Going without these platform commitments from those we support is why they never come to pass – and never will.
A debate is taking place with many Republican voters concerning my recent conditional endorsement of Dino Rossi. Rumors abound as to my intentions and objectives. I am receiving both applause and consternation. Therefore, an explanation is in order.
I want Patty Murray to lose in November as much as any Republican. That is exactly why I have chosen the course I have in making a conditional endorsement. I ask that you read all I write in order to more fully understand my heart and my thinking.
Those more heavily involved in Republican Party politics know there are two camps within the GOP. One camp is more concerned with fiscal issues, while the other believes in both social and fiscal causes. Yet, the one common denominator for both camps is our inherent belief in limited government. I have never witnessed an argument over that. It is the one tie that binds all of us together as Republicans.
We know that the ideal of limited government is rooted in our founders’ belief in individual liberty – which was the very reason for the birth of the GOP in the first place. Yet, every time Republicans have been in control in recent decades, they’ve abandoned these ideals and left us with bigger government than Democrats. Why is that? In order to facilitate these causes, nearly all state and national GOP platforms have as their major planks these three things: lower taxes, reduced government spending and acknowledgment of the sanctity of life. These are the only paths to achieving limited government and guarding individual liberty. Without honoring them as a party, we are wasting our time.
I placed a phone call to Dino Rossi the night before my press conference offering him my endorsement upon his agreement to make a public commitment to honor the following platform planks. I asked that, if elected to the United States Senate in November, he would:
- Pledge to never vote for new or increases in existing taxes.
- Pledge to never vote for any bill that causes a net increase in federal spending.
- Pledge to introduce Dr. Paul’s “Sanctity of Life” bill in the Senate (Since Dino says he is pro-life)
He refused. Sensing Rossi’s reluctance to a public commitment, I even offered to accept his private verbal commitment to me alone – believing I could then feel good enough to endorse. He still refused. The phone call ended there.
I did not ask for a commitment to reducing taxes and spending. All I asked for is a pledge to not let either grow beyond where they stand now. This only stops the train. Make no mistake, just stopping the train, or “holding the line” – a favorite statement of establishment Republicans – will not eliminate the pending bankruptcy and economic collapse we now face as a nation.
Many times on the campaign trail I’ve said it’s time for all Republicans to be honest with each other and admit that when we’ve held the reins of power we often did much the same as the Democrats. Under the Bush presidency and a Republican controlled congress, we saw the largest growth of spending in federal government and the biggest loss of personal freedom in our history.
Even with the Bush tax cuts still in place, we will be seeing tax increases to pay for the monstrous deficits that are the result of a Republican congress. This is why Republicans were thoroughly thrown out of office in 2008. We must open our eyes.
The election of President Obama and the Democrat congress was not an endorsement or mandate for change being promoted by the mainstream press as much as it was an indictment on a GOP establishment that has lost its soul. As one man said to me “With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?” This was the sole reason why I decided to run for the U.S. Senate.
I knew then I was not only running against socialist Democrats who push for more government and less freedom, but also against the kinds of establishment Republicans who aid and abet them in their quest. I talked to other Republican candidates from around the country who made decisions to run for the same reasons.
When Dino Rossi came into the race so late, I had a choice to make. I had to decide which kind of Republican he was. It became clear to me from both his record in the State Senate, his various remarks on the campaign trail, those who he surrounds himself with, and by those who recruited and supported him that he is very likely the same as those in the GOP who have previously run the ship aground. Could I be wrong? Maybe. But if he sincerely believes in the above three tenets of the Republican Party, is what I’m asking really too much of a stretch?
There is a reason why so many Tea Party type groups are rising up, and the GOP better start paying attention or it will cease to be a factor altogether. Likewise, until the faithful GOP party workers begin demanding more for their efforts and support and until they see real commitments from those who wish to govern them, we will stay the same course where it’s hard to tell the difference between the two major parties. Meanwhile, our wealth and freedoms continue to slip away.
I am a Republican. And I vow to follow the platform that “we the people” put together. All I am asking of Dino Rossi is that he makes a pledge to do the same. All Republicans should be asking the same. His pledge is our assurance that he will not be one of those Republicans who sells us out in the middle of the night to more and bigger government.
To all those who are saying I owe Mr. Rossi an open endorsement I say: it’s time to ask Dino Rossi – or any Republican – to either honor these simple platform planks or get out of the way for those who will. Dino Rossi’s statement following my press conference stated that he does not answer to anyone outside of his campaign. I beg to differ. All Republican candidates owe those they wish to represent – the voters – a commitment to, at the very least, live by the primary tenets of the party platform.
The chant most heard on the campaign trail from those who are blinded by their fear of Patty Murray this year was “Anybody but Patty.” It seems to me that a fear just as great as re-electing Patty Murray is electing a Republican who will simply take us down the same road we’ve just been; the one our grand kids will be paying for.
That’s not good enough. Too many true conservative voters are now waking up and are no longer buying the mantra. We realize that an election “win” is not worth it if you have to compromise or sell out your principles to get it. We now see that having an “R” after your name does not guarantee a conservative vote – just look at Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Scott Brown.
As William Wallace told the Scottish Nobles when they were questioning the possibility of victory in their battle against tyranny, “You’re so busy squabbling over the scraps from Longshanks table that you’ve missed your God-given right to something much better.”
We are losing this country because too many politicians talk the walk, but don’t walk the talk. We are losing because too many politicians infer their intentions in cloudy rhetoric but refuse to make commitments, leaving the electorate assuming things that aren’t true.
Those who fly under the Republican banner owe the party faithful the courtesy of living up to the principle tenets of our platform. If you tell me that my tax and spend pledges are unrealistic – I will ask you – then what is the point? Is what we’re getting without them realistic? Going without these platform commitments from those we support is why they never come to pass – and never will.
If I give Dino Rossi an open endorsement then those who strongly supported me will question my own commitment to these ideals, wondering how I can endorse someone who didn’t offer the same. After all, this was my sole message and reason for being a candidate. So, I have an obligation to both Dino Rossi and those who supported me to not throw either under the bus. I ran for Senate making all three of these same commitments I am asking Dino Rossi to do now. Only then can Republicans really win.
With Dino’s pledge I will then pledge also to stand with him at the unity function the Party is asking for to bring the two camps together. I will fully endorse him and ask all of those who supported me to give him their trust. I pledge now to Dino that I will then spend my own time and money to travel this state in support of his candidacy.
One final note: I never asked Dino, anyone associated with his campaign – or the Republican Party – to help pay off my campaign debt as some have falsely stated. This topic was never discussed. I will pay my own debt. I do not want to owe the GOP risking that such a debt might jeopardize my actions.
These are times like no other in America – we can all feel it. We can’t continue making the same mistakes. Unless we make some serious course corrections now this country is going to fail.