DURHAM, N.H. - Sen. Elizabeth Warren is campaigning against Scott Brown – again. Only this time, she crossed the border of their native Massachusetts to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire to help Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Brown’s latest target.
“I gotta say it did not cross my mind,” Warren told supporters at the University of New Hampshire, “that after beating Scott Brown that what he would do is he would pack up his pickup truck and move to his vacation home in New Hampshire, to become the candidate to try to run against Jeanne Shaheen.”
Warren came to the Granite State with the populist, anti-Wall Street message she’s best known for. “Corporations are not people!” she declared, a a crowd of activists cheered her on.
“Who do you trust? Who’s going to be out there for the people of New Hampshire? And who’s going to be out there for the millionaires, for the billionaires, for the special interests?” Warren asked. “Scott Brown stands with those who already made it big.”
Shaheen, a former governor of the state, is locked in an ever-closer race with Brown, the former Massachusetts senator who lost his seat to Warren in 2012. He moved to his Seacoast vacation home in New Hampshire to run a Senate seat here.
At Saturday’s rally, Shaheen cast Brown as a politician who is more in touch with the demands of political special interests than with New Hampshire – a message in sync with Warren’s profile and one that appeals to the Democratic activists and core supporters that she will need on Nov. 4.
“Scott Brown didn’t move here to fight for New Hampshire, he moved here to fight for the same interests he’s fought for his entire career. He fights for the corporate interests – for the interests that fund his campaign,” she said.
In response to Warren’s visit, Republicans argued that Warren, one of the most liberal members of Congress, votes with President Obama less often than Shaheen does.
“Elizabeth Warren’s presence in New Hampshire highlights just how out-of-touch Jeanne Shaheen is with the people of her state,” said Jennifer Horn, the chairwoman of the New Hampshire Republican Party. “Although Warren is one of the Senate’s most avowed liberals, even she votes less often for President Obama’s agenda than Senator Shaheen.”
The Massachusetts senator’s visit to New Hampshire comes amid heightened speculation surrounding her plans for a potential 2016 presidential bid. Warren has been adamant in saying she’s not running – but in an interview published this week with People magazine, she seemed more open to the possibility than she had in previous interviews.
“I don’t think so,” Warren told People. “If there’s any lesson I’ve learned in the last five years, it’s don’t be so sure about what lies ahead. There are amazing doors that could open.”
Asked Saturday whether she had in fact opened the door to a 2016 bid, Warren said: “No. No!” as she ran down a flight of stairs to exit the building. She took no other questions from reporters.
Warren and Shaheen planned three Saturday rallies across the state for Shaheen – a morning stop at the University of New Hampshire, an event at a union hall in Concord and a rally in Keene, a Democratic stronghold in the state. The UNH event was far from crowded; about half of the room was empty, and older people with graying hair visibly outnumbered students.
That didn’t stop Warren from expressing excitement to be on a college campus – and in the state that happens to hold the first presidential primary.
“Wow, what better place to be!” Warren said.