'This Week' Transcript: Barbara Walters Exclusive with Massachusetts Senator-Elect Scott Brown
Transcript: Barbara Walters interviews Massachusetts Senator-Elect Scott Brown
Jan. 31, 2010 — -- WALTERS: So you have a fascinating resume. Let -- let me -- and just in case some people don't know it. At 12 you were arrested for shop lifting?
BROWN: Right down the street.
WALTERS: You remember the place? OK.
BROWN: I do.
WALTERS: At 22 you posed nude for Cosmopolitan Magazine. For the past 30 years you've been in the National Guard, and you have the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. The past six years you've been a state senator, and now as the newly elected Republican senator from Massachusetts. You are the new star. I just saw that when I traveled a little bit with you.
What do you most want to accomplish? What's your passion?
BROWN: Well let me tell you what I'm most proud of. First of all that's being married for 23 years, and having two great kids. And I want to accomplish what I think is already starting to happen, which is to bring good government back to the equation. Have people come together and talk about issues out front -- transparent, and not behind closed doors. And I think that's happening as evidence – what happened with the president yesterday.
WALTERS: Well you know there was -- when the president had the meeting with the Republicans. And that back and forth. And the president talked about the fact that both sides demonized the other. But it seems to be working for the Republicans. Are you -- do you feel pressure that as the 41st you'll have a tough time voting Republican all the way?
BROWN: Everyone really is the 41st senator. And what it means is that now there will be full and fair debate. And there will be no more closed -- behind closed doors actions.
And make no mistake, I am a fiscal conservative. And when it comes to issues affecting people's pockets, and pocketbooks, and wallets, I'll be with the Republicans if they are in fact pushing those initiatives.
WALTERS: It has been said all over the country that your election was more about disappointment in the president than it was about voting for you in particular.
BROWN: I have to respectfully disagree. People here spoke very loudly and -- and very plainly about taxes and spending, terrorism, and the health care proposal.
WALTERS: Which means you -- which you represented?
BROWN: That's correct.
WALTERS: Yes. You know when I was with you just a little while ago with the crowd, one of the women said -- behind me -- said, "President 2012." And you said to me -- or under your breath, "That's silly." But do you rule it out?
BROWN: I -- I have to -- I have to tell you, I don't even have a business card. I haven't even been sworn in. I don't have any exploratory committees started. I don't have any -- anything -- it's -- it's overwhelming, and it's extremely humbling. I don't know how -- what else to tell you.
WALTERS: Let's talk about another rising star in the Republican party -- Sarah Palin. Do you think that Sarah Palin is presidential material?
BROWN: Well -- well, sure. I mean, she's been a mayor, and a governor. And -- and has a lot of -- a national following. But I think the more people in a presidential race, the better. She's never contacted us, and vice-versa.
WALTERS: Let's talk about some of your specific views. You are pro-choice, yes?
WALTERS: And gay marriage is legal in the state of Massachusetts. But the Republican party platform language calls for the overthrow of Roe v. Wade, and they want a federal ban on gay marriage. Are you out of step with your party, or do you think that the party has to broaden, and change its platform?
BROWN: Well I've always been a big tent person, you know? We need more people to come into our tent to express their views in a respectful and thoughtful manner.
And, you know, Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, but I think we need to do more to reduce the amount of abortions. And the difference between me and maybe others is that I'm very -- I'm against partial-birth abortions. I'm against federal funding of abortions. And I believe in a strong parental consent notification law.
And we should do more for adoptions.
WALTERS: But you're still pro-choice?
BROWN: Yes, because I feel this issue is best handled between a woman and her doctor and her family. And on the marriage issue that you brought up, it's settled here in Massachusetts, but I believe that states should have the ability to determine their own destiny and the government should not be interfering with individual states' rights on issues that they deal with on a daily basis.
WALTERS: Well, there is the debate now in the Republican Party as to whether it should be more conservative or more moderate. Which direction do you bend?
BROWN: They can do whatever they want. I just know that I'm a Scott Brown Republican. What does that mean? That means I'm going to go down there and be accountable, accessible, open, and honest, and I'm going to bring good government and fairness back to the equation.
I'm a fiscal conservative. I care very deeply about -- because my mom was, as you probably know more than anybody is, you know, she was on welfare for a time. I remember getting the blocks of cheese and worrying about how we're going to pay the bills.