The Donald hints it could be the ticket
By James Hohmann, The Washington Post
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Donald Trump said on Saturday that former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown would be a vice president straight out of “central casting.”
The Republican front-runner was flattering Brown as he sought his endorsement during a rally hosted by the former U.S. senator in a Toyota dealership here.
After Trump took the stage to “Eye of the Tiger,” Brown introduced him as “the next president of the United States.”
Trump returned the favor 10 minutes into his speech. “There’s no hope with these people that we have running for office, except for him of course,” he said, pointing at Brown. “Here’s a good man! We’re keeping our bad ones. We’re losing our good ones.”
A man in the audience yelled that Trump should choose Brown as his vice president. The crowd of several hundred cheered.
“You know what? He’s central casting,” Trump replied, nodding. “Look at that guy! He’s central casting! A great guy and a beautiful wife and a great family. So important!”
Brown said he plans to endorse one of the candidates after a state GOP cattle call next weekend.
But he plainly likes the idea of being vice president.
“I’ve heard that before,” Brown said, smiling, when asked about it after the event. “So I’m just going to continue to work hard and see what happens.”
Brown represented Massachusetts for three years, from January 2010 to January 2013, after winning the special election to succeed Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died in 2009. He lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012.
Then he moved to his vacation home in neighboring New Hampshire so that he could challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014. He narrowly lost that race, one of the few high-profile losses for Republicans during the midterms that year.Still, Brown harbors political ambitions. He faced a competitive GOP primary when he ran for Senate in 2014, largely because of his past support for a ban on assault weapons and his support for abortion rights. As he looks ahead to a future run for office, perhaps governor in 2018 or Senate in 2020, he’s trying to deepen his roots in New Hampshire and sharpen his appeal to conservatives.
Trump said he will support Brown in whatever office he seeks. “The right thing is going to happen,” he said. “We’ve got to get him back. And we’ll be behind him 100 percent.”
Brown has hosted every major GOP candidate at a barn in nearby Rye, on the Atlantic coast. The events are promoted as part of a “No B.S. Backyard BBQ” series. He said he could not host Trump there because of the Secret Service’s concerns about security. So they held the event at a nearby Toyota dealership owned by one of his friends.
After the event, Brown told reporters that he will endorse sometime after Saturday. First, he will host Ted Cruz at the barn on Tuesday.
Trump spent a big chunk of his speech here on Saturday ripping into the senator from Texas as a hypocrite, even declaring that he is owned “lock, stock and barrel” by Goldman Sachs and Citibank because he took loans from the banks.
Brown batted away a question about Trump’s criticism of Cruz. “Listen, this is politics,” he said. “Are you kidding me? Politics is a blood sport, so they’re going to battle. Quite frankly, I think it’s been pretty civil so far.”