By the end of November 6th, Utahns will have cast their votes. A new representative will be going to Washington, D.C., to speak for our state before the federal government. And, most likely, that person is going to be either Jenny Wilson or Mitt Romney.
With only days left to cast your vote in the midterm election, KSL Newsradio invited Romney and Wilson to come on the Dave & Dujanovic show and answer our listener’s questions.
Our listeners were encouraged to call or text in with any questions they might have, with nothing off-limits, so you could hear the major candidates for U.S. Senator’s unfiltered answers.
Here’s what you asked – and what Romney and Wilson had to say.
Will you sponsor a bill, when elected, for term limits?
I do think it makes sense to have term limits. I think it’s unlikely that the people who are elected to Congress would vote themselves out, so I think it’s very unlikely that you’re going to get a bill passed that would call for term limits.
I think it’s also a near-certainty that you would require a constitutional amendment, because the constitution sets the terms, if you will, for people in office. We provided a term limit to the President of the United States, but that was by constitutional amendment. It’s going to take an amendment, and that’s not likely to happen, but I certainly support the effort to have term limits.
In the interim, I can tell you, I’m not going to serve as long as Sen. Hatch did. I appreciate his service, but my age will limit me out.
… I can tell you, I don’t want to use what little political capital I will have as the Junior Senator from Utah, if I’m elected, to try and get across the goal line something which stands almost no chance of being passed.
I’m almost to the point to say: “Yeah, I would introduce that bill.”
I have a little bit of a caveat, because I don’t think term limits are the end-all be-all, but I think trying to work on some systems of reform within congress itself is very, very key, and I do think people are serving too long.
You look at the very, very long years of service by Sen. Hatch — and I appreciate that he was a very committed senator, and I don’t oppose everything he ever did — but he shouldn’t have served as long as he did.
There are others who have a voice in the community. I really do think we need a new generation of leaders, people who understand their communities.
I’m taking a hard look at how term limits fit into a larger package, and I think I’m almost ready to say: “Yeah, I think it’s time.”
What will be your signature accomplishments if elected?
Romney gave this answer as part of his answer to the previous question about term limits.
I want to focus on those things that I think are critical that can get done.
Like, number one, finally reigning in our excessive spending and getting to a balanced budget; and, number two, reforming our immigration system to make legal immigration more transparent and to stop illegal immigration; and, number three, getting the federal government out of our hair and getting programs and policies back to the state, where the states belong in the driver’s seat with regards to these policies that the federal government has, in many cases, taken over.
Great question. Of course, I care quite a bit about reforming immigration and health care, but I really believe that until we bring about reform – and real reform for the Senate – we’re stuck. I think the Senate’s become an old boys’ club, and we need change.
I think the seniority system is a challenge. I think — I look at the fact that there was no dialogue around two incredibly important initiatives: one was the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the other being the tax bill, and I think we have to get back to Congress working again.
I reformed how we operate certain elements of Salt Lake County when I was elected.
I want to go in with an olive branch to the other side of the aisle, working within the Utah delegation but trying to find some allies to say: “Hey, where and how can we change the system where we become, at the federal level, responding to people on the ground’s needs and working together again?”
So, reform and where and how we can do that — I think it has to be a priority.
What will you do, as an elected official, to make yourself accountable to the people and the promises that have been made?
The first thing I can do is make sure that, during the next six years, or beyond that, if I were to get elected and re-elected, that I have regular interaction with the people of Utah both online and in-person.
So, I will have town meetings, and they will be in different parts of the state so I can hear back from constituents, and, at the same time, report to the people of Utah what I’ve been doing, what I’m encountering, and give people a real view about what’s happening in Washington.
And then, of course, the ultimate chance for people to decide whether or not they think I’ve done a good job is to decide whether to re-elect me or not. So, accountability is real in our political system and I intend to honor that provision and that effort.
This one’s easy for me, because I enjoy visiting the counties that I’ve been to. As a senator, I would be on the ground as often as I can be. I have already signed a pledge to be in every county in 2019 so we can start the framework county-by-county and really figure out how each county can benefit from the federal government again.
I’ve worked on things like payment in lieu of tax increases; I’ve been asked by Republicans to reach out to Democrats on that issue. I know that’s a concern to a lot of our counties. We have healthcare needs and just basic needs to create stronger economies in many of our counties.
So, I’ll be out that first year, I’ll be knocking on doors on the main streets of towns throughout this street. I’ll do it on a regular basis throughout my time.
More to the story
If you missed the show live on KSL Newsradio, you can still hear Dave & Dujanovic’s full interviews with Mitt Romney and Jenny Wilson on the Dave & Dujavnoic podcast.
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