This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 21, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown burst on to the political scene back in 2010 when he was unexpectedly elected to fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. And now in a brand-new book, he details his life struggles and how they have helped shape him into the person that he is today.
And joining me now is the man himself. His book, "Against All Odds: My Life of Hardship, Fast Breaks, and Second Chances" is now in stores.
Senator, how are you? Welcome back to the program, I appreciate you being here.
SEN. SCOTT BROWN, R-MASS.: Great, Sean. Good to be on again. Thank you.
HANNITY: I read this book. I got to tell you, you grew up poor, broken family. I mean, really broken family. You talked about, "I remember the days when the largest thing we had in our refrigerator were milk and blocks of yellow government-issued cheese."
BROWN: Yes. Good old days.
HANNITY: Not exactly, right? Pretty tough.
BROWN: It was tough. But, you know, throughout all that, the one thing that my mom did instill on us is hard work. She usually had two or three jobs. And she was just battling to, not only battling, literally sometimes with her husbands, but also, you know, battling to keep a roof over our heads. And that really was conveyed to me.
HANNITY: And you even stole food, because you were hungry.
HANNITY: And you got busted when you were 14-years-old.
BROWN: Yes. I stole food. I was playing basketball and running around and was growing leaps and bounds at that point at a young age. I think at 12, I was 5'11, I would just grow, grow, grow like a sprout. And, yes, I was always hungry.
HANNITY: Well, I will get to that in a second, how basketball and a coach and a social studies teacher really saved your life. You, and this got a lot of news -- you revealed in the book that you were sexually abused by a 13-year-old kid when were you seven.
HANNITY: And when you were 14 and went away to a Christian camp, of all places.
BROWN: I was 10 actually.
HANNITY: You were 10 at that point, OK. And in the first case, you took a rock and hit the kid in the head.
HANNITY: How -- first of all, when you're writing this book and you're going through all of this, you know, it had to be tough to remember it all. I'm sure you tried to forget it. And why did you think it was important to put in the book?
BROWN: You don't forget at all. You don't forget. So no, it wasn't hard to recall.
HANNITY: I didn't mean it that way.
BROWN: What was difficult was obviously was bringing it public and talking about it. My family, my mom didn't know, my dad -- my wife had a sense that something was going on, just little things I did with the girls. "Hey girls, stranger danger, you know, you go to a camp and if anyone is touching you a little weird, just be aware, make sure you tell mom or dad. We won't be mad, you know, don't be embarrassed." Little things like that. So, after she read the book, she is like, oh, OK, I get it. It's allowed us to really talk things through, the same with my mom and dad. And my daughter Ayla just read it, she said, dad, I get it now, I understand why you are so protective.
HANNITY: One of your daughters, by the way, was on "American Idol," she has done very well for herself.
HANNITY: What -- as all of this was going on in your life you had some people when you finally got to 8th grade that really, because you had, how many men came into your life through your mother -- a lot?
BROWN: My mom and dad were married four times each. My mom is happily divorced. My dad is happily married. And yes, I had some good coaches and teachers who just took me under their wing and said, "Here, here is a basketball, here, you have a lot of potential, here." And they directed me, and quite frankly, but not for that, I probably wouldn't be -- definitely wouldn't be here talking to you. That's for sure.
HANNITY: But every relationship that your mom had when she brought men into the house seemed to become an abusive one.
BROWN: Yes. Two out of four were. My dad -- obviously my dad -- they were just too young. And after that, it was pretty intense.
HANNITY: And you say, you focused all your energy in basketball. You were angry all the time and that was your outlet.
BROWN: Yes, sports. You know, like I said, but not for that, it channeled me. I mean, I remember the coach saying, "Hey, Brown! Why don't you guys play like Brown?"
HANNITY: Because you were playing with intensity.
BROWN: "Brown, whatever you have, you keep it up. Why can't you guys be like Brown?" I'm like, what are you talking about? If they only knew.
HANNITY: Yes. Well, let's move on to politics a little bit here.
HANNITY: There are some members of the Tea Party that have gotten angry with you. And they've even used the term Benedict Brown. You mentioned the Tea Party, as far as I caught in the book that I was reading through most of it, is I think one time. And I think the Tea Party Movement feels, hey, wait a minute, we helped elect you. You know, why not give more praise to them.
BROWN: First of all, I do, I give great praise to not only the Tea Party but every other political party and individual group that helped me. It wasn't just one group. To think that is not really accurate.
