After deciding not to run for the Senate, former New Hampshire GOP Rep. Charles Bass called former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown to encourage him to run instead.
"I am not endorsing any other candidate at this point, but Scott Brown is the kind of candidate who brings an element of diversity to a party that's been basically obstructionist," Bass said in a phone interview with National Journal. "I think Scott Brown has shown he could win based on being a good independent voice that has America's best interest at heart."
According to Bass, Brown didn't make a decision on the phone.
"He didn't make any commitment one way or another. I told him this was not going to be a challenge I was taking on, and urged him to give the opportunity serious consideration," Bass said.
When Brown was asked about his interest Sunday during a "Fox News Sunday" appearance, he said: "With regard to my political future, listen, there's a role for me. This isn't about me, it's about ... letting people know who we are as a party and how we can move forward with a positive message to convince people how to vote for us."
Bass said that he believed that Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, whose popularity across the state is still high, could be beaten by the "right candidate at the time" – especially if an anti-Democratic wave emerged in the wake of the disastrous Obamacare rollout. He said he decided not to run because he wanted to pursue other opportunities in the private sector. Bass added he thought Republicans would be better off with a candidate with a fresher profile -- one without the baggage accrued from running 32 campaigns in the state throughout his career.
But he acknowledged the bench of prospective Republican Senate candidates in New Hampshire was thin, if Brown decided not to run. He noted Manchester mayor Ted Gatsas, who is up for re-election Tuesday, as a possible contender. "Jeanne Shaheen can be beaten by the right candidate at the right time," Bass said. "I'm not sure I'm the right candidate. A good candidate stepping up to address her positions on issues could have a very effective message."
Shaheen was one of the first Senate Democrats to distance herself from the rocky implementation of the president's health care law, calling for an extension of the Obamacare enrollment period. Shaheen won election in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote.
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