A New Hampshire Public Radio reporter asked former Sen. Scott Brown (R) this week about a controversial bill he co-sponsored while serving in his other home state of Massachusetts: it would have imposed a 24-hour abortion waiting period. What’s more, Brown’s bill would have required women to review information about fetal development before terminating an unwanted pregnancy.
The Republican candidate apparently can’t remember the proposal he used to support.
“I’m not familiar with the specific bill that you’re referring to,” Brown said in response to a question from Knoy about the Women’s Right To Know Act. “I’m not sure if it’s wrong, but I’ve voted on probably 8,000 bills give or take in my lifetime.”
That may be true, though the question wasn’t about a bill he voted on; it was in reference to a bill he co-sponsored. This requires a very different level of commitment, beyond casting a vote on an unfamiliar piece of legislation. Asked if he thought his bill sounds like “a good idea,” Brown dodged and said, “I’m not familiar with what you’re referring to.”
Benjy Sarlin added that the Massachusetts bill, which did not pass, shouldn’t be too obscure to the Republican candidate – Brown’s support for the so-called “Women’s Right To Know” bill was used against him repeatedly during his 2010 and 2012 U.S. Senate campaigns in a nearby state.
Of course, it’s certainly possible that Brown’s just forgetful. Maybe he doesn’t remember endorsing the legislation. Perhaps he no longer recalls being asked about the legislation during two of his statewide campaigns over the last four years.
But if so, is it safe to say Brown’s memory is just really bad? Consider recent history.
In May, for example, Brown blasted Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for having raised the debt ceiling and preventing U.S. default. He apparently forgot that he’d voted for the exact same measures at the exact same time, making his criticism appear pretty foolish, even for him.
Soon after, Brown suggested New Hampshire residents who gained health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act might be “grandfathered in” so they don’t lose their insurance. He apparently forgot that isn’t his actual position on health care policy, so it fell to an aide to remind the former senator that he disagrees with what he said.
In August, Brown condemned “in-state tuition for illegals,” apparently forgetting that he’d already voted for legislation to make undocumented immigrants eligible for in-state tuition rates in his previous home state.
Sure, some politicians are going to have better memories than others, but Brown’s forgetfulness is starting to look pretty bad.