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Scott Brown: A Mass. Senator ‘Against All Odds’

Sen. Scott Brown (AP)

Sen. Scott Brown (AP)

Even as Congress prepares for a contentious budget fight over the next two weeks, Sen. Scott Brown says the national deficit should be a bipartisan a priority.

“We can’t continue spending the astronomical amounts that we are,” Brown said Thursday in a conversation with Radio Boston. “Since I’ve been there — $11.5 trillion national debt when I first got there – it’s over $14 trillion and racing even higher. We absolutely need to get our fiscal house in order or we’re not going to be competitive globally.”

The fight in Washington looms as a newly elected Republican majority in the House has pledged to cut the country’s deficit while the still-Democratic Senate takes a different approach to jump-starting the economy. Still, Brown believes both parties can compromise.

“My hope is that we’ll all get together — the administration, the minority and majority parties — and sit down and figure out a budget that we can all live with,” Brown said.

In his new memoir, “Against All Odds,” Brown talks about much more personal issues. Much of his book recalls a difficult childhood — filled with physically abusive stepfathers and a much-discussed incident in which a 10-year-old Brown was sexually molested by a camp counselor on Cape Cod.

Brown maintains that his upbringing helped shape the kind of senator he wants to be.

“I take my work ethic, and my desire to be a better person and a more thoughtful person, and I try to take those life experiences – whether it’s consciously or unconsciously – to do better and be better,” Brown said.

What’s striking about the Massachusetts politician’s book is how little politics it contains. It’s not until Page 224 that readers learn the formation of the junior senator’s political beliefs — and even then it only gets a one-paragraph treatment:

I came to be a Republican on my own. And it was partly driven by sports. The brutal massacre of eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team during the 1972 Munich Olympics had been seared into my mind the week before I turned thirteen. That event was book ended by the weakness of the Carter years, our faltering steps with Iran and the old Soviet Union, and the belief that we were somehow less than or the equivalent of our adversaries abroad. I believe in a strong military and in service, and in standing up to those who wanted to do harm. But beyond that, I had I had largely identified with Republicans as the party of fiscal responsibility and fiscal restraint. When you grow up with no money, you know the value of a dollar[.]

In the book, Brown blows by his years on Beacon Hill and lingers more on elections than legislation. It’s not until the very the end of the book that Brown lays out his political principals: “I’m a staunch fiscal conservative, a committed tax cutter, tough on national security, but if you’re looking for someone who is going to be a full-on ideologue always marching in lockstep with his party, I’m probably not your guy.”

Guest:

  • Sen. Scott Brown, Republican from Massachusetts

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  • Aajay

    Ask him about Jeff Perry ane the 14 year old girl. He has saide that was different–HOW is it different?

    • Laurie

      You beat me to it, Aajay.

      As a survivor of sexual abuse, it’s pretty appalling that he would defend Jeff Perry, who stood by as his partner sexually assaulted a teenager. My charitable interpretation is that some lingering shame made it difficult for him to speak up for her. But now that he’s revealed what happened to him, I believe he has a duty to use his power to speak up for that girl and people like her.

      Sen. Brown, are you planning on apologizing to her and her family for your part in her ongoing victimization? If not, why not?

    • Anonymous

      Great job not asking this important question.

  • Anonymous

    Ask him why he now speaks of needing to bring in taxes on money held offshore – when he voted against doing just this saying he was against it because “it raised taxes”. http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7020053614 – rollcall http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=2&vote=00242

    Ask him why he is now in favor of the type of small business incentives that he voted against last year – http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2010/09/15/senate_oks_tax_breaks_for_small_businesses/

    Ask how it is fiscal restraint to give billions to very wealthy people by continuing the Bush tax cuts to people making more than $ 1 million a year. Ask why he said that people needed certainty on the estate tax before he could justify extending the payment of unemployment benefits.

