. They want to repeal the ACA, They want to end Medicare as we know it.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And then they'll INSIST the authorities arrest and charge those poor families with Elder Abuse and failure to obtain medical care for their sick/elderly loved one. That actually happened in Tampa a few years ago after an elderly woman, being cared for by her elderly husband and two special needs adult children (none of whom were able to lift her or provide the care she required, but were too poor to pay someone to do it for them), died and was discovered to have bed sores and other ailments associated with longterm confinement.

    April 10, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. rs

    "It was a misearable, terrible experience to have an elderly family member. Every family would have to go through it because everyone grows old and gets sick. Most families couldn't afford the care, and so people died, often at home in misery and agony. That's what the Republicans want when it comes to health care. They have made it perfectly clear. They want to repeal the ACA, They want to end Medicare as we know it. "
    ________________________
    Hear, hear. THIS is precisely what is wrong with the GOP today. They don't care about people, they don't care about real-live Americans, they don't care what their petty anti-government, radical base-warmer, shout-outs do. They are too busy playing games to do the actual heavy-lifting of leadership.
    If we leave our nation in their hands, we'll wind up some third-world dump, far from being the best nation on the planet.

    April 10, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. Pat

    Ok, he didn't win in Mass.
    He will not win in NH.
    Let's try Ohio in 2016.
    or
    Louisiana in 2020

    April 10, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Malory Archer

    Hector Slagg

    With Harry Reid the democrats are holding on with their fingernails protecting a failed policy it is time for a change.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    To borrow a quote trotted out by the reds every single time congress stomps their feet and screams “NO!!!”: Harry Reid and the Senate Dems are doing EXACTLY what their constituents sent them to DC to do.

    April 10, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Malory Archer

    Hector Slagg

    With Harry Reid the democrats are holding on with their fingernails protecting a failed policy it is time for a change.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Harry Reid and the Senate Dems are doing EXACTLY what their constituents sent them to DC to do.

    April 10, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    BUSH/OBAMA – "BEHOLD, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in Unity!" (Psalm 133: 1)

    April 10, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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