HANNITY: You consider yourself a Tea Party member?
BROWN: No, I'm a Republican from Massachusetts. I'm not a Tea Party member. But, what is a Tea Party member, somebody is concerned about the fiscal and financial future of our country? That's me. They're concerned about the over taxation and over spending in our national security, that's me. So, I agree with what they stand for.
HANNITY: I'll give you the examples where people are mad at you, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," financial reform, START Treaty, and the jobs and highways bill.
BROWN: Well, the jobs and highways -- let's start with the jobs and highways bill. A $15 billion bill that could that, if it went through, and remember, we only had 41, I moved for cloture immediately because there was $100 billion of amendments. So, I look at it as I saved $100 billion. And it hit the parameters, did it increase taxes, increase the deficit, good for Massachusetts, good for the country, and create jobs. And it hit all those five parameters.
BROWN: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." I'm in the military, I'm still serving. I'm a lieutenant colonel. There are gays in the military, and when they come home injured or dead, I don't ask if they are gay or straight.
HANNITY: What about the military personnel or leaders that say this is not good for morale?
BROWN: All the leaders said -- and I spoke with every one of them, and I spoke over a thousand people. They said our concern is about the implementation during wartime, and I agree with that, and so do they.
And they are very cognizant of trying to do it during that period. So that issue obviously stands on its own merits. With regard to the finreg, as you know, that bill was about as big as this building and because I got involved we made it about as big as this table. When Congress gets done with this, it is going to be this big. And that was very important.
HANNITY: Here are the headlines. You've seen them. "Brown helps Democrats break GOP filibuster." "Scott Brown under pressure from left, votes for regulatory bill," I'm giving you the media. "HDH in Boston," "Scott Brown defends voting with Democrats." In that sense, "Harry Reid woos Scott Brown on jobs bill."
BROWN: You know, there is no wooing. Bottom line is --
HANNITY: He didn't woo you? He didn't court you? He didn't call you? He didn't meet with you?
BROWN: He asked me to look at the bill, which I would have done anyway. But if you look at each and every bill in an independent manner, I'm not sure what the mystery was. As I said, I went down there to be an independent voter and thinker.
I'm not going to be in lockstep with any particular party. I'm going to look at what is best for hitting those five parameters. And bottom line is we are in deep trouble right now, and we need people who are going to work to move our country forward and attack the very things that are holding us back.
I'm looking forward to tackling the debt and the deficit when we get back into session. As I said, when I went down there, $11.95 trillion, up to 14 -- over 14 trillion and rising. Absolutely no effort to reel in our spending and our debt and get our economy moving again. We spent very little time talking about jobs, and I'm going to continue to work to do that.
HANNITY: When we come back, I'll get your thoughts on President Obama and much more we will have with Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.
HANNITY: As we continue now with Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. His brand-new book, "Against All Odds" is in stores right now.
I consider myself a Reagan conservative. What that means, you know, a constitutionally principled limited government, more freedom, strong national defense conservative. You say you are a Scott Brown Republican.
BROWN: A Reagan Republican.
HANNITY: Are you a Reagan Republican?
BROWN: I absolutely feel very strongly about Ronald Reagan. I'm actually giving the keynote speech out at the Reagan library in a couple of nights per Mrs. Reagan's request. I have a lot of love and respect for President Reagan and what he did for our country.
HANNITY: Yes, all right, let me ask you. What do you think of President Obama?
BROWN: As I said it before, he's got a lot of challenges. You know, he's got a good heart and he has a couple of kids like I do. But in terms of tackling the very real fiscal issues that we're facing right now, I think he could do a lot better.
HANNITY: Did he -- did he punt, did he wimp out? Did he, you know, show a lack of leadership with, for example, his budget? Because it was only about a month ago he was talking about if we really want to deal with the budget, we have to deal with entitlement reform. He presents the budget and he doesn't deal with any of that.
BROWN: As you saw in the State of the Union, there was hopeful conversation about tackling a lot of things. So everyone was expecting them -- him to actually lead on those issues. I'm hopeful that through the numbers we now have in the House and the message we send with that budget, and then dealing with the opportunities facing with the CR and also some of the debt ceiling issues -- not only can we tackle those, but there will be some leadership when it deals with entitlements.
