This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," February 18, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody, rejoined right now by Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts. This is his first national TV interview since becoming a senator.
CAVUTO: But very good to have you, and I apologize for our earlier problems, Senator.
SEN. SCOTT BROWN, R-MASS.: Oh, it’s OK. You — you adjust and adapt, Neil. It’s OK.
CAVUTO: All right. I think CNN was controlling our feed. I apologize for that.
CAVUTO: But, in all seriousness, Senator, this happens on a day we — we have this crazy plane crash in Austin, Texas. And we have a guy who is just ranting at the system, ranting at the IRS, ranting at big government, the need for health care — the — not the need for unions getting special care, I mean, really crazy stuff.
I would just be curious to your reaction to all that.
BROWN: Well, it’s certainly tragic, and I feel for the families, obviously, that are being affected by it.
And I don’t know if it’s related, but I can just sense, not only in my election but since being here in Washington, people are frustrated. They want transparency. They want their elected officials to be accountable and open and, you know, talk about the things that are affecting their daily lives.
So, I’m not sure if there’s a connection. I certainly hope not. But, you know, we need to do things better.
CAVUTO: You know, invariably, people are going to look at this type of incident, Senator, and say, well, that’s where some of this populist rage gets you. Isn’t that a bit extreme?
BROWN: Well, yes, of course it’s extreme. You don’t know anything about the individual. He could have had other issues.
Certainly, no one likes paying taxes, obviously. But the way we’re trying to deal with things, and have been in the past, at least until I got here, is there’s such a logjam in Washington, and people want us to do better. They want us to help solve the problems that are affecting Americans in a very real way.
And I think we -- I’m hopeful that we can do that, with a lot of the things that are coming forward. At least what I’m hearing through — in speaking with my colleagues, there seems to be a different feel. There’s, kind of, a message was sent with my election, the fact that I was, you know, pretty — elected by a substantial margin in taking the former Ted Kennedy seat.
They want — they want somebody different. They want differences up here, and I’m – I’m hopeful that’s going to happen.
CAVUTO: You know, both sides obviously want to work with you. I know Harry Reid talked to you over the weekend about, maybe, you could help him out on this jobs bill, this new jobs initiative.
CAVUTO: But it’s a mixed-blessing kind of a thing, because Joe Biden is criticizing you over the weekend.
How are you adapting just to that, you know, just the vagaries of Washington?
BROWN: Well, it’s no different. It’s just at a larger scale.
BROWN: I mean, I have been in elected office for almost 19 years, being a Republican in Massachusetts, five out of 40 in the — in the state senate.
Then, coming here, the vice president, you know, obviously, he took a swipe at me, saying that I didn’t understand that there were attorneys in military tribunals. Well, obviously, I do, because I’m one of them. I’m a military attorney, have been serving for 30 years, still serving.
He’s missing the point. He’s trying to shift it away from the administration’s I think mistake in not treating these people as enemy combatants, interrogating them pursuant to the applicable laws, and, then, instead of giving them thousand-dollar-an-hour attorneys at taxpayer expense, and giving them rights and privileges that they’re not entitled to, we should have them be represented by a captain, a major, lieutenant colonel, at taxpayer expense, in a military tribunal setting.
So, that’s the first thing.
The second thing, obviously, the majority leader did reach out to me and I was thankful for that. We are analyzing the bill. And, sometimes, I will be the 60th senator. Other times, I will be the 41st senator. And that’s the beauty of being in this position. And I’m looking forward to the challenges.
CAVUTO: Well, would you be voting for this $15 billion jobs bill, what you know of it thus far?
BROWN: Well, the first thing I’m going to look at — first of all, it went from, what, $87 billion down to $15 billion?
BROWN: So, there’s a strike that’s in the good column. Then I’m going to – we’re obviously analyzing it right now. We’ve had people come in and help me in some areas where I wasn’t totally familiar with.
But there’s some good — good parts to it, and there’s parts where I’m hopeful we can get an open and honest discussion about maybe amending certain parts to make it better.
There’s many different ideas out there, and my goal — and I’m hopeful that the leader’s goal and the minority leader’s goal is to get something that gets people back to work, because people are hurting. They want to work.
Americans are the hardest workers in the world, and they want to have the tools to do that. And there's a role for the federal government, but the federal government also needs to know when to get out of the way.
CAVUTO: Senator, the president established this debt commission today. What do you think of that?
BROWN: Is he going to tell us we're in debt?
BROWN: I mean, we already know we're in debt. We already know we're overspending. We've raised the debt ceiling to, what, almost $13 trillion at some point. And it's out of control. We need to get a handle on spending.
I have obviously been pushing, even during the election, for an across-the-board tax cut, looking at a payroll tax reduction to get the economy immediately jolted.