Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown said he is considering a run for president in 2016, saying his party would benefit from his moderate Republican views.
“I want to get an indication of whether there’s even an interest, in Massachusetts and throughout the country, if there’s room for a bipartisan problem solver,” Brown told the Boston Herald by phone Sunday while attending the Iowa State Fair.
The former senator, who lost his re-election bid last year to Elizabeth Warren by more than 7 percentage points, said he isn’t close to making a decision.
“It’s 2013, I think it’s premature, but I am curious,” he said. “There’s a lot of good name recognition in the Dakotas and here — that’s pretty good.”
The moderate Republican said the GOP — which increasingly is being pulled in different directions by Tea Party conservatives, mainstream politicians such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and libertarians like Sen. Ran Paul of Kentucky — needs “to be a more inclusive big tent party.”
“There’s got to be room for politicians like me,” he said. “If we’re going to keep attacking each other that’s exactly what the Democrats want.”
The Republican was among the Tea Party movement’s first successes when he surprisingly won a special election for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat in 2010. But his moderate voting record in the Senate quickly turned off Tea Party loyalists, who all but abandoned him during his failed re-election bid.
Brown, 53, was among a cadre of current and former lawmakers who visited the fair to test the political waters for potential White House runs.
He told the Herald he plans to visit Colorado and Illinois, after already making stops in South Dakota. His trip follows other moves to position himself nationally, such as several political visits to New Hampshire and hosting an event at Boston’s Fenway Park for the Republican National Committee last week.