Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., said getting America's reckless spending under control is the dominant theme of his campaign, and he has even recommended shutting down the Department of Education to save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Broun believes that goal and his record in Congress will help him win the nomination and the general election despite very little enthusiasm for his bid in the national party. He announced his candidacy just weeks after two-term GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced he would not seek a third term. Broun told WND one issue is driving his pursuit of a seat in the U.S. Senate.
"Grassroots activists all over Georgia want a leader who'll go to the Senate to work to stop this out-of-control spending that both parties have been doing and that's what my campaign is going to be all about," Broun said. "That's what I've been doing in Congress, trying to push the government back to constitutionally limited government as our Founding Fathers meant it. That's what I am all about."
Broun's approach to federal spending has been known to give heartburn to his own party's leadership. Just last week he was one of a handful of House Republicans to oppose the budget blueprint spearheaded House Budget Committee Chairman and 2012 Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan because it wasn't aggressive enough in reining in spending.
"I voted against it because it doesn't even cut spending. It just slows the growth from a 5 percent growth to a 3.4 percent growth. This is just intolerable as far as I'm concerned, so what I'll be doing is proposing specific cuts," Broun said.
First up on Broun's chopping block would be to completely shut down the U.S. Department of Education, a move that would save taxpayers an estimated $70 billion per year. He said that money should go back to the states to help boost teacher pay and remove the "shackles" of No Child Left Behind.
He is also quick to point out that he has proposed more cuts than any other member of the Georgia congressional delegation, a comment that should come as no surprise since the national GOP is hoping at least one of the other Georgia House members enters the race – namely Rep. Tom Price, Rep. Phil Gingrey or Rep. Jack Kingston. All three have indicated they are studying the race but have yet to make any formal announcements.
"The people of Georgia want a leader in the Senate that has the record and the will to say no to this out-of-control, irresponsible irrational spending that both parties have been doing, and that's exactly who I am and what I'm all about," Broun said. "There's nobody who can get in this race that has the record or will to say no. In fact, they've all been part of the problem, so that's the reason I'm going to win this race."
In the 2012 cycle, controversial comments on social issues – namely abortion – caused major headaches for two Republican Senate nominees. For Broun, the issue likely to come up is not abortion but evolution. At a speech in September 2012, he labeled concepts like evolution and the Big Bang Theory as "lies straight from the pit of hell ... lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior." He also subscribes to a "young earth" philosophy, contending the earth is roughly 9,000 years old.
When asked how he would counter the inevitable scrutiny over those comments, Broun made it clear he intends to stay on message.
"I am a Bible-believing Christian," he said. "I also realize that people have other beliefs than I do and that's fine. In fact, I respect their beliefs, but the thing we all can believe in is that we've just got to stop all of this out-of-control spending. No matter what your religious beliefs are, we've got to deal with this tremendous debt that's unsustainable."
Broun would head to the Senate with his own goals and priorities, but he said he's excited about the possibility of serving alongside the likes of Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and other young members Broun sees as vigorously defending the original intent of the Constitution.
"I'm greatly anticipating my joining those folks in the Senate," he said. "The more of us that get there the greater effect we'll have on stopping out-of-control spending and getting this country headed in the right direction."