John DiStaso's Granite Status: Republicans Pete King, Scott Brown plan visits to NH
By John DiStaso, Senior Political Reporter
FRIDAY, AUG. 2: ANOTHER SCOTT STOP-BY. Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown has booked his sixth visit to the state this year. He’s scheduled to be featured at a fund-raiser for the Hampstead Republican Committee on Sept. 30 at the Granite Rose.
Brown is scheduled to appear in Salem next Friday, Aug. 9 for a fund-raiser for state Rep. Joe Sweeney.
Brown still has not ruled out the possibility of establishing residency in the state and running against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen next year.
Shaheen has been used the possibility of a Brown candidacy in several fund-raising emails to supporters on behalf of her own reelection bid.
(Earlier Granite Status reports follow.)
THURSDAY, AUG. 1: PETE KING HEADS NORTH. New York Congressman Pete King is heading to first-in-the-nation primary state New Hampshire this weekend to begin to find out if there's an audience here for his views on a need for a strong national defense and rejection of what he calls the "isolationist" view of some fellow Republicans.
King made it known last month he is seriously considering mounting a presidential campaign. Although he is not among those widely viewed as a top early contender, the key word is "early."And King sees a need for his brand of Republicanism in the debate.
"I believe that since the days of Eisenhower, we have been the party of national security and also of homeland security," King said in a telephone interview.
The 20-year U.S. House member from Long Island will be in Wakefield on Sunday at a picnic hosted by Don Rowan.
King said Rowan said is a retired firefighter originally from New York, who King had met at first responder events in Washington.
King said he expects 40 to 50 state representatives, former lawmakers, Republican officials and local residents to attend.
On Monday morning, he said, he'll visit a local coffee shop. King plans to return in September for a Strafford County GOP event. He said he has not set timetable at the moment for deciding whether to run, realizing.
King said some factions of the GOP, particularly Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and his supporters, are "isolationist."
"I get very concerned when I see people, Rand Paul for example, talk about the great concern they have about drones killing innocent Americans and hardly a word about the threat we face from al-Qaida," King said.
A member of the House committees on homeland security and intelligence, King said, "Those threats are real. I think we are either giving in to an isolationism or a political correctness coming from the left.
"I believe the Boston bombing could have been prevented," said King. "The Boston Police Department does a great job, but the FBI didn't share information with them and the FBI, when told about the older brother possibly being a radical, never talked to anybody in the mosques because of some guideline not allowing them to go into a religious institution," said King.
King also said Russia's offer of asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden "disgraceful" and should a be "wake-up call that Putin cannot be trusted and is still a relic of the Cold War."
He said he supports the NSA monitoring program made public by Snowden, who he considers a "traitor." He said that in his view, the program is not abusive of Americans' privacy.
This won't be King's first visit to the state. He said he campaigned here for Bob Dole in 1996 and Rudy Giuliani prior to the 2008 presidential primary.
"I don't mean this in a pandering way," said King, "but people in New Hampshire probably pay more attention earlier to these races than other people in the country because they know they are going to be invaded by so many over the next few years and they're used to it," said King.
(See earlier Granite Status reports elsewhere on this web page or click on "Granite Status" above.)