Portsmouth, NH– Scott Brown will deliver the following remarks at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel to announce his candidacy for United States Senate. The following remarks are prepared for delivery and embargoed until speech time:
“Thank you so much, Governor Sununu. I’m honored by your friendship, and I thank you and your family for years of service to our state and country. I am very proud to have the former governor in my corner. I appreciate all of you for coming out tonight, to join me in a great cause that begins today here in Portsmouth.
“It’s a big moment and I brought along most of the family. If you haven’t met them already, say hello to my wife Gail and our beautiful daughters Ayla and Arianna.
“My family’s got a busy summer up ahead because the girls are both getting married, leaving home for good, and starting new lives. And I know, I know – I’m supposed to be really thrilled about that. Just give me time. It’s kind of a hard transition for me, and a guy looks around for comforting things that aren’t going away. Gail keeps telling me, ‘Look on the bright side, honey, at least you’ll always have your truck.’
“I’m pretty proud of that old GMC Canyon. It’s got close to 300,000 miles on the odometer, and it’s sure looking good with those license plates that say, ‘Live Free or Die.’
“I want you all to know about a decision I have made. Starting today, I am a candidate for the United States Senate from New Hampshire.
“Let me start by saying that Gail and I have had a wonderful time as we have traveled throughout this beautiful state. We’re really thankful for the warm and wonderful reception. I’ve been doing a lot of listening these past few weeks. We’ve been on the road, stopping along the way at places like Mount Cube Sugar Farm in Orford … the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester … the Moose Muck Coffee House in Colebrook … bakeries, candy stores, gun shops and outfitters, homes, offices – and, okay, maybe a few pubs in between.
“We’ve logged some serious miles on this listening tour – through Dixville Notch … North Conway … Littleton … Keene … and anywhere else where there were folks to talk to. And as Gail and I traveled throughout the Portsmouth area, it has been a chance to see so many places that have been familiar for my whole life. That includes this harbor, where my grandparents used to bring me when I was a boy – and where I in turn brought my daughters when they were young.
“Our campaign for the U.S. Senate begins not far from where my life began. I was born right over there at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. When my Mom was a young woman, she was a waitress in Hampton Beach, my Dad an airman at Pease Air Force Base. They met, fell in love, and a year or so later I came along. When they carried me home, it was to a house not far from here on Islington Street.
“All of you know that this is a state where people like to do their own thinking. They want to meet the candidates, look them in the eye, and ask their position on an issue. Sure, there are the usual political differences in New Hampshire. But across this state – wherever you go – you’ll find men and women with a pretty strong independent streak.
“We don’t just follow the crowd wherever it’s going. In government, we expect more of ourselves than to just follow a party boss or a party line. And if there’s one place where we need to see that independent spirit in action, it is the United State Senate.
“As you know, I worked with Senator Shaheen in the U.S. Senate for three years. She is a nice person, but wrong on the issues facing the people of New Hampshire. She made that clear when she cast the deciding vote that forced Obamacare on this state and our country. A lot of people aren’t aware of that vote to pass Obamacare. But it’s important to know if we are ever going to get past Obamacare and get America moving in the right direction. I am running to be a true independent voice for New Hampshire. I am running to hold Senator Shaheen accountable.And I will need your strength, help and votes to succeed.
“We have a whole establishment in Washington that spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much. And for the sake of working people who just want a chance to live their lives and get ahead, I am running to challenge that establishment – to get the federal government off our backs.
“Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, or Independent, I believe that a great majority of us worry about the direction of our country. While there’s still time, we want to get America off the road of big government. All we ask for is a government that lets free enterprise create jobs and opportunity for all our people … a government that reflects our values, respects our rights, and puts nothing above the security of the United States.
“I have heard these concerns wherever I go across our state. And the way I look at it, we can go on worrying and complaining … go on watching the same people do the same things in Washington, all with the same results. Or, we can work together to make some big changes in 2014, and I say – let it begin right here in New Hampshire.
“These days, Senator Shaheen wants to change the subject to anything other than Obamacare. The only problem is, when we turn to other issues, it’s the same story. This is a senator who last year voted with President Obama 99 percent of the time.
“Whenever President Obama needs her, she’s there, and apparently he needs her a lot. Is a rubber stamp what the people of New Hampshire want and expect in a senator? … I didn’t think so.
