Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, facing mounting pressure from
opponents and voters seeking to find out where exactly he stands on the issues
of the day, has announced that he has added two more debate appearances
this summer to other two he has already agreed to participate in.
The total number of forums and debates Brown has agreed to attend, at this time, according to his campaign, is four.
The campaign issued a statement saying that along with this week’s appearance on WMUR-TV’s “Close Up” and the Sept. 4, WMUR-TV/Union Leader debate, he will also participate in the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council Debate and a forum being put together for “New Hampshire Today” on WGIR-AM, with Jack Heath and John DiStaso moderating.
Brown will not be appearing at the Merrimack Business Association forum tonight. The group also invited him to a private meeting but later, pulled the invitation.
“Scott Brown continues to run a traditional New Hampshire campaign, and debates are an important part of that process to connect with Republican and independent voters across the state,” said Colin Reed, campaign manager for Brown. “We’re taking nothing for granted and working hard for every vote that will carry us to victory in the fall and ensure that Jeanne Shaheen is a one-term senator.”
However, Democrats pounced on the press release, calling Brown’s lack of participation in debates and forums "an insult to voters and to the New Hampshire way" of running for public office.
“He is refusing to tell people where he stands on issues that matter to people, like continuing those billions in tax breaks to the big oil companies, or how he’s going to pay for his phony education plan,” said Julie McClain, the communications director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
Other Republican candidates running, including attorney Andy Martin, former state Sen. Jim Rubens, and former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, have all been critical of Brown’s lack of commitment to participating in grassroots events in front of GOP primary voters. Martin earlier this year threatened to the Merrimack organization for inclusion in the debate.
For all the criticism that Brown is facing about the issue of participating in forums by both his opponents and some newspaper editorial boards, he has a history, instead, of spending time meeting with voters directly, in diners and community outings. He credits the low-key style of campaigning as one of the reasons he was able to successfully get elected and re-elected to the state Senate as a Republican in Massachusetts as well as his upset victory in the 2010 special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts against the better funded Democratic candidate, Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Brown is one of 10 Republicans seeking the nomination to face off against Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Other candidates, along with Martin, Rubens, and Smith, seeking the GOP nod include Gerard Beloin, Robert D’Arcy, Miro Dziedzic, Mark Farnham, and Walter Kelley.
Gardner Goldsmith is collecting thousands of signatures to gain ballot access as the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire candidate.
Follow all the latest Campaign 2014 news and posts in the Patch Elections section.
Editor's Note: Brown was not disinvited to the Merrimack forum tonight. A private meeting invitation by the group was extended to him and later rescinded.