Bipartisan Brown

By Sarah Birnbaum

Jan. 27, 2012

scott brown sotu

President Barack Obama greets Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. and Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. after delivering his State of the Union address. (Evan Vucci/AP)

BOSTON — A new study from Congressional Quarterly has listed Scott Brown as the second most bipartisan senator in 2011 — following only Susan Collins of Maine.

The study says Brown voted with his own Republican party 54 percent of the time but with President Obama 70 percent of the time. 

Financial reform, gays in the military and the president's jobs bill are among the issues where Brown has broken ranks.

This political independence is one strategy appearing in Brown radio ads, which say things like “When I vote, I don’t worry about the party line.”

Brown was seen reaching out to President Obama after the State of the Union address. And in a recent campaign stop in Springfield, Mass., he talked of cooperation with Obama. 

“Obviously I work with the president on a whole host of issues. There are a lot of things I’ve been working on, things where we actually agree 100 percent," Brown said. "And I’m hopeful we can start to act like Americans first, and work through party challenges, and just get those things out the door.”

But Kevin Frank, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Democratic Party, said Brown is a conservative who just feints to the left once in a while:

“These numbers only tell half of the story," Frank said. "Sure, Senator Brown has been let off the hook to vote against his party on inconsequential votes that haven’t mattered, but when it’s come time to stand up for Massachusetts families, Senator Brown has consistently stood up for Wall Street and the big banks and not for us.” He pointed to Brown’s votes against bills that would have brought a total of 17,000 jobs to Massachusetts.

With Brown facing a tough re-election, his bipartisan appeal — and whether moderate voters embrace it — could make a difference in the outcome.

Brown's re-election kickoff video focuses on his independence: "I look at each issue on the merits... I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican."
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