Republican 6th District congressional candidate Richard Tisei described incumbent Democrat John Tierney as a down-the-line party voter representing the big government that stands in the way of prosperity.
"I think I'm pretty reasonable," said Tisei, who lives in Wakefield and owns a real estate brokerage in Lynnfield. "We need to have a strong safety net."
In an hour-long meeting with the Times, he described himself as a "live-and-let-live Republican. I want the government off your back, out of your wallet and away from your bedroom."
"The federal government is standing in the way of helping people," he said,
In general terms, Tisei described the fishing industry as burdened by an irresponsible central state bureaucracy. "We need a top to bottom change at NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)."
Tisei said he has been "spending a lot of time brainstorming with Scott Brown," and proved it by echoing Brown's best punch line, when he said, "I cannot believe everyone has not been fired (at NOAA)."
But Tisei said Gloucester represents a broader model of a failed federal system, noting that the city's problems extend beyond mismanagement by NOAA to include an unfunded $60 million mandate of the Environmental Protection Agency for a modernized and expanded sewer treatment plant.
The National Republican Campaign Committee also considers Tisei very electable.
Politico, the D.C.-based web publication, reported last week that the committee has anointed Tisei as one of their 12 "young guns," making Tierney a priority target for the GOP, and all but guaranteeing a pipeline of national financing for Tisei.
Also, a poll leaked Tuesday by National Republican Party pollster John McLaughlin showed Tisei leading Tierney, 40 percent to 33 percent, with the rest undecided.