Washington (CNSNews.com) – Scott Brown keeps pulling surprises. He was not on the agenda at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), but the new Republican senator from Massachusetts showed up, went on the stage, and was greeted by thunderous applause.
“My name is Scott Brown and I am the U.S. senator from Massachusetts,” he said as the audience cheered.
He spoke briefly, as he came to the event to introduce former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, who he credited for encouraging his own start in politics.
“The question that everyone has been asking me is, ‘Did I drive here in the truck?’ and yes, it’s right outside,” Brown told the crowd, referring to the pickup truck that became a symbol of his successful campaign to fill the seat vacated by the late Edward M. Kennedy.
Brown, who was a Massachusetts state senator, ran in an uphill campaign against the state’s attorney general, Martha Coakley – Brown was initially down by more than 30 points in pre-election polls. But on the Jan. 19 special election he won by a comfortable margin in one of the most liberal states in the country.
With his electoral win, Brown became the 41st Republican vote in the Senate, taking away the Democrats’
60-vote filibuster-proof majority. In Massachusetts, Brown had campaigned heavily against the Obama administration’s health care plan.
“I was called the sacrificial lamb, the longest of long shots with a one-in-a-million chance of winning this race,” Brown said. “Well, here I am in Washington, D.C., and we have absolutely changed politics in America.”
“For those who are interested in restoring the real checks and balances in Washington, and bringing accountability and transparency back to our government, here I am,” Brown said.
Organizers estimate that 12,000 people are attending this year’s CPAC, which runs through Saturday, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.