Scott Brown’s record on guns signals trouble in NH bid

posted at 8:31 am on December 21, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Earlier this week Ed looked at a rumor we’d been hearing for months now which seems to be verified. Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown had put his Bay State home on the market and moved to New Hampshire in preparation for a bid to take the Senate seat currently held by Jeanne Shaheen. There’s little doubt that Shaheen is potentially in hot water over her unflagging support of Obamacare and the President, and Ed felt that might be enough to work that old Scott Brown magic again.

The primary will certainly prove interesting. Shaheen will have a tough time regardless of who her opponent turns out to be, thanks to the cratering support for Barack Obama. Brown can at least demonstrate his opposition to ObamaCare and his brief experience as a Senator as pluses for New Hampshire voters, and that may be all they require by the time the rest of the ObamaCare disaster has unfolded over the next year.

If it comes to a battle in the general election, that may certainly prove to be true. But in order to reach that point, Brown will need to make it through the “interesting” primary which Ed referenced. And during one of his first appearances on the early campaign trail, the candidate found out precisely how interesting things might get.

Scott Brown attracted more than 125 pro-gun conservatives to a GOP holiday party here Thursday night — but they came to protest his appearance, not to hear him speak.

The spectacle — protesters outnumbered activists who coughed up $50 to see Brown — was a stark illustration of the treacherous political terrain facing the 54-year-old New Hampshire transplant if he launches a Senate bid that’s looking more likely by the day…

“His coming here is calculated disrespect, just as if he went to Saudi Arabia with pork chops in his suitcase,” said Jay Simkin, a 60-something economic consultant who lives in Nashua. “If he wants gun control, he should stay in Massachusetts.”

Brown isn’t officially in the race yet, telling reporters outside of this event that he hasn’t even set a timeline for making a final decision as to whether or not he’ll run, but this was probably an eye opener for him. The Granite State’s somewhat unique blend of conservative and libertarian politics always makes it an interesting and challenging state for presidential candidates and pundits alike. But there’s one area where there is little to no question when it comes to the attitude of the voters. If you want to impress New Hampshire Republicans (not to mention independents and a fair share of the Democrats to boot) you had best be a rock solid supporter of Second Amendment rights.

Anyone seeking to challenge Brown in the primary will find plenty of fodder to attack him on that front. He’s on the record expressing support for a renewed federal “assault weapons” ban, opposing a national concealed carry law and once even received the endorsement of the Deplorable Nanny State Mayor and his anti-gun rights group. These sorts of things may have been what it took to remain competitive in Boston, but they add up to a rather toxic mix in New Hampshire.

Another factor which we may be overlooking in the early rush is the carpetbagging element of a potential Brown candidacy. It’s not that it’s impossible to pull of a carpetbagger move for statewide office in the modern era because it certainly does happen. Supporters of the idea like to point to Hillary Clinton who swept into New York’s junior Senate seat with no home town credentials beyond renting an apartment a couple of months before the election and proclaiming a lifelong affinity for the Yankees. But let’s remember… that was Hillary. She was already a legend in liberal circles and was freshly moved out of the White House. Scott Brown garnered a lot of fame for his insurgent upset Senate victory, but he doesn’t have that level of national status. People still have a natural attraction to the genuine article, and Brown will have a hard time claiming any sort of New Hampshire favorite son status.

It would be a wonderful, unexpected surprise if we picked up a Senate seat in New Hampshire. (It’s not even on my personal list of nine Senate races to watch next year.) And there’s no question that the Granite State may be in play, particularly given the rolling series of disasters which Obamacare has become. But I think it’s still far from certain that Scott Brown will wind up being the person to carry the banner for the GOP next fall.

UPDATE: (Jazz) Da Tech Guy was on hand for the event and provides a large number of interviews and video clips. He found there were actually more like 300 protesters there, not 150. He also feels that Brown is hurting his own chances with the way he’s handling things and should probably bow out.

Now it’s certainly going to be Brown personal advantage to keep the National GOP wanting more, it will allow him to fund raise and get his feel in the state but the longer this goes on the more likely he will starve off the funds of other potential GOP candidates.

That’s the Catch 22 Brown’s best chance in a GOP primary is a crowded field but the longer he delay’s announcing the more likely he will face only a single opponent that the anti-brown forces can rally against, frankly the best chance for the GOP to win this seat is for Senator Brown to announce that he is not running and do while there is still time for the existing candidates to to get things moving.

Meanwhile the National GOP meddling will have the net effect of longterm disaster for the party in the state.

Swell.


