Gail Huff Brown: From Newsroom to the Capitol
Seacoast Current invited each of the candidates in the Republican primary for a "live to tape" unedited interview lasting 10-15 minutes with Dan Alexander and SNHU Civic Scholar and founder of NH Political Capital Dean Spiliotes.
First Congressional District Republican candidate Gail Huff Brown believes she can win the primary despite a single digit standing in two polls.
Polls released by the NH Journal and The New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College make Matt Mowers the frontrunner among candidates. Karoline Leavitt places second, with Brown locked in essentially a third place tie with Rep. Tim Baxter.
"I have never trusted polls, to be honest. I have very mixed feelings about polls. The poll that counts for me is September 13, the day people go to the polls and they make their decision," Brown said during an interview with Seacoast Current.
She is depending on a TV ad campaign to get her message out in the final weeks of the campaign.
A Family of Familiar Faces
The longtime reporter with Boston's WCVB TV and wife of former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown said that she was inspired to get in the race by events upon her return from New Zealand. Scott Brown was the U.S. Ambassasor to New Zealand during the Trump administration.
"I came back to a very different America. It was actually the birth of my granddaughter and at the same time the withdrawal from Afghanistan that got me into the race," Huff Brown said. "I said 'You know what? I'm tired of complaining and I don't want to complain anymore. I want to do something about it. I want New Hampshire to have a voice. I do not believe Chris Pappas represents New Hampshire."
As the oldest person in the race at age 59, Huff Brown believes her experiences of owning a home in Rye for 30 years, putting her daughters through college, and going through the end of life with her parents and in-laws is what residents of the district want in the representative in Congress.
"I really do think that experience matters. I think you want someone in Washington who can really speak to what your issues are and what your problems are, and I just don't think we have that voice in Washington right now. I think I can be that voice," Huff Brown said.
Different Ideas to Fight Inflation
Huff Brown said she does not support the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which was approved in a vote along political lines by the House and Senate. If elected, she would propose a 5% across the board spending cut by event federal government agency, including defense.
"Every department has waste. Every department has fraud in it. We have departments with projects that were okayed years ago. Billions of dollars allocated for projects that never came through. Here we are allocating more money, more money, more money when we haven't even finished those projects or in many cases even permitted them," Huff Brown said. "We need to go back and do a review of all of that and recapture that money before we start taking about more money."
She was also critical of the name of the inflation bill that cover a number of issues. The bill signed by President Joe Biden provisions for inflation, climate change, prescription drug prices, and expanding the Afffordable Care Act through 2025.
"The bottom line is that we need to look at these issues separately. Let's look at green energy and let's look at that separately from health care costs and drug costs," Huff Brown said. "The reason they have to throw them in all together is it's the only way they can get the pork in."
While acknowledging that the Obamacare program is helping many people, Huff Brown said it is hurting the middle class.
"People like me who are spending so much on our healthcare insurance because I have to cover all sorts of things for individuals that I don't even support, like abortion that I don't even agree with, my money winds up covering that," Huff Brown said.
She would give businesses more leverage by allow insurance companies to cross state lines and remove severe federal government regulations preventing competition.
Help With Energy Costs and Saudi Arabia
Huff Brown said she supports a suspension of the federal gas tax, an idea put forth in a bill by Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan. However, Huff Brown said she has not read Hassan's bill.
"One thing I would never do is to say yes or no to supporting something if I haven't read the bill. I'll read the bill. I'll know what's in the bill. I will be transparent about that. Granite Staters will know what's in the bill because a lot of things wind up getting into bills we don't know about until it's too late.
Huff Brown does not see energy costs are a Republican-Democrat issue, and believes the country needs to get back to being energy independent.
"We were under President Trump. We were exporting. And now we're going to countries that frankly want to annihilate us and we're asking them for oil, and it doesn't make any sense," Huff Brown said.
She said there should be no negotiations with Saudi Arabia, and called the 2018 death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi "unforgivable." Huff Brown is also concerned about their handling of human rights and the treatment of women in their country and culture.
"That's a serious issue. When I was in New Zealand I was president of the Diplomatic Spouses and I worked a lot with the Saudi Arabian spouses. They can't even go places unless they get permission from their husbands. It's a culture that is very, very difficult, and we have to look at human rights, and I think Saudi Arabia has some work to do," Huff Brown said.
She would not say whether or not the U.S. should sell weapons to the Saudi's pending a discussion with military experts, something Huff Brown says Biden does not do.
"He pulled our troops out of Afghanistan and we left, we now find out, as many as a thousand Americans behind. His number one job is to protect Americans at home and abroad. That's what infuriated me. That's what triggered me to get into the race," Huff Brown said.
Support for Trump?
As one of three candidates in the primary with a direct connection to the Trump Administration, Huff Brown said she hasn't thought about a possible 2024 run.
"I voted for him in 2016. I voted for him in 2020. My husband I worked for four years in the Indo-Pacific every single day supporting the America First agenda and President Trump's agenda. My name is on the ballot in 2022, and that's what I'm looking at," Huff Brown said.
Huff Brown said that she will support whoever is the Republican candidate in the general election.
"This is not about me. In New England we have 33 federal delegates. 32 of them are from one party. There's one Republican. That's not balance. We need balance. I want to go to Washington to help bring some balance."