TUESDAY, JUNE 24. THE ROMNEY ENDORSEMENT. The announcement by the Scott Brown campaign this morning that the former Massachusetts Senator will be endorsed next week by his former governor was not a surprise, but it elicited praise, criticism, an apology and a strong warning.
Mitt Romney will officially endorse Brown on July 2 at the place where Romney announced his presidential campaign back in 2011 – former New Hampshire House speaker Doug Scamman’s Bittersweet Farm in Stratham.
“Right now, I know a lot of you feel the same way I do: Our country would be in much better shape if Governor Romney were in the White House today,” Brown said in the announcement. “Governor Romney was right about so many things, whether the subject is the still-sputtering economy, an aggressive Russia moving to expand its sphere of influence, or the vacuum left in Iraq by the failure to leave behind a residual force to secure our hard-fought gains.
“Instead, President Obama’s indecisive and feckless leadership has made America weaker, both at home and abroad. And President Obama’s allies in the Senate, including Senator Jeanne Shaheen, have supported his disastrous policies to the detriment of the American people.”
Brown’s two candidates for the GOP nomination were quick to pounce on the ultimate establishment endorsement.
“This is another attempt by the establishment to squelch the primary debate which is now showing the sharp differences between Brown and me,” said Jim Rubens.
“This endorsement is payback for Scott Brown voting in favor of Romneycare, which was the model for Obamacare,” Rubens said. “Brown wants to grandfather parts of Obamacare while supporting Medicaid expansion in New Hampshire which will be funded by printed and borrowed money, driving our nation deeper into debt and creating 50,000 new government dependents.”
Later in the day, Rubens must have thought better of calling the endorsement “payback.”
“I apologize to Governor Romney for implying that he endorsed Scott Brown because Brown voted for Romneycare as a Massachusetts state senator,” said Rubens.
“My choice of words was poor. Inadvertent or not, this is beneath me,” Rubens said. “I believe that Governor Romney’s endorsement is genuine, and not motivated by any sort of quid pro quo arrangement.”
There was no apology to Brown, however.
Bob Smith campaign manager Jack Kimball said: “I am very disappointed that Mitt Romney decided to try and influence our New Hampshire primary for the U.S. Senate. It is certainly unfair to all the other candidates. However, it does indicate that since the conservatives have united behind Senator Smith that he is now either very close to or ahead of Scott Brown, in this race.
“The Smith campaign does not concern itself with these types of endorsements. It is completely focused on its grassroots campaign and getting his message out to the base of the party,” Kimball said.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign sent out a fund-raising email this evening with the subject line: “Romney?!”
“This means Brown will get a massive windfall of cash from the same right-wingers who helped Romney raise $446 million in 2012,” the email said. “If Scott Brown wins in New Hampshire, Democrats will lose the Senate. Period. “ So, said the email, send money – quickly.
SHAHEEN’S NEW ADS. Shaheen unveiled emotional new television spot today featuring registered Republican Ursula Gordon, well-known in the Bedford-Goffstown-New Boston area as a real estate agent. There are two versions, 30 and 60 seconds.
Gordon tells of how she nearly lost her home when her husband took ill and Shaheen became personally involved and “came through for me. I wouldn’t be in this house if it wasn’t for Jeanne Shaheen. She is the one who got the job done. She is the one who cared.”
View the 60-second ad here.
THE PICOULT EMAIL. Early today, the Shaheen camp sent an email soliciting funds from New Hampshire author Jodi Picout.
While she is the author of a number of books, she has most recently been in the news as the author of “Nineteen Minutes,” which contained sexually graphic content and was being provided to freshmen high school students in Gilford.
When parent William Baer objected and spoke “out of order” at a school board meeting in May, he was handcuffed and arrested.
“Odd choice of a person to use for a fundraising letter,” one political strategist remarked.
THE RUBENS CONVERSION. He wrote fondly of cap-and-trade several years ago and the carbon tax as recently as the spring of this year. But now Jim Rubens has signed the Americans for Prosperity pledge to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.”
“We are encouraged by the fact that Jim Rubens appears to have come to the realization that cap-and-trade and carbon taxes will do severe damage to our economy and hurt consumers,” said AFP New Hampshire director Greg Moore.
In a statement Ruben said:
“I’m a solutions-based candidate. My original revenue neutral tax swap idea (which called for a carbon tax) is dead-on-arrival. Our nation’s climate and high energy cost problems still exist, so I crafted a free-market energy plan which, unlike other policy approaches, is strongly supported by conservatives and therefore enjoys the real prospect of becoming law.
“The AFP pledge is also completely consistent with other pledges I have signed against net tax revenue increases and represents no change to my longstanding opposition to any energy or climate plan that increases net tax revenue.”