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It’s been said here before, but Scott Brown can piss off. The last thing this country needs right now is another career politician. Moving across state lines just to run in an election? No thanks. Don’t tell me that in all of NH, with the notable exception of Mark Steyn, there’s not a single person with the conservative beliefs and convictions to be a creditable candidate.

KGB on December 21, 2013 at 8:37 AM

carpetbagger…

KOOLAID2 on December 21, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Brown can stay in Mass. His kind have done enough damage to NH. As to Shaheen? She is history, provided the RINO class led by Rove stays out of things up here.

evilned on December 21, 2013 at 8:38 AM

These sorts of things may have been what it took to remain competitive in Boston, but they add up to a rather toxic mix in New Hampshire.

Then I would advise Sen Brown (I think he is entitled to keep the appellation after defeat) to play the “good politics” card. Say up front, unequivocally, and in as public a forum as possible, that any legislation dealing with guns will be an automatic “No” vote from him, regardless of what his conscience tells him, in deference to the tradition of the people of his adopted state.

Conscience is overrated, Senator. Just ask the voters which they want to vote on; your conscience, or their will…

JohnGalt23 on December 21, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Scott Brown was the 60th vote for cloture on Dodd-Frank.

He did it as a calculated move to pre-empt any attack by an expected Warren campaign about coddling big banks and not caring about consumers. He got lost in the blue MA 2012 tidal wave, anyway.

Brown and Romney are a couple of opportunitisc MA RINOs.

Wethal on December 21, 2013 at 8:43 AM

the only carpetbaggers allowed are Kennedy’s and Clinton’s

RonK on December 21, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Politically DOA?

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 21, 2013 at 8:44 AM

This hypothetical matchup has also been polled several times throughout the year. Only does the PPP poll show Brown even within striking distance.

Maybe Brown doesn’t particularly care. After all, he overcame a 30 point deficit to Martha Coakley, and New Hampshire is more conservative than Massachusetts. But it does reveal a few things:

1.) Despite establishment insistence to the contrary, “moderate” Republicans aren’t as attractive as they claim

2.) New Hampshire is not much of a bellwether, and is decidedly more to the left than other swing states like Florida or Ohio

3.) The incumbent Democrat’s vulnerability has been greatly exaggerated seeing as how a candidate who has received nothing but favorable coverage (Brown) over a long stretch of time lags behind

Stoic Patriot on December 21, 2013 at 8:46 AM

“He had a voting record that was between (Susan) Collins and (Olympia) Snowe,” said state Rep. J.R. Hoell. “That’s Maine, not New Hampshire!”
Brown also described himself as “pro-choice” in commercials last year, broke with his party to cast the deciding vote on the Dodd-Frank bank regulation bill and strongly supported then-Gov. Mitt Romney on Romneycare.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/scott-brown-new-hampshire-pro-gun-crowd-101362.html#ixzz2o7JFUvzP

I think he’s more suited for Massachusetts .

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 21, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Despite establishment insistence to the contrary, “moderate” Republicans aren’t as attractive as they claim

But if they just keep trying.
/

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 21, 2013 at 8:48 AM

God, they simply must be politicians.

Dongemaharu on December 21, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Just another loser politician.

Flange on December 21, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Del, are you there? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

22044 on December 21, 2013 at 9:02 AM

The guy really needs to find gainful employment.

Panther on December 21, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Is Rove behind this move? Why is he so desperate to get back to DC. It’s not like he did much while there the first time. If he can’t beat a fake Indian, NH should look elsewhere for someone to defeat Shaheen.

Kissmygrits on December 21, 2013 at 9:03 AM

41 is no longer valid and thus every reason for a Republican to vote for him is gone. He is trying to wring every bit of mileage he can out of his name recognition. Who can blame him, it is what progressive’s do.

astonerii on December 21, 2013 at 9:04 AM

41 is no longer valid and thus every reason for a Republican to vote for him is gone. He is trying to wring every bit of mileage he can out of his name recognition. Who can blame him, it is what progressive’s do.

astonerii on December 21, 2013 at 9:04 AM

51 is still the goal, because that would take the gavel away from Harry Reid.

If it’s Shaheen v. Brown, it’s hold the nose and vote for the RINO….again.

