10 Questions For U.S. Senate Candidate Jim DeMint
April 7, 2004
South Carolina GOPUSA Exclusive reprinted here by permission.
Each of the candidates running in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate on June 8th will be answering the following ten questions in a series of published interviews.
We have already heard from Charleston real estate developer Thomas Ravenel.
The second candidate featured in this series of exclusive interviews with the U.S. Senate candidates is U.S. Rep. Jim DeMint.
Candidate: Jim DeMint Marital Status: Married to his wife, Debbie, and has 4 children Age: 52 Career Achievement: Has earned the "Friend of the Taxpayer" award from Americans for Tax Reform, the "Spirit of Enterprise" award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and an A-rating from the National Rifle Association. Political Experience: 3-term 4th District U.S. Congressman
10 Questions For Jim DeMint
SC GOPUSA: Tell Republican voters in South Carolina why they should vote for you instead of the other excellent candidates running for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate.
DEMINT: Most politicians talk about problems and offer only vague and generic proposals. I believe that as an elected Congressman and a candidate for the U.S. Senate, I have a responsibility to not only describe the problem, but to offer real, specific solutions that will secure our jobs, our lives, and our values.
I have a consistent track record of results that demonstrates my commitment to the ideas I am promoting in my campaign. In Congress, I have fought to reform our tax code, limit frivolous suits, improve education, and reform Social Security and Medicare. Respected conservative organizations like Citizens Against Government Waste have recognized my commitment to responsible government and have endorse my candidacy to the U.S. Senate.
SC GOPUSA: What do you consider your strongest personal asset?
DEMINT: I'll trust the voters to be the judge of that. I believe a person's actions over a period of time speak louder than words. I do, however, trust that my record reflects the consistency of my positions and principles. I am not afraid to cast tough, principled votes that are not necessarily best for my political future or my party, but are best for America's future.
SC GOPUSA: What qualities make up the ideal U.S. Senator?
DEMINT: Courage. The Senate has a surplus of solutions, but a deficit of courage. Consistency and integrity are other critical traits.
SC GOPUSA: A recent report by the trustees of both Social Security and Medicare shockingly revealed these programs will completely run out of funds in 15 years. What options will you support to fix or replace these programs if you are elected to serve in the U.S. Senate?
DEMINT: The Trustees' Reports once again demonstrate the financial crisis that is quickly facing the American people. We must act now to address these problems. I have written my own legislation, H.R. 3177 the Social Security Savings Act, to provide American workers with the opportunity to have personal accounts, build substantial wealth, and still guarantee to that no worker will ever receive less than promised by the current system.
SC GOPUSA: On the issue of President George W. Bush's temporary worker program, do you agree with the president's decision to allow illegal aliens access to American jobs?
DEMINT: I appreciate the President's efforts to address the problem of illegal immigration and the threat it poses to homeland security. However, amnesty only encourages more illegal immigration, and is unfair to the immigrants who obeyed our laws and entered the United States legally. Instead, we must strengthen our border security and reform our immigration system to address the long waiting periods that also encourage illegal immigration.
SC GOPUSA: Undoubtedly, the issue of homeland security will continue to dominate our foreign policy for many years to come. What actions will you take as a U.S. Senator regarding the ongoing war on terrorism?
DEMINT: The best way to protect America is to stop terrorists before they can enter the United States. This requires using all the tools of foreign policy - military action against terrorists, their bases of operation, and governments that support these groups; diplomatic efforts to uncover the financial networks that fund terrorism; and public diplomacy to promote freedom, democracy, and free enterprise.
SC GOPUSA: Senate Democrats have literally hijacked the judicial nomination process ever since Bush became president in 2000. Assuming the Republican Party does not pick up enough seats to overcome the threat of a filibuster from the Democrats, what will you do to stop the obstructionism?
DEMINT: Too often, partisan politics hinders the ability of government to perform its most basic duties, like appointing judges. In the U.S. Senate, I would exert all the pressure I can through the media and legitimate procedural maneuvers to ensure that nominees receive an up or down vote. We have a responsibility as lawmakers to appoint judges who respect the Constitution.
SC GOPUSA: Demonstrate to voters who may believe the Bush tax cuts are only "for the rich" and have cost American jobs how they will see real tax relief and steady job growth if you are elected to the U.S. Senate.
DEMINT: The facts demonstrate that the Bush tax cuts have benefited all Americans. Today, more Americans than ever own their homes, more businesses are investing, manufacturing productivity is increases and economic growth in the second half of 2003 was the highest in almost 20 years. Most importantly, more than 750,000 jobs have been added in the last six months.
The President's policies are helping to put the economy on a path to sustained growth and job creation. Unfortunately, that progress is threatened. In 2011, the tax rate relief, new 10-percent tax bracket, death tax repeal, marriage penalty relief, and all the remaining tax relief enacted over the past three years will sunset, resulting in tax increases for every American man or woman who pays income taxes. My plan is to work to permanently extend the President's tax relief measures.
SC GOPUSA: If you are one of the top two candidates after the June 11th primary, who will you be facing in the runoff election and why?
DEMINT: I don't know, but I have no doubt it will be a formidable candidate. I'm more concerned with running for positive ideas and solutions than against a personality.
SC GOPUSA: Imagine this is your final opportunity to speak to Republican voters before they cast their ballots in the Republican primary. What do you want them to remember about you more than anything else?
DEMINT: South Carolina has an opportunity to elect a leader with new ideas and solutions for the future. This race is about old ideas vs. new ideas and the problems of the past vs. the solutions for the future. What I pledge to bring to the Senate are not only solutions, but the courage to enact those solutions.
For more info on Jim DeMint, visit his web site at www.jimdemint.com.