Scott Brown visits Milford veterans

MILFORD – Last week’s campaign visit covered all the standard topics: immigration, the economy, energy policy, foreign policy, the national debt.

But then Bob Willette, a Milford state representative, threw Scott Brown what seemed to be a curve ball, asking about his “inner person.”

The former U.S. senator from Massachusetts caught it easily and tossed it to his wife, Gail Huff, and the former Channel 5 newscaster got up in front of the small crowd at the Milford VFW Hall and praised her husband.

Huff said that the real character of a man can be seen in his children.

“What you do at home, really represents what you are as a man,” she said.

When Huff was pursuing her career, she said, Brown took over about 70 percent of the child care responsibilities.

“I am proud to partner with him,” she said. “Our kids are hardworking, determined. Their work ethic makes me so proud.”

Brown, who is seeking the GOP nomination to run against U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in November, talked about his own childhood and what he called his dysfunctional family, living in 17 houses with a mother and father who had each been married and divorced four times.

Indirectly addressing the “carpetbagger” issue, Brown said he came from nine generations of New Hampshire people. His mother was working as a waitress in Portsmouth when she met his father and their first home was on Islington Street in Portsmouth.

“My grandparents provided a safe haven in New Hampshire,” he said, and this state is “so visceral and personal to me.”

Then Brown focused on the Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare and the mess it’s creating … a complete disaster for businesses and individuals,” he called it, contrasted his views with Shaheen’s “100 percent support” of the current administration.

“She voted for every tax increase, every debt ceiling increase … whose side is she on?”

The May 7 event was at the Harley-Sanford Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Brown, who will run in the Republican primary in September, mingled with people, then spoke to an audience of about three dozen people.

First, however, Paul Chevalier, past state VFW commander, spoke about a recent news report that 40 or more veterans have died while on a veterans’ affairs waiting list.

“One of our goals,” responded Brown, who is retiring this month from the National Guard after 36 years, “is to have more veterans serving in Congress,” and mentioned his support of bills benefiting military health care and his dedication to the “care and protection of the women and men serving. When they get home, making sure they get better quickly and employed quickly.”

Addressing Washington deadlock, he said, “Let’s take back the Senate and take all the bills on (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid’s desk and put them on the president’s desk.”

During the question-and-answer session, one man in the audience said, “progressives are trying to destroy the United States,” and “need to be defeated, not negotiated with.”

But Brown said he votes for bills he agrees with, such as legislation to control insider trading.

“I don’t care who sponsors a bill,” he said. “If it’s common sense legislation,” he supports it.

Another person asked why only one company, Anthem, can sell health insurance in New Hampshire under the Affordable Care Act.

Brown said over-regulation is to blame, and Shaheen supported laws that ultimately chased out other insurance companies, and it’s a problem that can be corrected.

“You need to elect people who understand the issues,” he said.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 304, or kcleveland@