  • Beth

    What about prevention? I know there are good things going on to teach kids about staying safe. But I also know that most people know the abuser. Are there any places that teach how to stay safe?

  • Carolyneggert

    Talk About Touching is one of the best ways to teach little kids about sexual abuse prevention. The Massachusetts Children’s Trust Fund offers this program to school systems, YMCAs, and other organizations. I’m a parent and went through the program with my son. I was really skeptical at first, but now both my husband and I know how to talk about this sensitive issue with our kids.
    Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Ask Scott Brown who was President when the Munich Olympics happened. (Nixon) As to Carter being weak, ask Brown whether it was Carter or Reagan who covertly sold weapons to Iran and used the money to give arms to terrorists in Central America in defiance of US law. (Reagan)

  • Christian1

    I fear that our junior senator may be disingenuous. Since he has refused to identify his abuser(s), the question has to hang out there that possibly he was not abused. How could he have kept this important information from his wife and let her read it in manuscript? That statement, if you think about it, is totally bizarre. Any one else would have told his or her spouse before he or she poured a cup of coffee and sat down to read the manuscript. If this is made up I have to say that I am at a loss to understand why he would have made it up unless it was to sensationalize his life. Sexual abuse is such a serious issue that I find it hard to believe that anyone would “fake” it–but I don’t know.
    This story and the labored explanation he gives just sounds plain fishy to me. I hope I am wrong.

  • Sandy Luongo

    I just read your book –I cried and had a few laughs and really enjoyed it. I supported you when you ran for Senator and went to Hyannis to make a contribution and campaigned for you in front of Falmouth Lumber. When you won, and had your party at The Falmouth Inn, I finally got to meet you and congratulate you. When I finally got to meet you and shake your hand, I had on my red leather jacket and you said “I love your jacket”. It is now my Scott Brown jacket. Keep up the good work and keep being yourself–we need more like you.

    Sandy Luongo
    Falmouth

  • Sandy Luongo

    I just read your book –I cried and had a few laughs and really enjoyed it. I supported you when you ran for Senator and went to Hyannis to make a contribution and campaigned for you in front of Falmouth Lumber. When you won, and had your party at The Falmouth Inn, I finally got to meet you and congratulate you. When I finally got to meet you and shake your hand, I had on my red leather jacket and you said “I love your jacket”. It is now my Scott Brown jacket. Keep up the good work and keep being yourself–we need more like you.

    Sandy Luongo
    Falmouth

  • Sandy Luongo

    I just read your book –I cried and had a few laughs and really enjoyed it. I supported you when you ran for Senator and went to Hyannis to make a contribution and campaigned for you in front of Falmouth Lumber. When you won, and had your party at The Falmouth Inn, I finally got to meet you and congratulate you. When I finally got to meet you and shake your hand, I had on my red leather jacket and you said “I love your jacket”. It is now my Scott Brown jacket. Keep up the good work and keep being yourself–we need more like you.

    Sandy Luongo
    Falmouth

  • Christian1

    Karenc has pointed out something very important in evaluating Sen. Brown and the veracity of his book–Nixon, not Carter, was president during the Munich crisis. Anyway, what could any president have done? It was a problem for the Germans and they handled it well.

  • Don

    Scott Brown continues to repeat his shop lifting experience and subsequent lecture from a judge about crime and punishment. Although he claims to have learned from his experience about fear of punishment, he has never once discussed the MORALITY of why stealing is wrong.

    He talks about being sexually abused as a child and yet he endorsed Perry, the former Wareham police officer, for Congress.

    He refused to vote for the elimination of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” until the president agreed to extend tax cuts for the wealthy!

    Several years ago when former state senator Cheryl Jacques (Needham) said she was a lesbian and had a partner, he publicly denounced her and called her wierd!

    He refused to vote for the extension of unemployment benefits yet he fought for tax cuts for the wealthy claiming that it would create jobs. These tax cuts will create jobs for auto workers in Germany.

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