October 25, 2014

Ex-Senator Scott Brown says GOP has to be “ideas-oriented” party

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown — the keynote speaker at the Scott County Republican Party fundraising dinner tonight — says the GOP will flourish if it promotes “problem-solving” and “civility” over partisanship and conflict.

“It’s all about us versus them, you know,” Brown said this afternoon during an interview with Radio Iowa. “This division, this haves and have-nots, the Democrats and the Republicans and I’ll tell you what — I for one am getting a little tired of it and I think the American people are as well.”

Brown, who served about three years in the senate, said “demonizing and criticizing others” isn’t the path to victory.

“I’m a Scott Brown Republican,” Brown said. “I always have been. I’ve always been my own person. I set my own path. I do my own things and what I’ve found is that there are great people on almost every side of every issue and I treat those people with dignity and respect. I find a way to find the common ground, if possible, and move forward.”

Brown has visited Iowa twice this year — and Brown has said he might run for president in 2016. Some in the GOP, however, suggest a Massachusetts moderate like Brown would be the wrong nominee.

“I don’t remember taking a test or anyone that has a test that says what a true Republican is, ’cause I’ve been a Republican since I was 18 years old,” Brown said. “My first election, I think I voted for Ronald Reagan. Who’s to tell me that I’m not a Republican? I find it, quite frankly, offensive.”

The effective approach for Republicans — Brown said — is to be an “ideas oriented” party that sets aside the purity tests and primarily addresses fiscal and security issues.

“Finding a way to unite the party, sitting together in a room over pizzas and beer or whatever you want to do and come up with solutions and take those solutions to the American people in a unified front,” Brown said. “That’s how we can do it and that’s how we should do it.”

Brown told Radio Iowa he’s “not sure” what his political future may be, but for now he wants to try to forge a “different kind of Republicanism” that “isn’t just the defender of wealth and privilege.”

In January of 2010 Brown won a special election to take over the Massachusetts senate seat left vacant by Ted Kennedy’s death, but in 2012 Brown lost his bid for reelection.