Brown Defends Record, Criticizes Shaheen in Rollinsford
ROLLINSFORD – Likely U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown brought his famous truck and his listening tour to Rollinsford Friday, speaking to forty people at a luncheon held at Alexander’s Restaurant. In a stump speech that was equal parts biography, a defense of his record representing Massachusetts in the Senate, and criticism of incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Brown acknowledged being a relative newcomer to New Hampshire politics but insisted the election would be about which candidate will best represent New Hampshire values in the Senate.“People don’t ask me where I’m from. They ask me how I’m going to stop Obamacare,” Brown said.
“Jeanne Shaheen’s a good person, but she’s wrong on all the issues. She’s a lovely person, but she does not represent the values of New Hampshire,” Brown said.
“I was there. I know she voted against every opportunity to fix [the Affordable Care Act],” Brown said. He said Shaheen votes with President Barack Obama’s administration 99 percent of the time. “[Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid only votes with him 90 percent of time,” Brown said. “If you want someone who’s going to be divisive, then vote for Jeanne,” he said.
He criticized Shaheen for having “chased away insurance companies” as governor and for having proposed a sales tax in the 1990s.
Brown told his audience that he wanted to give them some facts so they could “push back on some misinformation out there.”
Brown acknowledged having taken some votes that might put him at odds with some Republicans. Talking about how his family received welfare benefits when he was a child – “we got that box of cheese,” he said – Brown said he supported the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program which subsidizes heating fuel costs for needy families.
“’That’s not a good Republican thing to do.’ I’ve heard that,” Brown said. He defending being willing to give people a helping hand. “I just want to find a way to pay for it” without adding to the deficit, Brown said.
Brown has faced some criticism from gun rights activists for his willingness to consider legislation that would place restrictions on the ability of those with mental health conditions from having access to firearms. The National Rifle Association has given Brown ratings ranging from A to C in the past.
Brown countered that, as a colonel in the National Guard, “I can fire weapons. I enjoy firing weapons.” He noted that Shaheen has an F rating from the NRA. Unlike Shaheen, whom Brown characterized as being a “gun grabber” willing to take weapons away from law-abiding citizens, Brown said he has “an open door” and is willing to listen to people with different views on gun issues.
“We’re not going to be talking about the social issues. I’m sorry,” Brown said.
Brown said serving in the Senate had been the great honor of his life, interjecting that playing with the band Cheap Trick last summer at Hampton Beach was “pretty good too.” He said he hadn’t finished what he’d started and that is why he is running again.
Local businessman Dan Philbrick and former Dover police chief and mayor Charlie Reynolds organized the luncheon, which was attended mostly by businesspeople from the Seacoast area.
Friday, March 28, 2014, Fergus@ferguscullen.com