UPDATE: Scott Brown told Schieffer that he hasn't heard anything about jobs since he's been in the Senate, but Steve Benen reminds him that he voted on a couple of jobs bills already. What a nitwit. He's lying only a couple of months into his new gig. Welcome to the House of Lords.
Scott Brown made his first appearance on Face the Nation Sunday, and while he distanced himself from Sarah Palin and wouldn't answer Bob Schieffer's question asking him if he would have appeared with her if he wasn't working, he gave an awfully good impression of her by not including any substance in his answers to Bob's questions -- only right wing talking points.
I found it rather bizarre that since he has been part of the legislative process in Boston before he became Senator, his performance made it sound like he had zero knowledge on what's wrong with the financial reform bill other than saying that President Obama is now putting his political arm in the debate so he's going to filibuster the bill.
Here's the way the segment went.
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN (R-Massachusetts): Well, I think the President's political arm is now taking over this debate. And it's unfortunate because I, like many others in my state and throughout the country, want banks to be banks. They don't want them to be casinos. They don't want them to take risky bets on our money. And, I think that this is an issue that we can clearly come to common ground and just solve the problem. Where there're problems, we should fix them. But the regulation and the-- the bill that's being proposed by the banking chairman dramatically affects businesses-- mutual-- for example, Liberty Mutual, MassMutual. These folks are-- are caught in that-- that-- that regulation as well. It's going to cost potentially twenty-five to thirty-five thousand jobs. And--
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well, now, wait a minute, Senator. How-- how can you say that?
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN: Well, I-- I can say it very clearly because the-- the regulations that are-- they're trying to reel in with some of the risky he-- hedging-- that bets are doing also affects companies like-- like I just described in Massachusetts. It's-- it's very clear. And-- and speaking with Secretary Geithner the other day I-- I certainly noted the-- the President's comments. But, Secretary Geithner has some of the same criticisms of the bill. In that, it doesn't end the bailout mentality of the big bank--the too-big-to-fail concept. And, in addition, there are a lot of things in the Dodd bill that-- that are just bad for business, small businesses in particular. And we should do better. And, I've-- I called the President out the other day and the administration to do better and stop politicizing these issues and just start solving problems.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But don't you think that Senator McConnell might be a little bit guilty of politicizing when he-- he comes out and just says flatly, "No, we're against it?"
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN: He's not saying-- he's not saying no to financial reform unless I'm mistaken because that's never the impression I've gotten in the seventy-three days since I've been there. Throughout our caucuses, that issue has been in the forefront with the teams that are negotiating with the banking chairman to try to find common sense reforms and-- and address situations like the one that I just pointed out with-- where companies are-- are caught in the big web. And, when you have government interfering in-- in-- in businesses-- small businesses' lives and just throwing-- like a-- a one-size-fits-all approach just to score political points, it's-- it's sad. We should be looking at real issues-- I'm sorry, real solutions to these
problems. And, to politicize, it is clear what they're with, you know, trying to score points and he should do better.
The interview went on like this for about thirteen minutes or so. He wouldn't answer any of Bob's questions and just repeated prepared lines that fell flat. He was unimpressive and appeared to be just like another political hack who's going to vote with the Democrats whenever he can so he'll be able to say he's a true independent voice for the people of Massachusetts to get reelected to the Senate. It's fine to be prepared, we all do it before we go on TV, but I thought he would be able just list a few reasons why he's against the Dodd bill instead of flatly rejecting it like Frank Luntz has instructed them to.
In the CBS report on this segment, they only repeated what was bantered around, but in the end they agreed with me by saying:
He didn't offer specifics about what he thinks should be in a financial reform bill, but said he'd filibuster the current bill rather than let it come to the Senate floor.
Bob didn't bother to push him on anything either except when it came to Palin. I can see that Scott Brown is a bit shaky about Our Lady from Alaska.
BOB SCHIEFFER: well, would you have, for example, gone to the rally in Boston and appeared with Sarah Palin had the Senate not been in session?
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN: Well, I’ve been to rallies before. I spoke a couple of years-- last year at two rallies in Worcester, before I was elected. And, you know, my role now is, as an elected official, is to do my job. And that’s not-- that wasn’t-- those weren’t the circumstances. And I have great respect for-- for Sarah and what she’s doing. She’s got a lot on her plate. And, she’s plays a role in-- in-- in that movement, and-- and-- and just the-- the-- the Republican Party. And-- and--
Notice how he referred to the Tea Parties as "that movement?" He also had a hard time with Shieffer's question about whether Obama is a socialist.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But, do you decline to answer my question: is he pushing the country towards socialism?
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN: I don’t think he’s making proper choices when it comes to dealing with the-- the free market and free enterprise and allowing businesses to-- to really run themselves and create jobs. And as a result, larger government is happening and we’re creating
jobs but they're all government jobs. And the private sector is definitely-- definitely suffering.
This interview was about as softball as it comes and what I came away from it was that Scott Brown is a political fly weight. Not knowing, but speaking "Luntz" is the new "in," people.