John Cox

Touting the fact he is the first Republican to officially throw his hat in the ring for president in 2008, John Cox is buoyed by the fact he has been well-received in all-important Iowa, where he says he got a standing ovation after talking about solving the illegal-alien problem.

Last month, Cox, a wealthy Chicago businessman, spoke at three district GOP conventions in Iowa where, his campaign states, delegates “leapt to their feet in a very vocal show of support” after he mentioned the border security issue.

“I was very pleased to see that my fiscally and socially conservative agenda is resonating with the grass-roots voters of Iowa to such a degree,” said Cox in a statement. “Everywhere I go, I’m told that my ‘outside the Beltway’ candidacy offers a refreshing alternative to the career politicians.”

Cox, 50, says he’s pledged to visit all of Iowa’s 99 counties in advance of the June 17, 2006, Iowa Republican State Convention, saying he’s fulfilled half his goal so far.

On his website, Cox uses images of two other Illinois Republicans – Ronald Reagan, who was born in the state, and Abraham Lincoln, who lived in Illinois before becoming president.

To deal with the flow of migrants from the south, the candidate says he’d go after the employers and thus eliminate the ability for illegal aliens to make a living in the United States.

“It’s an economic problem,” Cox told WND, saying the Mexican government has inhibited economic growth due to the nationalizing of industry.

“So Mexicans are happy to come up to America to work for $300 a week when American employees would need to make $500 a week,” the Republican explained. “Employers love this; they’re making money.”

Said Cox: “What’s the answer? You’ve got to enforce the law against employers.”

Cox says if enough employers go to jail and companies subsequently stop hiring illegal aliens, the flood of Mexicans will stop flowing north and many unlawful immigrants will simply go home.

The GOP hopeful wants to expand legal immigration at all economic levels to fill unskilled jobs as well as high-tech positions.

“I want these people to put down roots here, to learn English and become Americans,” Cox said, adding, “I’m against a guest-worker program; it just creates a ‘slave’ class.”

Once the law is enforced on businesses, Cox believes the southern border will be little different than the northern border when it comes to people sneaking across.

“Do we have hordes of Canadians coming across the border?” he asked – “and that’s with a 5,00-mile unprotected border.”

On the abortion issue, Cox, a Catholic, said he’s pro-life – “with no exception, by the way,” he emphasized. Cox says he believes he’s the only Republican candidate for president with so strong a position on abortion.

“I’m the son of a single mom,” he explained. “If abortion had been illegal in 1955, I probably wouldn’t be here.”

When it comes to abortion, Cox says he would use the White House bully pulpit to stress the need for people to take responsibility for their actions. He also supports a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, which he sees as “akin to the one that freed the slaves.”

On the fiscal front, Cox believes it’s time to jettison the tax code and limit the growth of deficit spending.

“My major campaign issue is getting rid of the internal revenue code,” Cox offered. “I’m an unabashed supporter of the FairTax.”

The FairTax proposal would do away with federal income tax and replace it with a national sales tax.

“I’m a CPA by training, Cox noted, “and the time might be right for the first CPA president to get rid of the tax code.”

The candidate also believes the federal government must stop overspending, saying Congress has “let the people down” with its “wild spending.”

“It has so disappointed the conservative community I’ve talked to in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina,” he said.

Cox acknowledges he is not known nationally, but he notes he is getting an early start and is able to put all his energies into campaigning.

“I’ve already been twice to Iowa,” he said. “I’m just going around and introducing myself to the people who are going to do the work, the grass roots. The response I’m getting so far is very, very positive.”

Added the candidate: “I know I’m not well-known, but very few people knew who Howard Dean was when he started running in 2002, and he became a household name.”

Cox says his background as a CPA and businessman gives him unique qualifications many politicians don’t have.

“I’ve created jobs,” Cox said. “I built a $100 million business. Is that bad experience? Would I have better experience if I’d been a career politician?”

Said Cox: “What we ought to have in the White House is someone who has actually lived, created jobs, given to their communities and struggled.”

The candidate sees 2008 as the year of the outsider – “the anti-Hillary effect, if you will,” Cox remarked.

“The Clintons made their livelihood politics; I’ve never done that.”

While politics isn’t new to Cox, he hasn’t enjoyed success in past races. He ran for the GOP nomination in the 10th Congressional District in Illinois in 2000, the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2002 and the Republican nomination for Cook County Recorder of Deeds in 2004. During the latter campaign, Cox publicized his plan to eliminate the office if he were elected.

Cox has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including Rebuilding Together, previously “Christmas in April,” a nationwide charitable organization dedicated to renovating homes for low-income, elderly, disabled and families with children, his website states.

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