WOODSTOCK — Republican Scott Brown toured the North Country again this weekend, stopping Saturday at Fadden’s General Store and Sugar House where he got to see how maple syrup is made and where he again answered questions about his Granite State roots.
Accompanied by his wife, Gail Huff, and their daughter Arianna, Brown, who won a special election in 2010 in Massachusetts to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s term but lost in 2012 while seeking a full term, arrived at Fadden’s driving the green, crew-cab pickup truck that was a trademark of his previous campaigns.
Brown, who has formed an exploratory committee for a possible U.S. Senate run for the seat currently held by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, said he had spent the earlier part of the day making stops at several other locations, among them Attitash Mountain Resort in Bartlett. The remark prompted a follow-up inquiry about Brown’s skiing proclivities and ultimately, about, as Shaheen has claimed, his not being a suitable candidate for Senate because he was a very recent arrival to New Hampshire.
“The only people talking about that (are) Jeanne Shaheen and her supporters,” said Brown, who prefaced the reply by saying that although he grew up in Massachusetts, he knows New Hampshire very well and loved its many offerings, among them the Attitash, Loon, Cannon, Wildcat and Cranmore ski areas.
The regular folks he’s met, Brown said, are more interested in talking to him about the Affordable Care Act and the fact that it’s “a mess” and that Shaheen cast the deciding vote to make it law, not about his New Hampshire pedigree. He pointed out that there are few native New Hampshire residents these days and that both Shaheen as well as Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, are imports, the former originally hailing from Missouri and the latter from Massachusetts.
While addressing his residency, Brown stressed that the real issue is how Shaheen has been in near lockstep with President Barack Obama.
“Jeanne’s a nice person but she’s wrong on the policies,” he said, adding that as a senator, Shaheen votes more often, based on percentages, to support Obama’s policies than even Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who is the Senate’s majority leader.
Brown declined to speculate on whether the Democrats as a party are vulnerable in the 2014 elections because of the unpopularity of the ACA, also commonly known as “Obamacare.” He also opted not to comment on divisions within the Republican Party other than to say he would serve as a unifying force.
Brown said his immediate plans are to keep traveling the length and breadth of New Hampshire to hear what people are thinking.
He said he was thrilled to meet Jim Fadden, the owner of Fadden’s General Store and Sugar House.
“This guy is a legend,” Brown said of Fadden.