Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Martha McSally is finally taking questions, not from a skeptical media, but from the friendly safe confines of the Republican 1200 Club dinner in Sierra Vista last Friday. Bill Hess of the Sierra Vista Herald reports, "Each [candidate] responded to questions which they had been given in advance by the club leadership, as well as one from the audience. The candidates were given three minutes to respond to each query." GOP candidates for Congress speak to 1200 Club (subscription required).
As you would expect, the questions were softballs and the candidates avoided any thoughtful substantive responses:
The first question was a natural, with the women asked why they were seeking the seat.
In an alternating response format, McSally went first and said, Congress is broken.
“I want to fix it. I want to fight for you,” she said.
There’s too much government overreach by the Democratic leadership which Barber follows, McSally said.
“It’s time for a change.”
[Shelley] Kais said, “Our party is struggling.”
The need to get the Republican message out has been hampered and needs to stop, she added.
“What we do in America is impacting the world,” Kais said.
Wow, there's some deep thinkers for you. These candidates get a softball question and all they've got are empty platitudes, bumper sticker slogans and GOP talking points. That may work in front of the 1200 Club, but general election voters are going to demand more substantive responses to difficult policy questions.
Bill Hess breaks down the other questions for you:
SYNOPSIS OF COMMENTS:
Following are some of the responses Shelley Kais and Martha McSally made during Friday’s 1200 Club dinner. Both women are seeking the Republican Party nod to carry the GOP banner in the November election to unseat Democratic incumbent Ron Barber to represent Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District in the next Congress beginning in January 2015.
• Representing the party versus the district views:
Kais said, “I will stand with you. I’m not afraid to stand alone.”
McSally said, “I will fight for you. I’m spring-loaded for the challenge.”
• On the illegal immigration issue:
McSally noted the border is not secure “the system is broken … I’m not for amnesty.”
Kais commented the first action “is to secure the border and enforce the rule of law.”
• On the dwindling defense budget:
Kais said ensuring the importance of Fort Huachuca and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base are understood as a critical part of what she sees as the job of the member representing the district.
There are new missions coming and “lets go after the (Air Force’s) KC-46 … and here at Fort Huachuca let’s reach out to the Special Operations Command” to help them train.
McSally said the problem is “we have a budget-based strategy instead of a strategy-based budget.”
The $3 billion impact Fort Huachuca and Davis-Monthan have on the local economy has to be protected and that will include ensuring decision-makers understand the importance of the two military installations in the defense of the country and how much of a national treasure they are in that role.
• Economic challenges facing the country:
McSally expressed concerns that the continuing anemic economy is hurting the nation.
“We’ve got to get the government out of the way,” she said.
Kais said the issue is jobs, meaning the lack of them, which is hurting America’s recovery.
“We’re being strangled by government regulations,” she said.
• Support for long-term unemployment benefits:
Kais said in her view long-term unemployment benefits do not help “people get back to work.”
McSally said while compassion is needed, getting back to work means “government has to get out of the way.”
• On repealing Obamacare:
McSally noted she has never supported it because “it is flawed law” which is not working.
Kais said the law continues to treat people when they become ill not help them live a more healthy lifestyle.
• On Arizona not being chosen for unmanned aerial system testing by the FAA:
Both candidates said an important opportunity for the state to be part of the program was lost by late and lackadaisical action by Arizona leaders within the Legislature and Congress.
• Being prepared for a potential round of Base Realignment and Closure Committee actions (asked by a member of the audience):
Saying “I hate hypotheticals,” Kais said there are organizations like the Southwest Defense Alliance which can carry the argument that Fort Huachuca and Davis-Monthan are critically important for the nation’s defense.
McSally said if there is another BRAC “Davis-Monthan and Fort Huachuca are at risk.”
If another flying mission for Davis-Monthan is not found it could be cut and if additional missions for the fort are not found it also could be eliminated, she said.
There is little new here substantively that I have not previously addressed over the past year in this series of "Questions for Martha McSally" posts. The McSally campaign has been afforded the opportunity to respond substantively to the questions Blog for Arizona has posed, but has not responded (as the McSally campaign has done with questions from corporate media as well).
The only new "current hot topics" touched upon are the extension of long-term unemployment benefits — McSally's nonresponsive answer I assume means she is opposed to extending unemployment benefits — and the repeal of ObamaCare now that it is in effect — McSally's non-responsive answer I assume means she supports full repeal of ObamaCare — which means taking away health care from at least 9 million people who are now getting coverage under the health care law, and are growing in numbers every day. Millions of People Have Health Insurance Thanks to Obamacare.
The takeaway from these two responses is a draconian and punitive McSally: "No unemployment insurance help for you!," and "No health care for you!" She does realize that CD 2 has a high rate of poverty and unemployment, doesn't she?
The only other "current hot topic" touched upon is the unmanned aerial drone testing by the FAA, for which Arizona was passed over in favor of other states. McSally blames "lackadaisical action by Arizona leaders within the Legislature and Congress," i.e., her fellow Tea-Publicans.
The Arizona Republic editorializes today, Some good news on drone front: "So what if the Federal Aviation Administration bypassed Arizona for one of six national drone-testing sites? The designation would have been nice to have, but we can do just fine without it." Doh!
I have never seen a candidate so controlled by handlers and so afraid of answering substantive questions from the media. I have speculated previously "it is painfully obvious that Martha McSally is a vacuous candidate who does not know enough about any subject to offer a thoughtful and detailed explanation of her positions. So she continues to hide in the bunker and refuses to offer any detailed explanations of her positions."
Voters in Congressional District 2 have the right to know your positions on current hot topics, Ms. McSally. Feel free to answer the questions by posting a response to our "Questions for Martha McSally" series of posts. You can only hide so long before the truth wins out.