By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, June 19 Alabama’s Republican Sixth Congressional District candidates, state Representative Paul Demarco and former Alabama Policy Institute President Gary Palmer met at Birmingham’s Region Part for a Congressional Debate hosted by the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans (GBYR). GBYR Chair Jackie Curtiss thanked the events sponsors, the candidates, and the overflow crowd which was estimated at over 350 people.
Rep. Paul DeMarco (R) from Homewood said that he and his wife, Jacqueline, were recently blessed to have their first child, his name is Jack. DeMarco said that he is worried about the future that Jack will inherit. Jack’s share of the national debt is $60,000 and climbing.
DeMarco said that it is important to elect men and women of courage. They have to have the courage not only to fight Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi but also their own party when they are wrong.
Palmer said that the Republicans should stop being so pessimistic about the future of our country. They need to be talking about hope again. People are giving up. As conservative Republicans we have become experts at depressing people. We need to convince people that the country can get on the right track.
Palmer said that America is an Energy super power and we need to be presenting a vision on how to get our country back and need to be focused on solutions.
DeMarco said that Obama’s policies have been discouraging job growth and increasing regulation and that is something that we must put a stop to.
Palmer said that Obama’s greatest accomplishment is about to be making Jeff Sessions the budget chair .of the Senate (when Republicans take over the Senate). Palmer said that because of Obamacare you can classify some companies now as 49ers because they won’t hire that 50th worker (and come under the Obamacare mandate).
Gary Palmer said that what happened in Iraq is an unprecedented failure of intelligence. The United States leaving created a power vacuum that is being filled by the terrorists and Iran.
Demarco said that the treatment of our veterans across the country by the VA is a disgrace and said that secondly using the IRS to target conservatives is the two biggest failings of the Obama administration.
DeMarco said that across the board: agency by agency the federal government has gotten bigger and more powerful including the: EPA, the SEC, the VA, IRS etc.
Gary Palmer said that Obama has definitely violated his oath of office. “If impeachment is on the table I will support it.” Palmer said that there are other things that Congress can do to rein in this President’s executive overreach and Palmer added, “We need to impeach Eric Holder as well.” This is the most dangerous corrupt administration in the history of the country Palmer said.
DeMarco said that the IRS scandal alone should be grounds for impeachment.
DeMarco said, I would support legislation for term limits. Senator Vitter has introduced legislation which DeMarco promised to wholeheartedly support. DeMarco however said that he would not commit to limit himself to a fixed term if term limits legislation does not pass.
Palmer said that political office should not be a job. He said that he is committed not to move up there (Washington). Congressmen that do, they become part of the Washington culture. Palmer pledged to hold a breakfast once a month to discuss issues with constituents and develop a farm team of leaders for the state, including his eventual replacement when his ten years are up.
DeMarco said that “We don’t need to wait a decade I am part of that farm team.”
Palmer said that he supports balancing the budget but it depends on the situation. “If we go to war I wouldn’t put a balanced budget ahead of the defense of the country.” World War II is an example.
Demarco said that he supports a constitutional amendment. We aren’t going to balance the budget over night. DeMarco said, “I would never vote for a tax increase.” There is too much money in federal revenue now.
DeMarco said that American men and women died for the Iraq democracy and it appears to be lost because of President Obama’s weak foreign policy. I look back to President Ronald Reagan’s ‘Peace through strength.’
Palmer said it was purely a political move by President Obama to pull the troops out of by 2011.
Palmer said that he would support a no fly zone over Iraq to hault the ISIS advance.
Palmer said We have 3 trillion barrels of oil in one formation out west alone. We need to be selling oil all over the world and we will make OPEC irrelevant.
DeMarco said that he would not make a decision about what to do in Iraq without having a thoughtful analysis of it and he is not privy to security briefings.
Palmer said I agree with Paul that we don’t need boots on the ground. U.S. involvement should be limited to air strikes and observers. The big mistake of the Bush Administration was nation building. Palmer said, “You can’t do business with somebody Monday through Friday and blow them up on Sunday.
Palmer said, “Nobody believes that we are going to deport 11 to 12 million people it would be a humanitarian crisis that would mark our country for decades.”
DeMarco said, “This is a nation of laws.” We must secure our borders and can not allow amnesty or instead of ten million illegals it will be 20 million then it will be 30 million. “If you don’t secure the border it doesn’t matter what you do.”
Palmer said that radio ads have been running in Central American telling these people that if they got their kids in this country they could stay in this country. I believe that was done by the Obama Administration. Every one of them has to go back.
DeMarco said they have to go back for three reasons: we have to follow the law, we can’t afford this, and this is a potential health crisis. Take them back to the countries where they came from.
Palmer said that Congress should cut off every dime of financial aid to those countries that don’t take them back.
Palmer said that his favorite political philosophers were John Locke who laid the groundwork for our constitutional republic, the Founding Fathers, and Algernon Sydney wrote a treatise in the 1690s that challenged the authority of the monarchy. He was imprisoned and executed in 1683.
DeMarco said that his favorite political philosopher was Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the Declaration of independence. All of us can appreciate Thomas Jefferson.
The panel for the debate was composed of ABC 33/40’s Honora Gathings, Cliff Sims with Yellow Hammer, and GBYR CD6 Debate Chairman Marshall Yates. The moderator was radio personality Matt Murphy at 1070 WAPI am.
The debate was sponsored by: Regions Bank, The Alabama Association for Justice, 1070 WAPI, Yellowhammer News, Shaun McCutcheon, Xtreme Concepts, Senator Clay Scofield, the law firm of Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt, Chris Chip Beeker Jr. for PSC Place 2, Bella Designs by Claire Brown, Governor Dr. Robert Bentley, David Faulkner for State House 46, Matt Fridy for Alabama House District 73, Senator Cam Ward, Representative Jack Williams, The Cosby Company, Homewood Friends and Family Chiropractic, Arnold Mooney for Alabama State House 43, Will Sellers, and Amie Beth Shaver for Alabama State House 43.
The Republican Primary Runoff will be July 15.