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Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., says he is the only true constitutional conservative in the Republican race for U.S. Senate in his state, and he vows to be a tireless champion for creating jobs, ending deficits and repealing Obamacare.
The congressman also identifies himself as a staunch defender of Americans’ Second Amendment rights and is even awarding an AR-15 as a prize from his campaign. Accused by one of his opponents of using “gimmickry” with the AR-15, Broun said at a time when he believes President Obama is actively trying to restrict gun rights, it is important to make his views crystal clear.
“It’s not a gimmick. It’s just a means of getting my supporters all across this nation to understand that I’m fighting for liberty. Guns have always been a symbol of liberty,” he told Radio America’s Greg Corombos.
Listen to WND’s interview with Paul Broun below:
Broun also said his most prominent challengers either have no conservative record or lack consistency in backing conservative principles.
The wide-open race started last year when Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced he would not seek a third term. Eight GOP candidates are seeking the nomination, but early polling suggests four of them appear to have the strongest odds. In addition to Broun, fellow Republican Reps. Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey are in the race, along with former Secretary of State Karen Handel.
Media reports in Georgia suggest the candidates largely hold the same positions and differ only in nuance. Broun begs to differ.
"All the candidates in this race can be categorized into three different groups. There's one group, and (Handel's) a part of it, that claims to be conservative but has absolutely zero record to back that claim up.
"In fact there's some things in the past where she has supported funding for Planned Parenthood. That's not conservative," he said.
"There's a second category of candidates that claims to be conservative, but their record does not back up a consistent conservative position.
"That's where Kingston and Gingrey fall," Broun said. "And there's one candidate, me, who has a proven, consistent, constitutional voting record."
When asked to point to votes where he was a "consistent" conservative and Kingston and Gingrey were not, Broun pointed primarily to spending issues.
"Both of them have been huge earmarkers," he argued. "In fact, at one time, Jack Kingston had more earmarks than all of the Republican delegation from Georgia put together. Both of them have voted for expansion of government under George W. Bush. As an example, Dr. Gingrey told me one of the proudest votes he's made was expansion of Medicare with Part D.
"Both of them have voted for bigger and bigger government programs.
"Both of them have voted to raise the debt ceiling. I have never voted to raise the debt ceiling. I've never voted for a stimulus package," Broun said.
"I've never voted for a bailout. They have."
Broun explained that he brings a very specific approach to any vote, an approach he believes would help America avoid many of our national problems.
"There are four questions that I ask about all legislation. All four have to be yes before I vote yes. The first is, 'Is it constitutional according to the original intent? Is it one of the 18 enumerated powers in Article I, Section 8?' The second question, 'Is it right?'
He continued, "Does it fit the Judeo-Christian biblical principles that our nation was founded upon?' The third question is, 'Do we need it?' Fourth, 'Can we afford it?'
"If all four are yes, I vote yes. I've done that for six-and-a-half years. If one (of the answers) is no, I vote no. I've been that way for six-and-a-half years. I'm the only candidate in this race that has a proven true conservative record. I also have legislation to back that up," he said.
Broun points to three specific bills he is sponsoring that he contends would boost job creation and tackle our debt problem. First, he says his approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare is the only one that would completely remove government bureaucrats from the health-care system.
"We've got to rip this out by the roots and replace it with my Patient Option Act. Otherwise our children are not going to have jobs when they get out of school," he said. "We're going to have a poor economy. We're going to have an economic meltdown in this country if we don't stop this out-of-control government and out-of-control spending that both parties are guilty of doing."
He also said he would revitalize manufacturing in this country by working to remove the onerous federal regulations that are stifling innovation and expansion. In tackling the debt, he said his simple approach would be effective in reducing red ink.
"The government must live within its means," Broun said. "We've got to balance our budget. I've got the strongest balanced budget that's been introduced in Congress. It caps spending. It makes it very difficult for Congress to raise taxes, and those are the two problems with almost every other balanced budget amendment that's been introduced."
The Republican U.S. Senate primary is scheduled for May 20. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff in July. Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn is the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic nomination.