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GOP’s Jim Rubens announces run for U.S. Senate, slams incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen

Last modified: 9/19/2013 12:21:59 AM
Republican Jim Rubens jumped into the race for the U.S. Senate yesterday and took some hard swings at the Democratic incumbent, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

“Our nation faces challenges more serious than at any time since World War II or the Great Depression. But blocking the path to solutions is career politician and party rubber-stamp Jeanne Shaheen, who is so wrong in so many ways,” said Rubens, 63, a former two-term state senator from Hanover, at a news conference in Concord.

He’s the first major Republican to enter New Hampshire’s 2014 Senate race. Former seven-term congressman Charlie Bass and conservative activist Karen Testerman have said they’re exploring runs against Shaheen, 66, a former three-term governor who was elected to the Senate in 2008.

Former U.S. senators Bob Smith and Scott Brown have also expressed interest in the race, though Smith now lives in Florida and Brown is a Massachusetts resident. Perennial candidate Andy Martin is also running.

Rubens, who ran for governor in 1998 after four years in the state Senate, has remained active in state politics in recent years as chairman of the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling. He announced at the end of May he was exploring a run against Shaheen, and made it official yesterday.

“I will not toe the party line when our state, our nation and our Constitution would be weakened. I will not get sucked in by business-as-usual politics. I will not be beholden to Beltway go-along-get-along that has dragged our nation deeper into debt and eroded our liberties,” he pledged. “I will always listen to, be accessible to and remain accountable to the people who live here in the state of New Hampshire.

Rubens spoke on Syria (he opposes a military strike), immigration (he opposes the reform bill passed by the Senate this year), gun control (he doesn’t support the proposal for expanded background checks that was defeated this spring in the Senate), health care reform (he says Obamacare should be repealed and replaced) and global warming (he says it’s a fact humans are causing it and has proposed a revenue-neutral carbon tax that he describes as a “pro-growth tax swap”).

He also focused fire on Shaheen.

“We cannot tolerate the damage caused by another six years of this career politician and party rubber-stamp. Our nation cannot survive more thousand-page bills that no one reads or understands until it’s too late,” Rubens said. “We cannot wait another six years to give this Senate seat to a person with the bravery, the energy and the independence to say, ‘hell, no’ to business as usual in Washington, a senator willing to face controversy, cut through gridlock and build support for solutions to our nation’s big, pressing challenges.”

Democrats welcomed Rubens to the campaign with some fire of their own.

New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein said in a statement that Rubens “simply doesn’t get it and doesn’t understand the challenges facing New Hampshire’s working families,” calling him “wrong for New Hampshire.” Shaheen’s campaign quickly emailed out a fundraising appeal to supporters.

Kirstein and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also highlighted a 2009 post on Rubens’s blog that appeared to link “the collapsing number of male jobs in the increasingly female-centric economy” with violent crime, school shootings and serial killings by men.

“Bottom line: the collaborative, flexible, amorphously-hierarchical American economy is shutting out ordinary men who were once the nation’s breadwinners in living-wage labor and manufacturing jobs. Because status success is more vital to the male psychology, males are falling over the edge in increasing numbers,” Rubens wrote on the blog.

The website was blocked yesterday from public access after it was publicized by the website BuzzFeed under the headline, “New Hampshire Senate Candidate: More Women In The Workplace Led To More Mass Shootings.”

Rubens dismissed it at yesterday’s news conference, telling a reporter, “Are you going to take this seriously? They use this ‘war on women’ playbook, okay. You’ve seen this the prior two elections. And if there’s a war on women in the United States of America, first of all, it’s Jeanne Shaheen’s Syria bombing war . . . which will kill, in collateral damage, innocent women and children. That’s a war on women. Number 2, Obamacare is creating a train wreck in the economy, here in New Hampshire, right now. . . . I call that a war on women.”

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)


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