July 2nd, 2014
10:00 AM ET
3 months ago

Mitt Romney back in a familiar spot

(CNN) - When former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts began to seriously think about launching a campaign for the Senate in neighboring New Hampshire, "one of the first calls he made to talk about running was to Gov. Mitt Romney," a close adviser to Brown tells CNN.

Wednesday, the two men talked again, as the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee officially endorsed Brown, the frontrunner among the Republican candidates hoping to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire this November.

"New Hampshire knows Mitt Romney very very well, and not just because he won the presidential primary here. We know him as the upright and capable man who we wish were President right now. And as you remember in 2012 he came right here and fought the good fight. Well guess what, he’s here today to help us win in 2014, Brown told the crowd.

Romney's made a bunch of endorsements in Republican primary battles this year, but this one - which was first reported last week by CNN – hits closer to home in many ways.

"Gov. Romney and Scott Brown have been friends for years, going back to their days on Beacon Hill in Massachusetts," Ryan Williams, a New Hampshire GOP consultant who worked for Romney and now advises Brown, told CNN. "Obviously Scott is very proud to have Romney's support in New Hampshire, a place where Gov. Romney is very well liked and has a lot of friends and supporters."

Romney's very well known in New Hampshire. Besides serving for four years as governor of neighboring Massachusetts last decade, he owns a vacation home in the Granite State, and has often appeared at GOP events in across the state. Romney easily won the state's 2012 Republican presidential primary, but lost New Hampshire by six percentage points to President Barack Obama in the general election.

"Romney is popular in this state, particularly among Republicans. He's well thought of even though he's not a New Hampshire resident," Neil Levesque, the executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, told CNN.

Since his defeat in the 2012 presidential election, Romney has taken on the role of Republican Party elder statesman, in hopes of helping shape the future of the party. And while he has made endorsements in a number of GOP primary battles this cycle, he's only appeared on the campaign with candidates a couple of times. Most recently, he traveled to Iowa to campaign with state Sen. Joni Ernst, who a month ago went on to win the Hawkeye State's Republican Senate nomination.

Poll: Would America  be better off if Romney had won?

Wednesday's event took place at Doug and Stella Scamman's Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, near the New Hampshire seacoast. That's the same spot where, just over three years ago, Romney formally announced his 2012 bid for the White House.  Discussing the setting, Romney said it was "kind of like deja vu all over again."

"I'm proud to be here today to endorse someone I know well," said Romney, calling Brown "an independent voice, an independent thinker."

"I know that the President is not on the ballot this November but the people of New Hampshire have a chance to vote on what they think about the President’s agenda and they’ll do that by saying what they will about the President’s number one supporter Jeanne Shaheen," Romney added.

The endorsement came one day after news that Brown's campaign raised more than $2 million the past three months - his first full quarter as Senate candidate. Romney helped Brown top the $2 million mark by hosting a fundraiser in Chicago this past weekend for the Senate candidate.

"Scott Brown's strong fundraising quarter is another indication that he's going to be a formidable candidate this fall," a senior Brown aide told CNN.

Shaheen, who raised $1.5 million during the first three months of the year and had $4.4 million in the bank, has not yet revealed her second quarter fundraising figures. She got an assist on Monday from Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, as the progressive rock star hosted a fundraiser for Shaheen in Boston.

In advance of the Romney-Brown event, Democratic party officials were happy to tie the two men together.

"Really, when you get down to it Scott Brown and Mitt Romney are a couple of failed Massachusetts politicians who own summer homes in New Hampshire and now want to stand for Wall Street and big oil at the expense of the middle class in New Hampshire," Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman Thomas McGee told reporters on a conference Tuesday.

"Now Scott Brown is bringing in his Massachusetts buddy Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney, to vouch for him. Well Scott, we've got news for you, Mitt Romney has no credibility in New Hampshire either," added New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley. "It's actually insulting that Scott Brown is shipping in another failed Massachusetts politician to tell Granite Staters what they need."

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.

During the 2012 campaign, as Brown tried to fend off the challenge from Warren in blue state Massachusetts, appeared to distance himself a bit from Romney, who Brown considered a political mentor during their days together in Bay State politics.

"In 2012, each candidate had to run their own race, and focus on two very different campaigns," Ryan told CNN. "Each candidate was focused on running the type of race they needed to run to win."