Wethal on December 21, 2013 at 9:15 AM

I wouldn’t get too upset about the “moving across state lines” thingy. In New Hampshire -Mass that is what a huge number of people do. Tens of thousands live in NH but work in Mass. I was offered that solution along with a job 50 years ago because I didn’t want to live in Mass. Turned them down. Then 20 years ago I was doing a longer term Air Force project at Pease. The separation was even more striking. I think a lot of it was not political, but philosophy of life. A lot of areas have this – Kansas City, Chicago – Northern Indiana, Charlotte – SC, Florida Panhandle, etc. You can see philosophies and politics settle out in different adjacent states as people move to where they think they have some control and neighbors with more acceptable values.

Old Country Boy on December 21, 2013 at 9:21 AM

He has a job, by the way, I think he took a partnership at a law firm in Boston.

22044 on December 21, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Love this picture.

Mark Boabaca on December 21, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Brown spurned the Tea Party after they got him elected… he is free to move to NH if he wants but no way should he try to be elected to anything there.

Ukiah on December 21, 2013 at 9:29 AM

51 is still the goal, because that would take the gavel away from Harry Reid.

If it’s Shaheen v. Brown, it’s hold the nose and vote for the RINO….again.

Wethal on December 21, 2013 at 9:15 AM

For what purpose? I would rather have the Republicans have the burden of being defense than be in power and actually making regressive actions.
If we cannot get 51 with a reasonable candidate, then stick with 50 and force Biden to the floor! That aught to be entertaining, having him speak often on the floor.

astonerii on December 21, 2013 at 9:34 AM

New Hampshire really blew it in 2012 when they chose Kelly Ayotte over Ovide Lamontagne. Ayote won by only about 1600 votes after outspending Lamontagne by a ratio of four or five to one, and with heavy-handed support from Juan McInsane and the rest of the national GOPe machinery.

Here’s a second chance to do the right thing, New Hampshire. I don’t even know if Lamontagne is running, but he would make an excellent, honestly conservative Senator. Brown? Not so much…

bofh on December 21, 2013 at 9:44 AM

[KGB on December 21, 2013 at 8:37 AM]

Agreed. But even if there wasn’t a single conservative (besides Steyn), NH must have a dozen or so of their own Scott Brown vote-alikes who could step up. So why the heck do they need the Scott Brown from MA?

If Brown wants to do something let him stay in MA and continue to work to change the state purple. Last I heard the state legislature is still open for business.

Dusty on December 21, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Another factor which we may be overlooking in the early rush is the carpetbagging element of a potential Brown candidacy.

Yep!

workingclass artist on December 21, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Both Brown and Christie can bugger off.

GarandFan on December 21, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Brown has made comments about running for the presidency. I am not sure if he was being serious or not. If he is serious it would make sense to move to NH with the early primary.

celtic warrior on December 21, 2013 at 9:52 AM

As a NH resident, I can tell you that Brown will win in the Republican primary. He is facing a bunch of stooges and retreads (as of now). There is no 50% threshold. The more fruitcakes who jump in, the better for Brown.

kevinkristy on December 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Meanwhile the National GOP meddling will have the net effect of longterm disaster for the party in the state.

As opposed to the stellar job the state party’s been doing so far, losing the state legislature, both House seats and a winnable governor’s race in 2012 after the tea party-aligned chairman sat on his ass and didn’t fundraise for a year?

Moron. The New Hampshire GOP is crying out for help. Refusing to take it is political suicide.

KingGold on December 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Brown is a good man. Sure, I don’t like his gun stance but that’s just 1 issue that is of limited importance. I think that he’s an effective leader who can get things done. He’s able to work with the opposition and that is a quality that is in short supply but badly needed in DC.

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Here’s a second chance to do the right thing, New Hampshire. I don’t even know if Lamontagne is running, but he would make an excellent, honestly conservative Senator. Brown? Not so much…

bofh on December 21, 2013 at 9:44 AM

2012 was the “second chance.” Ovide Lamontagne got a nice clear field to run for governor, and he got blown out of the water by a mediocre leftist Democrat. Your proposed solution is to get rid of the viable contenders for a critically-needed Senate seat next year and run him again?

KingGold on December 21, 2013 at 9:57 AM

[bofh on December 21, 2013 at 9:44 AM]

Ovide Lamontagne has declined to run per the Wiki entry.

FYI, I’ve found Wiki pages for every 2014 Senate election I’ve searched for so far which has been about five or six. It lists things like who’s in, who’s a maybe and who’s out.

Dusty on December 21, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Here’s a second chance to do the right thing, New Hampshire. I don’t even know if Lamontagne is running, but he would make an excellent, honestly conservative Senator. Brown? Not so much…

bofh on December 21, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Lamontagne got his second chance. He was the GOP candidate in the 2012 Governor race. He ran against a far left moonbat (who had lost a State Senate seat in 2010 – a real retread). Ovide ran one of the worst general election campaigns in history. And got smoked by the moonbat.

kevinkristy on December 21, 2013 at 10:06 AM

It would be a wonderful, unexpected surprise if we picked up a Senate seat in New Hampshire.

