- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BOSTON — Sen.-elect Scott Brown said Wednesday he believes in a “big-tent philosophy” for the Republican Party, but added that his election, powered by a populist surge of independent voters, signals the arrival of a “new breed of Republican.”

“I have been asked many times what kind of Republican I’m going to be, and I really didn’t know how to answer that. So I’d just said I’m going to be a Scott Brown Republican. Maybe there’s a new breed of Republican coming to Washington … who’s not beholden to the special interests of the party and who will look just to solve problems,” he said.

Noting with a laugh that he didn’t get much sleep last night but still got up early as usual to walk his dogs, the newest member of the Senate once again made clear that he will strive to remain an independent voice in Washington. He told reporters he will travel to Washington Thursday, although when he will formally be seated has not been announced.

“I’m not beholden to anyone,” Mr. Brown said in a morning press conference at the Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel. On the campaign trail, “the number one thing I heard is that people are tired of business as usual” and the “the behind-the-scenes deals,” he said.

His election has had an immediate effect on President Obama’s health care reform bill, with House and Senate Democrats still trying to agree on a final draft after several much criticized deals and concessions to wary lawmakers. With Tuesday’s vote in Massachusetts, Republicans gained a 41st vote in the Senate, giving the GOP the power to sustain a filibuster against the bill.

Taking a seat held for 47 years by liberal icon Edward M. Kennedy, Mr. Brown said he hopes to “hit the ground running.”

“Since the election is not in doubt, I’m hopeful that the Senate will seat on the basis of the unofficial returns, just as they did for Ted Kennedy in 1962 and more recently for [Massachusetts Rep.] Niki Tsongas in 2007,” he said.

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Mr. Brown scoffed at a question about whether he thinks he’s “presidential timber.”

“Listen, I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I’ve had no sleep right now. I haven’t even been down to Washington yet. I don’t want to say that’s a silly question, but, uh…” he said to laughter in the room.

He grew emotional when he sought to explain what being elected to the Senate means for him.

“If you would have told me, growing up, that a guy who’s mom was on welfare, whose parents had some marriage troubles, and, you know, I had some, you know, issues, you know, growing up, that a guy from Wrentham I’d be standing here standing before you right now and is going to Washington D.C. — are you kidding me?” he said, his eyes looking a bit misty.

“I don’t know if you guys understand that. … I can’t tell you how proud I am to be here, standing before you all, and having an opportunity to help send the country in a different and better direction,” he said.

“That’s my goal. Other people may say, ‘He’s going to do this, he’s going to do that,’ but I’ve never listened to them, and I’m not going to listen to them now.”

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