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. Last fall, in another hint about a possible run, he dropped the 'MA' from his Twitter handle. Since late year, when he began considering a Senate bid in New Hampshire, Brown began been highlighting his ties to the Granite State, to push back against Democrats' characterizations of him as a "carpetbagger" from Massachusetts.

At the end of the year, he sold his home in the Bay State and moved his residency north to New Hampshire, where he owed a vacation home and where he spent much of his childhood. In April he formally launched his Senate bid in New Hampshire

Brown joins two other Republicans who are running for their party's Senate nomination in New Hampshire: former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith and former state Sen. Jim Rubens. Conservative activist Karen Testerman dropped out of the race earlier this month and endorsed Smith. The winner of the September 9 primary will face off against Shaheen, who also served for six years as the state's governor.

Two polls released last month indicated Brown trailing Shaheen by 10 and 12 percentage points. One of the two surveys also suggested that Brown was the clear frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

If Brown ends up winning the GOP's September primary and runs a competitive race against Shaheen, it would 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.

Will sharing the stage with Romney give Brown a boost?

"I think this is going to be a very big event that a lot of people are going to be talking about. If you can get a bump going into the Fourth of July holiday, it's to your benefit," Levesque told CNN.

Complete Coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

 


Filed under: 2014 • Jeanne Shaheen • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Scott Brown • Senate • Senate Primaries • Senate Race
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "I'll bet you $10,000 dollars that I can turn a terrorist attack into a campaign wedge issue."

    July 2, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Will sharing the stage with Romney give Brown a boost?"

    Oh, hey. The guy 45% of Americans think OUGHT to have been president is making his next political move.

    Too funny.

    July 2, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    "Really, when you get down to it Scott Brown and Mitt Romney are a couple of failed Massachusetts politicians who own summer homes in New Hampshire and now want to stand for Wall Street and big oil at the expense of the middle class in New Hampshire,"
    ---------------------------------
    I couldn't have said it better myself. An endorsement from Mr. 1% himself is not going to get you anywhere Scottie ol' boy. Have you seen the polls lately? You're down.

    July 2, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. kool aid man

    A man who made his bones off the backs of working americans, great guy, his state was 47th in job creation, he'd be the best ever, HELLO!!

    July 2, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I wonder where he'll try next if he loses in NH? It really seems like he's afraid of an honest job, he just seems to run from state to state running for office.

    But they call us lazy.....🙀

    July 2, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. JLarrabee

    So if 66% percent polled say that he is not, that doesn't count? The minority rules? Yep, this is America today!

    July 2, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. drake mallard

    There was a man call mitt romney who did too little too late with tax havens and offshore accounts. He was a rich man he was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan/ Rich from birth, raised in prep schools, no early exposure to minorities outside of maids, a powerful daddy to clean up his misstepss . timely exemptions from military service What a dope this trust fund baby was. His tax-cut math just doesn't add up. He never had to earn anything he talk smack about 47% not paying taxes and responsibility to care for them, Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing you-name-it. He said saved business with “creative destruction." It's the age-old theory that the new must constantly attack the old to bring efficiency to the economy, even if some are destroyed along the way, mitt was born-insecure, he understand the hardships facing ordinary Americans. For example, one of his cars was out of gas so he have to pump his own gas he know hardship. born-insecure, jock-jawed ! His Tax policy are made up of small mystical creatures and health problems are already solved through the miracle of .emergency rooms! He loves being able to fire people who provide services to him. mitt the twit is not concerned about the very poor because We have a safety net there. He lost to a man with unemployment at 8% /Now look at him shiver. Beg for mercy, rich man.

    July 2, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. CryBabies

    @ Wake up People.....Very much like Hillary.

    July 2, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    I read this yesterday somewhere. "Flip Flop-ney."

    July 2, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    CryBabies

    @ Wake up People.....Very much like Hillary.
    -----------------------------
    Do we really have to point out that Hillary ran in only one state? Brown is running in his second.
    Do we really have to point out that Hillary won her race for re-election? Brown lost his re-election bid.
    Do we really have to point out this out to you over and over? Yes, I know we will.

    July 2, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. CryBabies

    People picked "The Liar" over "The Doer".....and look how we have progressed. Keep your hands out America...get as much as you can before the well drys up. Incompetence evolves to arrogance.

    July 2, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. emskadittle

    how many times does Romeny have to lose before you all get it?

