10 Questions For U.S. Senate Candidate David Beasley
April 12, 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, 4th District Congressman Jim DeMint, and construction and development businesswoman Orly Benny Davis.
The fourth candidate featured in this series of exclusive interviews with the U.S. Senate candidates is former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley.
Candidate: David Beasley Marital Status: Married to his wife, Mary Wood, and has 4 children Age: 47 Career Achievement: Has received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the American Swiss Foundation Friendship Award Recipient and the Watchdog of the Taxpayers Award Political Experience: Served in the General Assembly for 14 years and Governor from 1995-1999.
10 Questions For David Beasley
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.
BEASLEY: This may be the most important election in our lifetime. Our national security, economic security and traditional values are under assault here at home and around the world. We need a Senator strong enough to stand up for South Carolina's working families and to do the right thing, regardless of the political consequences. That's what I'm prepared to do.
As a former Governor, I've been tested by tough fights. I've learned from my experiences. I know what it takes to create jobs and make our economy grow. And I'm willing to fight for the conservative values we share.
SC GOPUSA: What do you consider your strongest personal asset?
BEASLEY: Others are a better judge of that - but I strive to be a good dad, a good husband and a good friend. The quality of caring for others, I believe, is the greatest asset anyone can have who seeks public service. I want to make our nation safe, prosperous and true to its ideals for the sake of my family and for all the families of South Carolina. So, I hope the compassion that it takes to be a good public servant, the courage to do the right thing and the conservative values that inform my views are assets I bring to this campaign.
SC GOPUSA: What qualities make up the ideal U.S. Senator?
BEASLEY: My previous answer touches on this. I believe we need a Senator who has courage, compassion and strong conservative values. Unfortunately, many politicians today dodge issues, straddle the fence and care more about the next election than they do about the next generation. If my fellow Republicans give me the honor of carrying their banner to the United States Senate, I'll stand up for their values, protect their interests and do the right thing regardless of the political circumstances.
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?
BEASLEY: First of all, both Social Security and Medicare should be structured to keep all the promises that were made to our nation's seniors. No one now retired or near retirement should have to worry about any changes or reductions in benefits.
For the future, however, there are free-market reforms we can make to improve benefits and to improve the economic health of both Social Security and Medicare. Younger workers, for example, should be given the option of investing a portion of their payroll taxes in prudent, private investments geared for stable, long-term growth.
Such private investments in retirement and in health care would improve the benefits those taxpayers receive when they reach retirement age and reduce the financial pressure on the Social Security system. Then and only them will we have a government that empowers most Americans to improve the quality of their lives in their golden years and, at the same time, provides a safety net for those truly in need.
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?
BEASLEY: No nation that fails to protect its borders will long survive. And today, we are not getting the job done. We have a serious problem. Our borders are porous, and the law is not adequately enforced. In this age of terrorism, failure to control our borders is not only unwise, it is also extremely dangerous for the security of our homeland.
I agree with President Bush that we need an immigration policy that is more rational and fair. I look forward to working with the Bush Administration in its second term to achieve that goal. But I do not support any type of amnesty that rewards those who enter America illegally. Such policies send the wrong message. Tolerating illegal immigration is also an insult to all of those new Americans who worked so hard to become U.S. citizens the legal way.
The first principle of immigration policy should be clear: unless you enter this country legally you will not be allowed to enter at all.
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?
BEASLEY: First, we need to stand firm with our Commander-in-Chief. President Bush is doing a terrific job fighting the war against terror. He is going after terrorism at its source, before it has a chance to strike again on American soil. After 9-11, our President moved swiftly to track down those responsible, to seize the financial assets of terrorists and send a powerful message to all the organizations, countries, groups and fanatical sects of the world: if you engage in terrorism, finance or assist in terrorism or if you harbor terrorists, you will be regarded as an enemy of the United States and you will be brought to justice.
The invasion of Iraq was an eloquent expression of that message. One of the most brutal dictators in the world is now behind bars and the world is safer by far.
What truly saddens me is to see Democratic politicians, in en election year, attempting to undermine the nation's confidence in our Commander-in-Chief at time of war, when we have so many young people risking their lives to protect our freedoms. Nothing could be more unwise or more dangerous.
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?
BEASLEY: I'm not willing to assume that the Republican Party will fail to pick up enough votes. It only takes 60 Senators to confirm a presidential nominee. Also, even if we have less than 60 Republicans, surely we can persuade a few Democrats to place the future of their country ahead of partisan politics.
Thus far, however, liberal Democrats have blocked a number of excellent appointments by President Bush to the federal court system. Exploiting the power of "advise and consent" the Constitution gives to the Senate, leading Democrats in Washington have behaved shamefully, blocking the will of the majority, stalling and avoiding votes.
That's one reason why this election in South Carolina is so important. With a senior Democrat retiring, we now have a great opportunity to pick up another vote for the President's judicial candidates.
If I am that Senator, I will fight to confirm the judicial nominees the President sends us. If we do that, we can reverse the attack the federal courts have been waging for years against religion, marriage and traditional values in American life. Nothing is more important to the future of our nation.
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.
BEASLEY: The tax cuts proposed by President Bush and passed by the Republican Congress contain tax relief for all Americans. Without those tax cuts, the recession that began in the Clinton Administration would have been deeper and more disastrous for South Carolina.
To stimulate our economy and generate new jobs, it is absolutely essential for us to make those tax cuts permanent.
The President's economic stimulus package included more than income tax relief. It also included elimination of the death tax, which is scheduled to return at the full rate of 55% in 2011. We can't let that happen.
Eliminating the death tax, phasing out the dividend tax, lowering the capital gains tax and reducing marginal tax rates on individuals are all sound economic policies that allow Americans of all incomes to keep more of their hard-earned money at home. Those savings are then used to purchase goods, expand the economy and create new jobs for the future. Making the President's tax cuts permanent is a high priority for the next session of the Senate.
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?
BEASLEY: Throughout this campaign, I plan to face the same adversary I'm facing right now: Inez Tenenbaum and her liberal Democratic allies in Washington.
On the Republican side, we have better ideas, a better message and a vision more consistent with the values of South Carolina's taxpayers. I regard my opponent as Ms. Tenenbaum and the liberal platform her party represents, not any of the other Republicans in our primary.
The question now is: which one of our candidates is best qualified to win the battle of ideas with Ms. Tenenbaum? I hope--and I believe--my positive message will prevail. But don't expect me to attack the other Republicans in the race. You don't build yourself up by tearing others down.
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?
BEASLEY: Remember that I care, that I'm willing to stand up for the values of South Carolina's working families, that I've been tested by tough fights, learned from my experiences ... and that, as a Senator, I will do the right thing regardless of the political consequences.
For more info on David Beasley, visit his web site at www.beasleyforsenate.com.