FRIDAY, JAN. 9: BROWN OFFERS HIS HELP. Scott Brown told us back in December that he intends to play a role helping Republican presidential candidates get to know New Hampshire. He said he would set up roundtable discussions with candidates who ask and state leaders so the candidates can make their cases.
Today, Brown met in Boston with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and told us afterward he offered his help as a “facilitator.” He tweeted a photo of himself, his wife, Gail, and Bush from a law office in Boston after telling the Boston Herald he intends to help Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. He told us he will also meet at some point with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who helped Brown’s Senate run, although as of today, there was no meeting planned for next Wednesday, when Paul returns to New Hampshire.
Brown today became the first Granite State activist known to have contact with Bush since Bush began moving toward a presidential run.
“Nothing has changed as far as my plans are concerned,” Brown said. “We are in the process of putting everything together. But it is appropriate because the people of New Hampshire would like to see these guys and, having recently done a campaign, I understand what it takes to run. I want to make sure the candidates understand that if they participate they have to spend time and get to know people and the strengths and pitfalls of runing in New Hampshire. Whether that means having them over to my house for a meet and greet or a forum or a town hall or meetings with activists, I can make various offers to help.
“Like everybody, (Bush) is testing the waters and listening and learning. He is in the process of making those determinations, but they have to be careful of what they do or say so they don’t trigger any FEC (Federal Election Commission) requirements.”
Brown said that Bush obviously intends to come to New Hampshire at some point, but, “We didn’t get into specifics of timing because he is still listening and learning.”
Brown said he will also make himself available to help other candidates make contacts with key Republican players in New Hampshire.
“I’m going to be more of a facilitator,” he said, adding that he realizes Sen. Kelly Ayotte will be busy in Washington and gearing up her own reelection run. Brown attended the inauguration of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday, as did Bush and Christie.
(For more of this week’s Granite Reports, please visit NHJournal.com tomorrow morning.)