    July 2, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Chris..E.al

    @wakeup please tell who said who was lazy PLEASE . And tell us that Hillary didnt say that the women couldnt get B control that works at hobby lobby . Hillary lied AGAIN . Hobby lobby just dont have to help pay to kill babies they dont want innocent blood on their hands and who would . Who wants to help kill a baby ?

    July 2, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Bill from GA

    Do these endorsements really mean anything?

    in a recent local election in my county, one candidate was endorsed by a previous Democrat governor, and, since I knew little about the others, and nothing good about them, I considered the endorsement valid.

    I doubt the endorsement of Brown by Romney falls into that realm. If the people of New Hampshire need an outsider to tell them to vote for another outsider, so be it.

    July 2, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    @CryBabies: Hillary was a good Senator, UNLIKE Brown.

    July 2, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. Thomas

    Please give us a younger , experienced , honest , educated , worldly , leader .

    July 2, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Lisa P

    A loser endorses a loser and both pretend it matters to voters. Next!

    July 2, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. yolanda

    @REal Tom, please expound on the good works of Sen. Clinton. I am not being sarcastic, but rather curious as to what you view as her accomplishments. Thanks.

    July 2, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Donna

    Bill from GA
    If the people of New Hampshire need an outsider to tell them to vote for another outsider, so be it.
    -–

    The problem with this statement is it is false. Romney has a residence in NH and has had it for a long time. Also, a LOT of people that live in New Hampshire work in Massachusetts so they know Massachusetts as well (especially it taxes). NH is sort of a cheap suburb of Boston.

    People are looking for alternatives to Obama clones. Polls now show people think Obama is the worst president ever. Why would people vote for a Senate candidate that will guarantee more Obama insanity?! It just makes no sense. Scott Brown is a very middle of the road guy and would do a very good job as a NH Senator.

    July 2, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    yolanda

    @REal Tom, please expound on the good works of Sen. Clinton. I am not being sarcastic, but rather curious as to what you view as her accomplishments. Thanks.
    -------------------------
    Don't you think it's a little early for that? You could at least wait until she announces a candidacy. And when and if she does, you would do well to identify which conservative would make a better POTUS. But, since you want to jump the gun, why don't you identify that conservative now, so that we can do a comparison?

    July 2, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Donna

    Bill from GA
    If the people of New Hampshire need an outsider to tell them to vote for another outsider, so be it.
    -–

    The problem with this statement is it is false. Romney has a residence in NH and has had it for a long time. Also, a LOT of people that live in New Hampshire work in Massachusetts so they know Massachusetts as well (especially it taxes). NH is sort of a cheap suburb of Boston.
    ============================================================
    Does Romney file his taxes as a resident of New Hampshire? If Romney has a vacation home in Europe, let's say the French Riviera somewhere, would your argument make Romney a foreigner, one who would be ineligible to be POTUS?

    July 2, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    emskadittle
    how many times does Romeny have to lose before you all get it?
    ------------

    As many times as the media continues repeating their "Romney has the momentum" talking points. Pretty cool for a guy who twice lost his bid as President of the United States, huh?

    July 2, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Donna

    Rudy NYC
    Does Romney file his taxes as a resident of New Hampshire? If Romney has a vacation home in Europe, let's say the French Riviera somewhere, would your argument make Romney a foreigner, one who would be ineligible to be POTUS?
    ---

    What difference DOES it make?!! (sorry, just had to channel Hillary there)

    Many, many people have residences in two states, one for the summer, one for the winter (retirees especially). They pay taxes in these multiple states no matter where they file the return. They spent time there and know the people and the issues. Any other red herring nonsense points you need shot down?

    July 2, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Tony D

    Rudy NYC
    yolanda
    @REal Tom, please expound on the good works of Sen. Clinton. I am not being sarcastic, but rather curious as to what you view as her accomplishments. Thanks.
    ---------
    Don't you think it's a little early for that? You could at least wait until she announces a candidacy.
    --

    We'll take that as a no, you can't list her accomplishments. Since the question has been asked so much about Hillary in the past, you should have your stock list of rubbish ready to repost. For instance...

    1. Worked for world peace.
    2. Visited the entire planet making the world a friendly place.
    3. Got 4 people killed.

    ooops! how did that get in there?!

    July 2, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. pvst

    Yes. Worst president ever.

    July 2, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
1 2