Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown – ex-Massachusetts, now a New Hampshire resident – has set up an exploratory committee for a return trip to the the U.S. Senate, with hopes of sending Jeanne Shaheen packing. He has to get past a Republican primary first. What’s a pro-life voter to do?
What’s he saying as he “explores” the New Hampshire seat? Not much.
First of all, don’t try to learn anything from his web site, scottbrown.com. It has next to no information yet. The biography on his Facebook page makes no mention of his life-issues record.
What has he said in the past?
Brown self-identifies as “pro-choice,” according to numerous articles about his earlier Senate campaigns. According to the Boston Globe (9/20/12), when he was challenged by Elizabeth Warren in a campaign debate, he answered, “Listen, we’re both pro-choice. I’m a moderate pro-choice Republican. I always have been.”
He voted in favor of “Romneycare” when he was a Massachusetts state senator, but he was opposed to Obamacare. A key to his 2010 victory when he won the seat previously held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy was his declaration that he would be “the 41st vote” against Obamacare, preventing Senate Democrats from breaking any potential GOP filibuster on the measure. (Later parliamentary maneuvers led to passage of the law in a manner that prevented a filibuster.)
He co-sponsored the Blunt Amendment, which would have respected the religious liberty rights of employers refusing to pay for contraception and other medical services in employee insurance if the employers had a religious or moral objection. (The measure was not passed.)
He opposed the appointment of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, a decision for which he was attacked by his 2012 Senate opponent, Elizabeth Warren.
From Brown’s campaign press secretary, 2012: “Senator Brown supports the right of women to make this decision [abortion] in consultation with their doctor. He supports strong parental notification laws and opposes partial birth and taxpayer-funded abortions.”
Follow the abortion-advocacy money: Coakley, Warren, Shaheen
Calling himself pro-choice has not helped Brown with abortion advocacy groups. Brown’s U.S. Senate campaigns so far have been textbook examples of defensive elections for prolife voters. Both Martha Coakley (Brown’s opponent in the 2010 Senate race) and Elizabeth Warren (who beat him in 2012) are vociferously pro-abortion, and they received support from EMILY’s List, probably the best-funded group dedicated to electing “pro-choice Democratic women” at all levels. Shaheen is a longtime EMILY’s List favorite.
The day Brown announced his exploratory committee for Shaheen’s seat, this was on EMILY’s List’s Twitter feed:
In 2010, Massachusetts Citizens for Life supported Brown over Coakley. The Susan B. Anthony List applauded his 2010 election as well, but did not concern itself with his 2012 race. From Politico:
“We lauded his victory in the special election because it was part of a defensive campaign to block abortion in the health care bill,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “The special election was a unique situation where every vote mattered. He is not a pro-life champion and does not claim to be, and there is no chance that we would help him in the coming election.”