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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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