DURHAM, New Hampshire — With the border crisis raging over the summer, it was an ad from New Hampshire senate candidate and former Sen. Scott Brown that marked the transition to the Republican party writ large using the issue for its maximum impact in the upcoming midterm elections.
Although Brown has long had a hawkish record on immigration, the ad was surprising in that he is running in the liberal northeast and considered relatively moderate out of necessity. Here on the campaign trail, he’s showing how to maximize immigration as a political weapon and proving that the man who won the most improbable victory in 2010 over Obamacare knows how to seize the issue of the moment.
There is “nothing more important” for America’s safety and security than securing the southern U.S. border, Brown told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview following a campaign event with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) here.
That’s especially so, he said, since terrorists from ISIS have reported to have been plotting getting into the U.S.–if they haven’t already–through the “porous” southern border.
Brown, running against incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), frequently ties the border to terrorism on the stump. “With regard to the safety and security of our country, there’s nothing more important especially because the world is on fire right now,” Brown said in an interview after a speech to about 100 University of New Hampshire students here, at which Paul endorsed him.
“If you open up the paper and you think [ISIS is] not going to be coming to our shores to hurt us and change our way of life, then I think you have your head under the sand. It’s critical. Secure the border,” Brown said. “Sen. Shaheen and I have two different philosophies. She’s voted not to send troops. She’s voted not to secure the border. She voted in favor of the DREAM Act. She’s endorsed the president for his policies on that very issue. I’m the complete opposite–and it’s a huge issue especially when they’re bringing people here, refugees and others, without notifying the states and without giving people the proper guidance and support.”
Brown also said that it’s a “no-brainer” that America must secure the border and that potentially, though this hasn’t been confirmed, since it is insecure America might have “terrorists coming through our borders.”
“Then we need to make sure we can take care of all of those kids who are here, treat them compassionately and then ship them home–take away that magnet, that neon sign that says ‘just get the kids here, they’ll be okay,'” Brown said. “If we get that shut off, then I believe they won’t be coming as readily as they are now. We have to process the 4.6 million people who are trying to follow the laws [and legally immigrate to the U.S.]. We got to get them through. Is it more judges, more investigators? What is it?”
Shaheen’s campaign is running radio ads in state accusing Brown of being close to Wall Street, but Brown countered in his interview with Breitbart News that she’s really the one close with special interests. The special interests and donors backing Shaheen and other Democrats nationally are the ones pushing comprehensive immigration reform, among other policies the Democrats support.
“You’re going to see a lot of negative stuff but people are smarter than that. I voted for a bill that Wall Street and big banks hated,” Brown said. “She also voted for it. But if you check and see what kind of money she’s raising, she’s raised three times more PAC money than I have and she’s getting more money from insiders than I do. We’re going to talk about the messaging, because if she’s voting 99 percent of the time with the president on his failed policies, we’re going to tell people what does that mean: Well, she was the deciding vote on Obamacare, she’s voted against securing the border, she wants to increase energy prices. We could go on and on and on. She’s been there five years, almost six. She’s not actually talking about her record at all. You think she’d have a record of accomplishment.”
Earlier, in a press scrum after he and Paul spoke, Brown said that Shaheen “has already made her position clear” when it comes to whether she supports the president’s planned executive amnesty–a decision the president delayed until right after the election due to complaints from Senate Democrats about the political effects it would have on Democrats like Shaheen.
“She’s voted twice not to send troops to the border,” Brown said. “She voted not to close the border. She supported the president’s enhanced definition of what a ‘refugee’ is and she’s supported those policies. She’s done really nothing. She’s exacerbated the problem. I feel differently. We need to have free, fair and open debate on bills with a proper amendment process because right now it’s broken. The greatest deliberative body is not debating.”
During that press scrum, Brown also called on anyone who’s left the United States to join ISIS to lose their U.S. citizenship, publicly backing a bill from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that would do just that. Back when he was in the U.S. Senate as a senator from Massachusetts, Brown offered a very similar bill that would revoke the U.S. citizenship of anyone who joins up with terrorist groups worldwide.
“When people are in ISIS and they’ve left their citizenship at the door, they made it crystal clear when they went there planning on fighting–they’re not coming back for a house with a picket fence, they’re coming back potentially using and hiding behind that citizenship,” Brown said. “I agree with Sen. Cruz. I’m glad he filed [that bill] and I filed twice already because they should not be able to hide behind the rights and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution especially when they’re looking to hurt and kill our citizens.”