Politics

Republican Senator Scott Brown says he is not a Tea Partier

The surprise victory of Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts was thought of at the time as one of the Tea Party’s first big victories. But as he prepares for a tough reelection fight in one of the country’s bluest states, Brown tells USA Today that he is not a Tea Partier.

“No, I am a Republican from Massachusetts,” Brown told the paper when asked if he was a member of the Tea Party. He also referred to himself as a “Scott Brown Republican” concerned primarily with fiscal issues.

“I’m somebody who keeps an open mind on all the other issues,” Brown said before adding: “I’m not a social crusader.”

The paper notes that, in his new book, Brown refers to the Tea Party just once. “I think a lot of different entities played big roles,” he said when asked about the Tea Party’s contribution to his victory. “There’s no one particular group that did more than the others.”

Brown’s poll numbers in Massachusetts are solid. A recent survey conducted by Public Policy Polling showed that his approval rating is 53 percent, against only 29 percent disapproving of the Senator.

Still, despite his strong showing in the polls, some disillusioned conservative groups that backed the moderate Senator in his election last year are now looking to back a more conservative primary challenger to Brown. “We would support someone to run against him in the primary,” National Republican Trust executive director Scott Wheeler told the Washington Examiner last month. “If voters in Massachusetts had not seen how people across the nation rose up and supported him, he would not have been elected.”