Issa Wants To Shape 2016 Debate
CONCORD, New Hampshire--Raising eyebrows with a well-publicized trip to New Hampshire, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) says he is just trying to “shape” the 2016 debate.
“I want to be part of shaping the debate both for the Republican Party and quite candidly for our country and bringing some balance back to the role of the executive branch, Issa told Breitbart News, noting Rep. Paul Ryan (R - WI) would be in the state the following day.
The Granite state, a precious political trophy as the first presidential primary after the Iowa caucus, welcomed Issa as an oncoming blizzard made its way towards the northeast. Party faithful gathered at the Concord Courtyard Marriott eager to hear Issa’s message.
“Tonight, I came to hopefully shape the debate for 2016–not join it but shape it and I did so, because for the last five years, I’ve had the distinction and dubious honor of overseeing the administration that doesn’t do the fundamentals of government well but wants to grow government in new areas,” Issa said.
As chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Issa has led investigations into several Obama administration controversies ranging from the Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” gun walking scandal to the IRS’s alleged targeting of conservative organizations to the administration’s handling of the terrorist attack against the U.S. compound and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya.
The California Republican is in his last term as chair of Oversight. Unless he receives a waiver to continue in this position in the next Congress, he could end up seeking another chairmanship or perhaps a spot on the Republican leadership team.
“As long as President Obama is in office, I feel the job I'm doing is the most important job I can do and I intend to continue doing, but also shaping the debate from the lessons I learned on our committee. This is so with the lessons learned on our committee, the next president (Republican or Democrat) makes commitments to do what government is supposed to do well and not endlessly try to grow the power of the executive branch,” Issa told Breitbart News when asked if he was eyeing a position with House Republican leadership.
The Oversight Chairman, an admirer of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, focused most of his remarks on the Obama administration’s national security agenda, initially referencing former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who served under both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush.
“President George W. Bush, if you read Bob Gates' book, he realized every day he was dedicated to the men and women who wear the uniform and take risks for our country,” Issa said, noting that while Gates wrote that there were mistakes made during the Bush years, the Obama years became intolerable for the Defense Secretary.
“Continue reading and you’ll see that it wasn’t so good under President Obama. That this was somebody who truly didn’t respect an important part of what his presidential responsibility is. A president is in fact a commander in chief of our military and first and foremost and most explicitly has vast powers to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic. Those jobs are the jobs we need to get presidents focused on.”
Chairman Issa, who held the first public hearing with Benghazi whistleblower, State Department employee Greg Hicks, told attendees: “Benghazi is a reality of pretending Libya was a success from leading from behind. Benghazi, and the Cairo attack before that and many others going on today, including the terrible tragedy for the Syrian people and the people in that region, are the result of a fundamental obligation of the executive branch. Our vast array of consulates and embassies around the world were put there to support influence and commerce for the American people,” he said.
Issa said he wants to see more presidential candidates questioned about their stance on governmental abuse of power, telling Breitbart News, “Candidates for president have the tendency not to be forced to make a statement about government doing only what its supposed to do and not using and abusing power, and that should be part of the 2016 debate."
As Issa wrapped up his remarks, another request was announced to purchase raffle tickets as a means to fundraise for the local party. Attendees usually buy such tickets at political events by the twos or threes for a dollar to two dollars each.
Reminding the crowd the main purpose of his visit was to fundraise, Issa grabbed two big red wheels of red raffle tickets and walked back up to the podium where he just spoke for almost 30 minutes.
"This is the difference between Mitt Romney and a retail salesman,” said Issa as he urged each attendee to buy at least 20 raffle tickets. A crowd of Republicans gathered around him as each wheel of raffle tickets disappeared from his hands within ten minutes.