By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Saturday, February 20, US Senator Richard Shelby was in Birmingham taking a break away from his busy campaign to help the Shelby County Republican Party raise money at a breakfast fundraise at the Hilton Birmingham Perimeter Park Hotel.
Sen. Shelby said of filling Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the US Supreme Court, “This is not an ordinary vacancy. This is probably the most important appointment in my lifetime.”
Shelby said, “We don’t need to have any hearings. The Democrats would not have any hearings (if roles were reversed).”
Sen. Shelby said that even if President Barack H Obama (D) appointed a moderate or a Republican, “They will tilt to the left and will change this country fundamentally.”
Shelby warned, “Our Constitutional rights are at stake.” “I hope and pray that a few of our people do not jump ship.”
Sen. Shelby praised Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) who was also present. “He knows the lay of the land and he knows the issues. We are glad to have him.”
Alabama’s senior Senator said, “Things are heating up in South Carolina and the caucuses in Nevada.” For years and years Alabama voted in June after it was all over, now that the legislature has moved the primary up the people of Alabama get to have some say in who leads the country and that is a good thing. Shelby said, “I know Sen. Cruz real well and have worked with him. I also know Senator Rubio.” When Barack Obama was in the Senate, we knew him to speak to him, but that was it. “I have only met Mr. Trump once or twice.” I don’t know Dr. Carson. I know Jeb Bush and I worked with Governor Kasich when he was in the Congress. “Any of them would be better than what we have today or either of the Democrats.” People need to get out and vote, “A lot of conservatives stayed home last election.” 400,000 votes in Ohio, Florida, and Virginia and the election would have turned out differently.
Sen. Shelby said, “The debt of the nation is the biggest thing looming over our children.” The Washington Post said that the deficit is just $500 billion. “It is going up. Why, because people voted to bust our budget agreement.”
Shelby said, “I would like to see us reform entitlements.” Congress created this problem. When 50 percent of the country are getting a check from the government and 5 percent of the people are paying 75 percent of all the income taxes there is a problem. Shelby also said that he is for tax reform. All of us benefit somewhere from the tax code. A lot of people talk about reforming it. I will do it
Shelby said, “I do worry about the world. I worry about the lack of respect for America around the world. People feared and respected us under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This President has weakened our military. “I believe Barack Obama is third world centric.” “It really bothers me the direction that we are headed.”
Senator Shelby said, “I still have a lot of energy. I don’t know where that comes from. Genetics I guess.
Richard Shelby is a 5th generation Alabamian.
Sen. Shelby said that if he is given another term he will do everything that I can to bring spending in line and to rearm this country. “Under this administration we have cut the military.” I serve on the Defense appropriations committee and I hope to chair the Appropriations Committee.
Sen. Shelby said that he supports our wounded warriors. I have been out several times to have dinner with our warriors at Walter Reed. The Wounded Warrior Project is one of our favorite charities because it was worthwhile. “We should never think about turning our backs on our veterans.”
Shelby said, “Our immigration system is broken and has been broken.” A lot of our Republican leaders and our Democratic leaders have been soft on illegal immigration. They don’t want to offend anybody. We used to protect our borders, until 1965 when Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats changed the immigration policy. We are bringing in more than a million immigrants a year legally. “We don’t know how many people come to this country to do business, go to school, or vacation and don’t go back. If we don’t do something it is going to change our country drastically. It will weaken the fabric of this nation.
Senator Jeff Sessions knows immigration better than anybody and I have stood with him. “I hope we are going back to protecting our borders.”
Shelby said that people have eaten our lunch in trade deals. I voted against the TPP. It is not in our interest. I voted against NAFTA with Mexico. We have a trade deficit now of hundreds of billions. We are exporting our best jobs. China is sending 100,000 of their best and brightest students to Europe and the US to get educated in math, science, and technology. I believe in trade nut we don’t have to give them these lop sided deals.
Shelby expressed confidence that Cruz, Trump, and Rubio could win in November. “Any of those three can beat Hillary Clinton. She is carrying a lot of baggage. Her negatives are high. Bernie Sanders is a socialist. Je is not even a Democrat. His policies would bankrupt this country. They aren’t voting for him they are voting against Hillary Clinton.”
Sen. Shelby said, “I know the Clintons.” It bothers me that they want money, money, money. “Why do they want that much money?” Hillary sends her daughter one email and says terrorist attack and tells the people it was not a terrorist attack. Obama was running and telling people there were no terrorist anymore. People believe that stuff.
Sen. Shelby said, “I am going to support whoever is nominated.”
The 60 Plus Association presented Senator Shelby with an award. The group’s Alabama Director Apryl Marie Fogel said, “Senator Shelby has had a distinguished career honoring the greatest generation and also protecting the future.” “Senator Shelby has been a strong advocate for our veterans and for making sure that our armed forces have the resources that they need. Thank you so much for your efforts.”