Our previous coverage of Congressman Roy Blunt (r) at Missouri Boys State on Saturday, June 13, 2009:
….Question: …I was wondering how you feel about the huge shift, the political left in the two thousand eight election and what you think about how the Republican Party is gonna, uh, react to that in the two thousand ten election.
Congressman Roy Blunt: Well, I, I’m running for the Senate as a Republican in two thousand ten so I obviously must have some optimism about that. [laughter] I think in, uh, I think in two thousand and eight, you know, with the war, other things had, had led the, the, the, to the level of dissatisfaction. Uh, interestingly if you start in two thousand and eight you wouldn’t have thought that Iraq would not be an issue by the end of that year. That the surge would have such results that really nobody was talking about Iraq in, in a way they were, uh, in January by the time you got to November. Uh, but I, I think people are now looking at change, this idea of change, you know, when, when a candidate runs for public office and promises change, who’s not for that? You know, and if somebody at your school said we’re gonna change the school , and that’s all, the only information you have, and you’re allowed to decide that it’s gonna change exactly how you want it to change, you’re, you’re really inclined for that to happen. Almost nobody is totally satisfied by the way things are. That’s, that’s the way we were made, we were made to want to change things. But I think people are seeing that the specifics of that change, whether it’s healthcare, or energy, or tax policy, or, or, or, or our, or our policy related to other countries in the world, I think there’s gonna be a desire, as I told, as I answered the first question…asked, I think it’s gonna be a desire to get more balance back into the system. I think this is an opportunity for my side, uh, to talk about, uh, the principles of, that are, that are foundational to the side of our debate and our country to believe that government should be the last resort rather than the first resort. I think people are gonna be pretty uncomfortable within a couple of years with the idea that the federal government now owns car companies and has somebody that decides how much money people make, the so called pay czar who was announced this week. So, I, I think that there’s gonna be a, one of the wonderful things about our system is its ability to recalibrate. It’s ability to get back to where the system itself begins to control itself. And every time the system, in the history of the country, has swung too far one way the American voters come right back in and usually pretty quickly and say, “Wait a minute. You know, I’m not, uh, I, I’m not totally unhappy with the way things are going in Washington, but I don’t want just one side to be able to do whatever they want to do.” And then there’ll be another group that says, “I am totally unhappy, uh, with the way things are going in Washington.” And, and of course, they’re, they weigh in and, in a way that shifts things, shifts things back, uh, to the middle as well.
Congressman Roy Blunt at Missouri Boys State in Warrensburg on the campus of the University of Central Missouri on June 13, 2009.
…Question: …How, how do you manage to balance national affairs and along with state issues as, you know, the congressman [garbled][inaudible].
Congressman Blunt: You know, one, I , I’ve had, my view of that is a little bit different than a lot of people’s I think. When I went to Washington I’d been a statewide elected official for, uh, several years, elected twice as secretary of state. And, and my view was, it, it’s particularly easy for me to start meddling in things in Jefferson City that aren’t necessarily gonna benefit by, uh, by my distraction in that direction. So I, I’ve sort of had, I’ve had a principal that look, until we get all the problems solved in Washington I’m. I’m gonna do my best to not give much advice to what, what needs to happen in Jefferson City. And when my son Matt became governor that became an even better position for me to take. You know, I could spend all my time talking about things that are not my responsibility or I could spend my time trying to do things that are my, are my responsibility. And so I, I, I’m still on the, I’m still in the mindset until we get all the problems solved in Washington then I’m not gonna get very involved giving my friends advice in Jefferson City about how they can do a better job. That doesn’t mean I don’t talk to them about what we need to do in Washington that helps them do their jobs. It just means that I try my best not to get into discussions that are going on day to day in the Missouri General Assembly. I don’t work there, I’m not elected and I’m not elected to work there, uh, it, it, it would be a distraction of, of all kinds if I got too involved there. But I really do believe that in our system when you, uh, encourage the states to try to, when you give the states more freedom, uh, then, if it works, that, you know, again, back to my comment about Jefferson, in, in this system the states can uniquely be laboratories for change and we ought to encourage that rather than try to create federal straitjackets where you couldn’t have change.
Okay, over here.
Question: …How do you think that we can stop this radical movement of nationalizing more and more businesses?