You have to define “we.” It would be wonderful if conservatives picked up a seat anywhere in New England. It doesn’t matter where the balance of power falls between the progressive Republicans and the progressive Democrats — they’re both “they.”

Axe on December 21, 2013 at 10:10 AM

…provided the RINO class led by Rove stays out of things up here.

evilned on December 21, 2013 at 8:38 AM

What are the chances of that? (rhetorical question)

Fenris on December 21, 2013 at 10:12 AM

He should trade the pickup for a prius and run as a democrat.

HumpBot Salvation on December 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM

a pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro monetary control republican is just what we need.
he’ll fit right in with most of the gop.

dmacleo on December 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM

A Massachusetts Republican would probably make a pretty good New Hampshire Democrat: so why doesn’t Brown primary Shaheen?

PersonFromPorlock on December 21, 2013 at 10:38 AM

As a NH resident, I can tell you that Brown will win in the Republican primary. He is facing a bunch of stooges and retreads (as of now). There is no 50% threshold. The more fruitcakes who jump in, the better for Brown. kevinkristy

Kevin is correct. The old man tired same old crowd is running. Lamontagne is not running. Love the guy but he never, ever wins an election. Too conservative even for NH. Too bad.

RINO Brown can win NH if he drifts to the right on a few issues, gun control, etc. He’ll have his detractors but he can beat Shaheen and save us from a 100% Harry Reid supporting Senator. This NH resident will vote for him despite his squish aspects because the alternative is worse. Brown was savvy enough to adapt to his Blue constituency in MA and he’ll likewise adapt to the right in NH. Not a ringing endorsement but seriously consider the alternative in Shaheen and a D controlled Senate.

philw1776 on December 21, 2013 at 10:40 AM

The guy really needs to find gainful employment.

Panther on December 21, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Oh please. He’s one of yours.

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 21, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Brown was savvy enough to adapt to his Blue constituency in MA and he’ll likewise adapt to the right in NH. Not a ringing endorsement but seriously consider the alternative in Shaheen and a D controlled Senate.

philw1776 on December 21, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I find it very unlikely that a left-wing Senator is going to “evolve to the right.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen a leftist politician move right in terms of their voting record. If Brown is anti-gun (and gun rights are without a doubt the most popular issue the political right has), it’s a reasonable question to ask whether he’s going to vote with conservatives on any issue of substance.

What issues, if any, do you see him voting against or taking against the Republican leadership? Taxes? Spending? Guns? Immigration? I’m honestly at a loss.

Doomberg on December 21, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Northeast RINO fest.
Clue: Most of America hates the northeast.

Mr. Arrogant on December 21, 2013 at 11:00 AM

As a NH resident, I can tell you that Brown will win in the Republican primary. He is facing a bunch of stooges and retreads (as of now). There is no 50% threshold. The more fruitcakes who jump in, the better for Brown.

kevinkristy on December 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM

He found there were actually more like 300 protesters there, not 150.

If it was $50/plate, unless my math is wrong, the anti-gun control activists just gave the Brown campaign approximately $15,000.

Reh?

Fallon on December 21, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Doomberg
Brown’s record in MA has him as somewhat of a fiscal conservative. That’s why the TP liked him at first. He’s not a leftist in the term most widely used here. He’s a centrist. What folks here would call a RINO or my favorite term, a squish. He’ll adapt slightly to the more purple electorate in NH.

And as to the carpetbagger tag. His ancestors are from NH. WAY back. He’s owned his Ry NH property for years. Quite different from a Hillary moving in state to NY with zero prior connections.

You may choose to be obstinate and de facto support the re-election of Shaheen and preserve the D majority. Good luck with that.

philw1776 on December 21, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Things aren’t looking good for Liz Cheney in Wyoming. She still has time to move to New Hampshire.

Mark1971 on December 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM

He’s no better than Hillary. What gives these carpetbagging politicians this sense of entitlement to a position representing people they don’t even know. They disgust me. And they are clueless as to why people hate Congress

yesiamapirate on December 21, 2013 at 11:42 AM

MJBrutus

And the stupid goes on….

xblade on December 21, 2013 at 11:53 AM

More and more I’m coming around to the idea that citizens should be elected to one term in either house of the congress. After that, they should return to private life or serve the public in some other capacity if they so desire. People who are not looking for re-election have no need to raise money and should be much more difficult to lobby. There are over 300 million people in this country. We should be able to find a few hundred new good ones every couple of years.