HANNITY: You say he faces big challenges, nobody disagrees with that. But this president by the end of this fiscal year will have accumulated nearly $5 trillion in new Obama debt. The stimulus has failed. The deficit has never been larger. If we project out, the deficit is even going to be higher.
BROWN: Listen, I don't support the budget in its present form.
HANNITY: No, I got it. But can you say that he failed? His economic policies--
BROWN: It is a work in progress. Certainly, we can all do better. I mean, we need leadership not only from the House, but from the president and the Senate. We need to come together.
HANNITY: Did he show leadership on that bill?
BROWN: On the budget? Listen, he could have done better. I think everybody knows that. You know, everybody is saying that he could have done better.
HANNITY: You seem -- I don't know. I'm trying to understand your reluctance --
BROWN: You're trying to have me hammer somebody, and where I can work with the president, I'm going to do it. It is not certainly productive for me as a senator to go out hammering anybody, whether they're Democrat or Republican.
HANNITY: How about just honest, truthful criticism?
BROWN: I've said right from the beginning that I'm disappointed in the budget and he should have shown leadership when it comes to working with entitlement reform and focusing on jobs and the economy.
I've been beating that drum for the last year. When they are talking about everything but the economy, I'm talking about jobs and moving our country forward.
HANNITY: Go back to when he said if we don't pass the stimulus, we face a catastrophe.
BROWN: I would have voted against that.
HANNITY: OK, fair enough.
BROWN: He hasn't create one new net job, that's been a failure, yes.
HANNITY: All right, health care passes, a brand new entitlement.
BROWN: They rammed it down our throats.
HANNITY: CBO says it going to lose 800,000 jobs, and the president, again, nearly $5 trillion in new debt. I think his economic plan has been a failure. And I'm just -- you say he has a tough job.
BROWN: It speaks for itself. I mean, we are in deep trouble. We have to work together collectively. It is not going to be one man. His leadership is critically important to send a message throughout the world that we are ready for business, that we are going to get our fiscal house in order.
I'm hopeful that he will do that. I know what I'm going to do. I'm talking about jobs. I've offered many alternatives to the spending that we are doing, paying for things with money in the system versus using the credit card.
Listen, I'm beating that drum and every other senator I know is beating that drum. We need some leadership from the majority party and the president to do the very same thing.
HANNITY: Are you happy the way he handled Egypt? Are you happy the way he's handling his foreign policy? Did you think he's given enough support to the dissident voices for example in Iran?
BROWN: Listen, I think that I'm very hopeful about what's happening over there, but I'm very concerned about obviously the way the protesters are being treated. I think everybody worldwide got caught off guard with what happened in Egypt.
I would have liked them to be on the same message, secretary of state, president, vice president, et cetera -- they weren't. With regard to Libya, and obviously what is happening in Iran, I'm hopeful they will continue to allow -- give the tools and resources to these people who want to seek freedom to in fact do so and be there behind them.
But we also need to make sure when we actually have a change that there's no void. We have groups like the Muslim Brotherhood come in. We need an orderly transition. Sometimes the United States needs to just step back and let these countries feel their way out and get some young rising stars in those countries to step forth and say, "You know what? I'll take it. I'll run with that mantle and let them go out and have a free and fair election."
HANNITY: Last question, as it relates to Wisconsin and the protesting, and the governor, Governor Walker's position about collective bargaining. Do you think the governor is right?
BROWN: I think the governor was elected to do a job and he's going to send his budget to the legislature so they can do their job. I encourage the senators to come back into the state and start tackling these very real issues realistically --
HANNITY: Do you agree with the governor? Do you think the governor is right?
BROWN: I agree that everything is on the table right now in this tough fiscal times.
HANNITY: Yes, but he's saying get rid of collective bargaining.
BROWN: I think he's the governor, and whatever he and the people of Wisconsin want, we should support.
HANNITY: You are ducking that question.
BROWN: Hey, listen. It's true. I'm not from Wisconsin. If I was there--
HANNITY: I got it, but -- it's a big union state in Massachusetts, right?
BROWN: It's a big union state and certainly there's a place for unions, but also there's a place to also come together to solve the real problems of each and every state. While everyone is tightening their belts, so do unions and other groups need to tighten their belts and contribute to the --
HANNITY: Senator, I'm glad under tremendous difficulties growing up, in that sense it is an inspiring story that people can overcome a very hard past. Thanks for being with us.
BROWN: It's great to see you, too.
HANNITY: All right, thanks.
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