After four years serving as Ambassador to New Zealand, Scott Brown is back in the United States, to serve as the Dean of New England Law.
Brown accepted the job at New England Law in 2019, adding the title of Dean to Ambassador, U.S. Senator, and Colonel.
The former Massachusetts senator sat down with NBC10 Boston political reporter Alison King for his first TV interview since returning to the U.S., and the two discussed everything from his time in New Zealand to Donald Trump and the state of the Republican party.
Reflecting on his time serving as ambassador, Brown says, "Without a doubt it was one of the greatest honors that Gail and I have ever had."
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For Brown, it's been an adjustment coming back to the U.S. from a country where COVID-19 is all but nonexistent.
“The difference is that New Zealand immediately joined forces, unified, get it done and I thought we were a little bit lacking in that area,” Brown said of the response to the virus in America.
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But does Brown feel as though former President Donald Trump dropped the ball?
“You know, I wasn’t here. Respectfully," he said. "I just know that it’s different here.”
One of Trump‘s earliest supporters, Brown prefers not to discuss politics these days. He considers himself a diplomat -- happy to talk about the high points of living in New Zealand, where he had a staff at the fancy ambassador's residence.
Brown says he had a rock band and he used rock ‘n' roll diplomacy to make connections.
“When people walked through my gates to the residence, the American flag all over, I would say, 'By the way, you’re an American now, so let your hair down and get along and have some fun,'" he recalled.
There was also the serious part of his job -- enhancing business and trade, pushing back against China, specifically, Brown said.
“They are manipulating the currency, stealing intellectual property, over leveraging Pacific Island nations,” he said.
And there were also tragedies -- the terrorist attacks in Christchurch, and the volcano that erupted at White Island killing and severely burning American tourists.
“So it’s not all fun and games, I can tell you,” he said.
When asked, looking back, what he would like to be able to say he accomplished while there, Brown responded, "That I made a difference. That I was able to help a lot of young people.”
And while the vast majority of Trump-supporting Republicans don’t have many kind words about President Joe Biden, Brown has never been one to follow the pack.
As he gestured to a photo of Biden swearing him into office in 2010, Brown recalled how he has been to Biden's home and had a beer with him.
“I wish him well," he added. "Because if he does well, we do well.”
Brown does not seem as enthusiastic about weighing in on the former president, though.
Asked how he feels about the House impeachment managers case against Trump, Brown said, “ I think it’s important to comment on what happened on January 6. I thought it was outrageous... That being said, anything that the president would have done to incite that or be part of it, don’t agree with.”
As the first Republican official in New Hampshire to publicly endorse Trump, does Brown feel like Trump let him down at all?
“I wanted someone to go in there and be a change maker.... I wanted someone different... Are there things I disagreed with? Absolutely and I’ve already pointed them out publicly," Brown said.
Asked if he had anything bad to say about Trump, Brown wouldn't say, instead responding with, "It’s so irrelevant to what my job is here right now. I am all in here. And politics kind of disgusts me now,” he said.
Brown is a self-described moderate at a time when many moderate Republicans are criticizing and/or fleeing the party. So, has he ever considered leaving the party?
“I always felt our party is a big tent party. And there’s plenty of room for everybody with different ideas and thoughts," he said. "I do believe very strongly that a two party system or maybe a three party system is vital to our democracy.”
Does Brown have a message for Republicans?
“I have a message for all parties and all people," he said. "It’s just, can’t we all get along? I keep referring back to that Ronald Reagan/Tip O’Neill, Scott Brown/Elizabeth Warren.”
Brown is referring to the once contentious relationship he had with Sen. Elizabeth Warren following the loss of his U.S. Senate seat to her in 2013.
“We were kicking the crap out of each other pretty good...” he said.
But the two eventually worked out their differences, according to Brown.
“To the point where my first day in the office, she called me and said, 'Congratulations, good luck. Let me know what I can do to help,'" he recalled. "Now if Elizabeth Warren and I can get along, I think other people can get along, too. I hope that’s a pretty good lesson for people.”