The Washington Times - August 30, 2012, 02:30PM

TAMPA, Fla. — Sen. Scott Brown was quick to distance himself from the Republican establishment after arriving in Tampa on Thursday morning, saying he’s happy to be at the convention’s final day but warning that he disagrees with parts of his party’s conservative platform.

Locked into a hard fight against Democrat Elizabeth Warren to keep his Senate seat, the Massachusetts Republican has been painting himself to voters as a centrist even as the GOP moves to the right on many issues.


“Obviously me being here is important in that it shows as someone who’s a pro-choice, moderate Republican is here as part of the big tent that we have and should have and will continue to have,” he said, speaking to reporters at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina, next door to the convention center.

As Mr. Brown emphasizes independence from his party, Mrs. Warren has been arguing that he would cater to the broader Republican base if re-elected.

“I know professor Warren wants to nationalize this race, — it’s evidenced by her commercials, by her rhetoric,” he said. “She’s running against me, she’s not running against the national ticket, the national issues.”

Both campaigns have agreed to ban outside groups from running ads in the race, promising to pay a fine if they do. So far, the agreement has mostly worked, and Mr. Brown said he’s confident it will last all the way up to November.

“I believe it should stick,” Mr. Brown said. “We keep telling groups to stay out and let us do our thing, because we’re going to have the resources to do our thing.”