Anybody that wants to keep going back to Washington DC time after time is the wrong kind of person to be going there. Doesn’t matter which party.

trigon on December 21, 2013 at 12:02 PM

No on 2nd Amendment? NO to run as R. Just nuts. 2nd protects the 1st, period.

MN J on December 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Brown is similar to Christe and other RINO’s that is they are closet Gun Grabbing Scheistkoff’s to that end I’ll remind Scottie who lost to The Indian Princess Fauxahauntus that the State Motto of New Hampshire is: LIVE FREE OR DIE.

I’d recommend to the granite staters that they get behind Mark Steyn and REALLY shake up the Senate membership. Talk about a political earthquake. Imagine Steyn vigorously vituperating both the Gimmedats and the Reflubcans who seem to lose their economic bearings when they get inside the DC Beltway.
We’d FINALLY have someone WORTH listening to when they speak.
(McLame would just go ape-shiite.) Priceless.

Missilengr on December 21, 2013 at 1:35 PM

If it was $50/plate, unless my math is wrong, the anti-gun control activists just gave the Brown campaign approximately $15,000.

Reh?

Fallon on December 21, 2013 at 11:01 AM

UH NO, UNLESS they also went inside…protesters aren’t attendees, they are protesters…Cindy Sheehan didn’t attend a lot of Bush fund-raisers, she PROTESTED AT a bunch of Bush fund-raisers.

JFKY on December 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Come on, Mark Steyn will not run for any office.

He’s not a whore.

Schadenfreude on December 21, 2013 at 2:04 PM

New Hampshire does not want Scott Brown…lately we’ve been a ridiculous swing state…all red, then all blue…in state as well as national…but one thing for sure…we don’t get bought too easily.

Now if we could just follow some of these buses around on election day and see how many towns they stop in. Our population definitely goes up on election day now that we have same day registration.

NHElle on December 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM

I don’t think it is going to matter if Brown is in the race or not looking at the current polling in NH. Shaheen is up by double digits over both Brown and Smith (+10 over Brown, +18 over Smith) Of the two candidates, Brown has polled consistently better than Smith by a large margin.

crosspatch on December 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM

There would only be a gun control measure brought up if the Democrats win the Senate. If the Republicans gain the Senate majority in 2014, no such legislation would come up. The so-called “RINOs” only cross party lines when their party is in the minority. It pretty much stops dead in its tracks when they are in the majority with only a few (but notable) exceptions to that rule of thumb.

If the Republicans can take the Senate in 2014, Brown’s opinions of gun control legislation would be pretty much moot AND his stated opinions with a MA constituency might be completely different with a NH constituency. The problems will more likely come from a situation where Brown does win NH but the Republicans fail to take the Senate, possibly through such actions as primarying McConnell and the state elects a Democrat as happened last cycle in Indiana with Lugar.

crosspatch on December 21, 2013 at 2:38 PM

I am a suspicious sort, and do not believe the Institutional Republicans are an opposition party, but rather another wing of the Governing party run by the Democrats.

With that in mind:

It does not seem unlikely that Scott Brown’s move to New Hampshire is based on the Institutional’s desire to protect Shaheen by screwing up the New Hampshire nominating process. We know that the Institutionals really do not want a Senate majority, as that would remove their excuses for collaborating with the Democrats.

Subotai Bahadur on December 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM

No mention of anyone from new hampshire thinking of running who can win.

philrat on December 21, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Brown spurned the Tea Party after they got him elected…

Ukiah on December 21, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Right. His troubles are no concern of any conservative.

David Blue on December 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

What’s with these O5′s and O6′s, scary guns thing lately?
Army issuing footie pj’s to field grades now?
Glad I am retired.
And Sen Brown, non.

Hotel1 on December 22, 2013 at 7:54 AM

And when the first AWB was voted in.
The popular BY bumper sticker was.
“See Dick Swett” or other variations.

Hotel1 on December 22, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Scott Brown’s record on guns is State’s rights.

Fleuries on December 23, 2013 at 9:26 AM

With so may lib imports from MA, VT, ME, NY, CT, we natives dont have numbers on our side any more, and as a result Brown has a good chance, but the resistance shall continue, and one day the tide will turn.

I just hope I’m alive to see it. I miss the NH I grew up in.

PatHenry on December 23, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Of course, I miss the USA I grew up in too…

PatHenry on December 23, 2013 at 10:39 AM