Congressman Blunt: Well, nationalizing businesses, I, I, you know, look at the polls on this. And I’m sure the White House is, is hopefully looking at these polls. People are very dissatisfied with this. Uh, that the, you know, the idea that the American taxpayers would somehow own sixty or seventy per cent of General Motors a year ago would have, I think, been unthinkable. Uh, and we have rapidly, much too rapidly gone this direction. Uh, we got started down that road to, in, in the, under the other administration, not in running the businesses, but thinking that things were too big to fail. Uh, and maybe, if the government has an obligation here it’s to, it’s again to organize the marketplace, back to that principle, organize the marketplace so that things can’t get too big to fail, rather than let things get so big that then you have to go in and use taxpayer’s money and the, the focus of the government and the resources of the government, uh, to be running a car company, and they say they’re not running a car company but the President announced where the headquarters was gonna be. And Barney Frank, uh, got, uh, they planned, uh, to, to close a distribution facility in his district. He complained and they changed their mind on that. We don’t have any business running a car company. Uh, we don’t have any business with the government takeover of healthcare. Uh, and, uh, we’ve gotta get back to figure out how the government serves its responsibility of seeing that the marketplace works rather than constantly trying to get in and run the marketplace. We ought to work hard to be sure that we create markets. One of the things our government’s done since the antitrust act is when people are gonna buy, you know, when companies are gonna buy, uh, another company, uh, if, if you get down to where there’s not much competition the government actually, for almost a hundred years now, has had to at some point say, okay we still think this allows the marketplace to function. Well if we’d really done that effectively these companies wouldn’t be too big to fail. There’d be some other competitor out there that could c
ome in and, and take their place. And that’s what we ought to be working on. Okay?
Question:…If you’re elected to the Senate, um, you already said that you’re gonna fight, uh, large spending in government. What, what other major issues would you fight? [crosstalk]
Congressman Blunt: Well, you know, I’m defending the country. I’m on the, I’m on the Intelligence Committee and that doesn’t mean that there are only like enough, a few people that are intelligent, it, it.[laughter] The Intelligence Committee is a, there may not be that many people that are all that intelligent [laughter], the Intelligence Committee is where, you know, we really do have a few people in the Congress are on a committee, its job is to monitor the executive branch activity of the CIA and now the, uh, the National Security Administration and other places, uh, to be sure that, uh, that, that the Congress is appropriately doing its job, uh, to work to, to watch the executive, to have oversight to be sure that we’re defending the country in an adequate way. Yeah, strengthening the economy and defending the country, uh, are, are clearly, or strengthening the marketplace and defending the country are clearly two priorities that if the Congress would, uh, the House and Senate would focus on that and the federal government focused on that a lot of other problems would solve themself. The marketplace works, if you’d insure you had one. The world is a dangerous place. We have enemies in the world. Why do we have enemies in the world? One of the reasons we have enemies in the world today in, in this movement toward a radical view of, of the world and, uh, in the radical, most radical of, in Islam is that we’re so diverse. And if you watch what Osama bin Laden and people like him that have talked about for decades now, their point of view is that everybody has to be the same. You have to dress the same way, you have to pray to the same God at the same time, everybody’s relationship in their house, husband-wife, father-children, mother-children, children to each other, it has to be exactly the same as the house next door. Well, this room, if, if you knew all you need to know about this room you’d know that unlike any country in the world, uh, we prove that that’s not true. And if we’re as strong as we appear to be there, there’s something wrong here in their daily diatribe about how everybody has to be the same. And so either they have, they have to also every day say the United States is not a, who, as strong as it appears to be. Uh, the exact quote in, uh, in, from Osama bin Laden would be that the America was a weak horse, not a strong horse. And they say every day things like if you push the Americans just a little bit they will crumble before your eyes because they’re not who they appear to be. ‘Cause if they’re who they appear to be we must, the, the other side must be wrong. Because we, we, we disprove that theory of how a society has to be every single day. And we disprove it like nobody else disproves it. That’s why we’re the number one target of that kind of radical point of view in the world. It’s not that, uh, we’ve looked to be the target. And it’s not that, uh, that we have worked to be the target. It’s just who we are disproves who, the way they say the world has to be. And so that’s made us a target. So, securing the world, uh, securing the country in a dangerous world and working for opportunity for you, uh, and everybody else in this country, particularly for rising Americans, uh, as you enter the world of competition and work, you need to have the same kind of opportunities, uh, that your, your parents generation had and their parents generation had and I’ve had….
Part three will conclude this series.