Scott Brown makes stop in Iowa
(CNN) — Former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts stopped by the Iowa state fair on Sunday for some corndogs and some beer-and, as he said, “to meet some voters.”
The recently-out-of-office Republican lawmaker seems to be exploring a number of options as he moves forward after losing his Senate seat in November to now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.
He hasn’t ruled out a bid for governor of Massachusetts next year, nor a potential campaign for senator in New Hampshire. And his visit to Iowa–a crucial early voting state in the presidential primary process–now puts him in the crowded list of Republicans with potential 2016 presidential aspirations, some of whom have already visited Iowa this summer.
“I’m gonna have a lot of calories today and grab a beer,” he told reporters Sunday on state fairgrounds, which was recorded CNN affiliate WHO in Des Moines.
All kidding aside, he said, he’s traveling across the country (and to other countries) to not only lament “Washington’s dysfunctionality” but to highlight that the Republican Party “has room for everybody.”
“You have the Rand Pauls, the Sarah Palins. You have people like me and Chris Christie and others. There should be room for all of us. We shouldn’t be vilified or demonized when we are trying to present our positions,” he said.
Brown, a friend of Christie’s, seemed to be weighing in on the recent back-and-forth between the New Jersey governor and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. The two potential 2016 contenders have publicly feuded over national security and government spending, a spat that has represented a broader divide within the Republican Party and caused many to take sides.
Oh, and Brown is in Iowa “obviously to meet some voters,” he added.
But back to the Republican Party. Interestingly, the former senator repeated an argument used frequently by Paul in recent days, that the GOP “needs to have a larger tent” and be more “respectful and tolerant of our beliefs.”
Since leaving office, Brown now works as a Fox News contributor, as well as a colonel in the Army National Guard’s office at the Pentagon, and an attorney at the Boston law firm of Nixon Peabody. His comments Sunday certainly gave the appearance that he was angling for another job, though it’s unclear what exactly he’s after.
“I want to see if there’s interest in my brand of politics, being a strong national security hawk and a fiscal conservative,” he told the Des Moines Register this weekend, ahead of his trip to the state fair.
He said in an interview with The Boston Herald that he wants to “get an indication of whether there’s even an interest, in Massachusetts and throughout the country, if there’s room for a bi-partisan problem solver.”
As for 2016, Brown said he isn’t close on making a decision. “It’s 2013, I think it’s premature, but I am curious.”
On Sunday, he told reporters he’s ready to put his “national security credentials of 34 years in military” and “fiscal conservatism” against anybody in the country.
Answering questions about his election loss to Warren last year, Brown noted he was on a ballot in a largely blue state during a presidential election year that went for President Obama.
“It’s an uphill battle certainly in the Northeast to be a Republican. But I’m a pragmatic, common sense, problem solving Republican,” he said. Similar refrains have been heard by Christie lately. “Very similar to the people not only in Iowa but in New Hampshire and many parts of the country,”
His wife, Gail, was born in Iowa, so he added they’re also in the Hawkeye State to see her family in Madison.