Here’s more of what Senate candidate Tom Cotton (R-Ark), State Senator Mark Norris and Congressman Stephen Fincher had to say at the VIP reception at Saturday’s Lincoln Day Dinner.
Master of Ceremonies Jane Pierotti addressed a question to Tom Cotton. She wanted to know if our party is going wobbly on Obamacare.
“Obamacare is fundamentally broken because of the president’s exemptions,” he said. “We have to be measured about it because he’s still president. We can try to protect you from the harm. There are two things we can do. One, repeal the individual mandate. No. 2 is to lift the ceiling on full time work from 30 to 40 hours. But ultimately we’ll have to wait until 2017 when we have a Republican president before we can really do anything.”
She then asked Mark Norris: “What’s up with support for Common Core?”
“The challenge is that in Tennessee we’re 46th in education,” he said. “Many of the supporters who want standards have their hearts in the right places. It’s a mixed bag. We slowed the process down in the legislature this year. We need to see how these standards are being applied. We passed laws against data mining in Common Core. We made it obligatory to teach cursive writing in schools and we are seeing to it that they are teaching more civics.”
The topic of the GOP vs. the Tea Party then came up.
“The media likes to focus on us,” Cotton said. “But we recognize our diversity and we need to defeat the Democrats. Different parts of the country have different kinds of Republicanism. The Northeast, the Midwest may be less conservative, but they still are helpful Republicans. We might not get any seats in these areas if we cut them out.”
Fincher agreed. “What will change DC is more Republicans,” he said. “We especially need more Republicans in the Senate. That’s why Tom’s seat is so important.
“This is actually the most conservative House we’ve ever had,” Fincher added. “It’s the president who is doing the harm.”
Mark Norris was asked about redistricting.
“It’s working well,” Norris said, acknowledging RNC Committeeman John Ryder, sitting in the audience. Ryder was in charge of all the redistricting in 2010. “We put Humpty Dumpty back together again. It’s a good solid plan that allows us to vote our franchise. I expect this year we will pick up two more state Senate seats, bringing us from 26 to 28 out of 33 seats.”
Cotton then addressed the global warming issue.
“The left wing climate computer model is being used to make sweeping civil changes by people who want to change our capitalist system,” Cotton said. “Obama will fail at using EPA rules to shut us down if the GOP persists.”
Then Ms. Pierotti commented that “the regulatory apparatus in DC has become the fourth branch of government. How can we roll it back?”
“Obama will do all he can to bypass Congress,” Fincher replied. “The solution is as simple as having Mitch McConnell as leader in the Senate and having Tom Cotton in the Senate. You want to shut it down? Send Tom Cotton,” he reiterated. “It’s like Keystone (the pipeline). Everybody wants it but Obama is stopping it.”
Cotton added, “When the president goes over Congress, he is disrespecting you.” And Norris noted that the “dysfunction in DC is helping call attention to local issues.” He believes that can help state elections.
Tomorrow: Young people and the GOP, blacks and the GOP, immigration and Benghazi.