“Think about all the bad ideas in Washington that have been seconded by Senator Shaheen and run this country trillions of dollars more into debt … given us five straight years of slow growth or no growth at all … and caused anxiety for millions of Americans who are having trouble finding full-time work with decent pay and good benefits.
“One thing I know from being a senator is that you can’t do the job unless you remember who you work for. In the Senate, you’re supposed to work for the people who sent you there. Your senators are supposed to work for you. My question is this: Is New Hampshire being well served by the liberal, out-of-touch Obama-Shaheen agenda?
“I’ve talked with small business owners and employees everywhere I go in this state. They have to deal every day with all the regulations, and all the complicated tax laws, that keep coming out of Washington. Government gives the orders and we’re supposed to jump.
“That’s not how things are supposed to work in a free country. The government works for us. And I will promise you this: As the senator from New Hampshire, whenever I see that big-government mindset in any piece of legislation, I will vote against it.
“In foreign policy, President Obama's weakness and indecision has emboldened our enemies and discouraged our allies. There is a sense we are losing influence and the ability to shape events. Some of the world's worst actors in places like Syria, North Korea, Russia and Iran are trying to get the upper hand. I want a strong America - not one that 'leads from behind' but one that is respected by friend and foe alike.
“And then there are all the military veterans I’ve talked to. Year after year, they’re dealing with the same problems in service. It’s so typical of the Obama years: Even as government tries taking over our whole health care system, it can’t even deliver on the most basic promise to take care of veterans. These men and women are entitled to a lot more respect from the government bureaucracy, and I’m going to make sure they get it.
“Senator Shaheen has cast a lot of bad votes, but recently, she cast another really bad vote, which cut the military retirement pay for some of America’s veterans. So let me state this as plainly as possible: I will never – repeat, never – vote for any budget that sacrifices the interests and well being of men and women who have served this nation in uniform.
“So many problems with our economy happened because of Obamacare. And Obamacare could not have happened without a rubber-stamp ‘yes’ vote from Senator Shaheen.
“The Senator keeps insisting that she has, quote, ‘no regrets.’ But the people around New Hampshire have regrets. In fact, that’s all I hear – regrets that this bad law was forced on us. More than 22,000 men and women in New Hampshire have been thrown off their health plans. An administrator at one of our top hospitals told me the program is a ‘disaster, an absolute disaster.’
“Premiums are way up for a lot of people – by 90 percent, according to one survey. I think of the small business owner I met in Henniker. The guy’s paying twice as much for health care now. It’s meant some tough decisions he never thought he had to make. And along with our money and our health plans, for a lot of us it feels like we’re losing our liberty, too. Obamacare forces us to make a choice, live free or log on – and here in New Hampshire, we choose freedom.
“All of us were promised by President Obama and Senator Shaheen that if we liked our plan we could keep it. Remember, too, that we haven’t even seen the worst of Obamacare. All the waivers and delays are putting off the consequences until after the fall election. Guess what – our small- and medium-sized businesses are next. They don’t want you to see the changes until after this year’s election. There’s another wave coming, unless we do something to stop it. Let me stop it for you.
“I’ve been proud to hold public office but the position I’ve held longest is outside of politics. And I’m a little sad to be giving it up next month. It was way back in 1979, after the blizzard of ’78, that I joined the National Guard. It was then that I pledged to defend and protect our country and its freedoms. It was then that I first received the uniform, tags, and extensive firearms training of a soldier. I retire in May as a colonel. And it has been one of the greatest privileges of my live to serve almost 35 years with the amazing men and women of the United States Armed Forces. I want to give thanks for that honor.
“For those of you who are formerly in the military or know about the military, you know that there are no other agendas, except personal duty, and working together in the interest of America. I know that in government there are good people on both sides. Regardless of politics, I will work with anyone who is willing to put our country first.
“In this primary campaign, I’m going to speak to people of every background in every part of our state. I’m going to ask for their vote, and do my best to earn it. You should know that I can’t do this on my own. I am asking for your guidance and your help to take back our country.
“And should I have the privilege of representing New Hampshire, I can promise you this. I will answer only to you, the people of New Hampshire. I’m nobody’s yes man. Every day that I serve, I will give the job all that is in me. I won’t forget who sent me, who is counting on me, and I will strive every day to make New Hampshire proud. God bless you, and thank you.”