After news surfaced Tuesday night that the widow of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) would not run for office in 2012, attention has again shifted to whether the toughest challenge for Sen. Scott Brown (R) may come from the right.
Brown, one of the tea party movement’s earliest stars, shocked the nation by winning Massachusetts’ January 2010 special election to replace the Senate’s liberal lion. But some of those same conservative leaders are having buyer’s remorse.
There’s no shortage of tea party activists who are unhappy with the man who was once the national movement’s poster child, according to Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party.
“I agree with them. I wish he was voting differently,” Varley told Roll Call on Wednesday. “Before the financial reform vote, we were out actually beating drums outside his office saying, ‘Don’t do this. Don’t do this.’” Brown supported the Democrats’ Wall Street reform legislation, which passed with the help of a handful of Republicans.
Varley also singled out the freshman Senator’s support for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, among other votes that she called “disappointing.”
Scott Wheeler, who heads the National Republican Trust Political Action Committee, penned an opinion piece for the Daily Caller last week titled, “Why Scott Brown must be defeated.”
“An organization I run, The National Republican Trust PAC, raised and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to help Scott Brown win the Massachusetts special election to fill the seat vacated upon the death of Ted Kennedy,” Wheeler wrote. “That organization will now do everything possible to see that Brown is defeated by a primary opponent when he faces reelection in 2012. Why? Because there is no difference between him and a Democrat.”
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.