(NASHUA, N.H.) — Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown announced an exploratory committee for a U.S. Senate seat Friday, but this time from neighboring New Hampshire.
As he did leading up to his shocking win in the Bay State in 2010, he focused on Obamacare in his speech Friday, telling the crowd of Republicans at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, “It wasn’t so long ago that the Democratic establishment in Washington was feeling very comfortable, like they just couldn’t lose.”
“You could tell they were comfortable because they kept forcing Obamacare upon us. It didn’t much care how Americans or each and every one of you in this room felt about it,” said Brown, standing in front of a large American flag. “Election Day is about eight months away, and they’re already in panic mode. A big political wave is about to break in America, and the Obamacare Democrats are on the wrong side of that wave.”
Brown also recounted his troubled childhood for the Granite State audience, stressing his New Hampshire ties, noting his parents met and were married in the state.
“So much of my life played out in Massachusetts and I’m very proud and thankful for those opportunities, but a big part of it was always right here in New Hampshire,” Brown said, adding his “strong family ties” helped bring him back as a “full-time resident.”
Brown focused on his blue-collar roots and even got emotional at one point when talking about his grandparents, saying, “I think of them often these days, because so much of the time we spent together was here in New Hampshire.”
Brown moved into his vacation home in Rye, N.H., full time last year, putting his home in Wrentham, Mass., up for sale in September. He surprised the country when he won in 2010 to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat after his death, but two years later, he lost to Elizabeth Warren by almost 8 percentage points. He has been flirting with the idea of running against current Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for months, finally making it official today. It’s a move long wanted by national Republicans as this makes another U.S. Senate seat possibly within their grasp and the hopes of taking the Senate majority.
Brown said Washington needs a “fresh approach” and mentioned the current divisions within the Republican Party. While he didn’t mention words like “establishment” or “tea party,” he called for unity.
“And though we never have been perfect as a party and we are battling, trying to get our vision and feelings out, we’re still Republicans,” Brown said. “I’m tired of our party fighting, we need to unite to send a very powerful message to the rest of this country that we can do it better.”
He told the audience he would be traveling around the country “listening” to voters as he makes “a very big decision,” but in all likelihood this is just a formality and he is setting up what will become one of the most closely watched races for 2014. Though Brown only jumped in Friday, there has already been advertising on both sides, foreshadowing just how brutal this battle will become.
American Crossroads, the outside group co-founded by Karl Rove, also announced plans Friday to spend $650,000 on television advertising against Shaheen beginning next week.
Brown noted it was his wife Gail who urged him to “stop complaining and get involved.”
And Brown didn’t forget his truck, a GMC Canyon, that became a vital part of his 2010 campaign, saying he has traveled so much around New Hampshire that he is closing in on 300,000 miles.
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Tana Bolinger, FamilyShare
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