Their big government agenda is so unpopular, Democrats are working to keep it hidden from the American people heading into election day, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said in an interview Thursday.
“The status quo is what they [the Democrats] want,” Lee said in an interview in which he endorsed Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus’ “Principles For American Renewal.” Lee said:
The status quo that they helped create is exactly what they want, and this presents a real challenge for them because much of that status quo is really unpopular. They don’t necessarily want to talk about it, so they change the subject to something else–like the ‘Koch Brothers’ or something like that. You don’t see them coming forward with a permanent agenda in part because the agenda they want is a big government agenda that they’ve in part created over the years. They want that to remain intact and so they want to just coast through and get re-elected because they’re already there–but it’s not working because the American people expect more, they are demanding more, they deserve better than this and one of the reasons why I think the Democrats are going to lose is because they haven’t offered anything that’s new or appealing to the American people, or that’s going to help real Americans with real problems improve their lives.
Lee said it’s the Republicans, including Priebus and candidates nationwide, who are backing solutions to help struggling Americans economically and to secure Americans from terrorism and other threats.
“That’s what people are wanting right now, it’s what they’re starving for–and it’s what Republicans are offering, and that’s what Chairman Reince Priebus laid out this morning,” Lee said.
Meanwhile, the Democrats, Lee said, don’t have any ideas or solutions. He continued:
We have a broad agenda for how we should address some of our economic and national security problems, while the Democrats sort of just run on their own failed record, which includes things like high unemployment and significant debt. The choice couldn’t be more clear, as Chairman Priebus explained this morning, and it’s up to the American people to decide which course we take. I really like how Chairman Priebus outlined some of the main issues we need to be focused on, and also how he emphasized not just what we’re against but also what we’re for.
Priebus, on Thursday morning, laid out 11 GOP principles he said Republicans will support if elected, aimed at uniting the party on issues ranging from immigration to budget to spending to debt to healthcare and more ahead of November’s midterm elections. Much of what Priebus advocated appeals to the conservative wing of the party, and Lee said part of the reason he’s endorsing Priebus’ principles is because he said they are a sign that the GOP is moving in the direction he and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other conservatives have been pushing. Lee went on:
I think it is [a sign the party is moving in Lee’s and Cruz’s direction]–and it will continue to happen as we get better at explaining why we’re conservative and why the conservative message works, why conservative policies are desirable. A lot of that has to do with economic opportunity, with mobility, with the fact that this is unique among countries where someone can be born into poverty and retire comfortably. We want it always to be that way, but the best way to ensure that is to focus on conservative policies.
Over the last four weeks until election day, Lee said Republicans will focus on America’s national security and economic concerns. Lee said:
I think you’ll continue to hear Republicans talking about a lot of things really important to people around the country, including by and large that the American people don’t think that the president should be allowed to write law by himself–or should be allowed to grant amnesty by himself just with the stroke of a presidential pen. National security concerns are going to continue to be prominent and those concerns have skyrocketed in recent weeks–from ISIS to homegrown terrorism to securing the border. Americans believe that President Obama is watering them down, and Republicans have a moral obligation to lead and keep the country safe–and I think you will continue to see a lot of those messages echoed by Republicans in the coming weeks.
The House GOP majority, political experts nearly universally agree, isn’t in jeopardy in November–so the elections that matter this midterm will determine whether the GOP takes control of the U.S. Senate or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democrats maintain the majority. Lee added:
I think we need to send a message loudly and clearly: There is a big difference between Republicans and Democrats. So if you’re a Republican who is not happy that your first choice is not on the ballot, that is if you’re someone who supported someone else in the primary other than someone who won in one state or another, it’s very very important to remember there’s a fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats.
Lee said that GOP control versus Democrat control would be like night and day:
In a Republican-controlled Senate, we’d have votes. We’d have an amendment process. Senators like to refer to the Senate as ‘the world’s greatest deliberative body.’ It has ceased to operate as such under Democratic control. It has instead been a place where the only amendments allowed to be considered are those that the Majority Leader wants to consider. That’s not how it’s supposed to function. It’s ground our amendment process and with it our entire legislative process to a halt. That by itself is important–it’d be a change we’d see overnight.
Lee added that there would actually be hearings designed to hold the administration accountable, unlike what’s happened under Reid’s Senate. He explained:
Oversight hearings will themselves be very, very helpful in holding the executive branch accountable. One thing that goes along with that that would come with a Republican-controlled Senate would be a budget with itemized appropriations bills being passed. When you have that–it’s sort of the other side of oversight. It’s not just the inquiry about what happened in various executive branch agencies but it also brings Congress a greater degree of control over executive branch agencies that are abusing their power. They can see their funding slashed if we have an effective appropriations process underway.