July 18, 2010 - Three Republican candidates for U.S House-- Keith Stern, Paul Beaudry and John Mitchell-- discuss where they stand on various issues with Kristin Carlson and Darren Perron.
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>> And good morning everyone I'm Darren Perron.
>> I'm Kristin Carlson this.
Sunday on you can quote me we continue to get to know the candidates better before the upcoming primary on August 24.
>> Today we are talking with the Republican candidates for U.S. house.
>> Keith Stern, Paul Beaudry, and John Mitchell.
Thank you all for joining us.
>> Thank you.
>> Some of you may be known to people, some of you may be a new name to people so let's start with Mr. Beaudry.
Why are you running for this office?
>> Biggest reason I'm running I'm concerned about the direction our country is headed N right now if a new child is born with this deficit it is approximately 42 thousand dollars that they owe.
That's if you use the official numbers.
There are some people saying that the deficit with unfunded liabilities could be approaching 100 trillion dollars and that could be close to 400 thousand dollars everybody owes.
With the deficit.
Also very concerned about our energy policy.
Which is a big part of my platform.
And I'm also concerned about finally winning this war and getting it over with and bringing our troops home with a victory.
Well I'm a small business owner in white river junction.
3, 4 times a week I get up at around 12:30 in in the morning, load up my truck with produce and sell it.
I did that in morning.
I had to throw my clothes in the truck about 7 o'clock last night to make sure I got it.
And I'm running because I'm fed up with the way the direction this countries going.
Peter Welch in particular is a big government big spending politician.
He apparently has no idea about economics and he is trying to spend our way to prosperity and that doesn't work.
Our deficit is growing constantly.
Pretty soon the country will be bankrupt.
You could say it is now.
But officially, it won't be long.
Probably within 5, 10 years.
Social Security is running in the deficit now.
Right down the line and he keeps voting for bills that just keep adding to the debt.
And it is time for a change.
We got to have some conservative voices in Washington.
And I think this is the year.
>> Mr. Mitchell?
>> I came here in ‑‑ to Vermont in 1988 to run the Vermont marble company which then changed into OMNIA incorporated and after 22 years, retired, and remembered a quotation from a British parliamentarian named Edmond Burke, who said that the way for people to lose their liberty is for a few good people to do nothing.
And I thought well I'm a good guy so I think I will look into what I can do to help Vermonters, yet ‑‑ get representation in Congress that's meaningful.
>> So you folks have laid out some of the problems you see down in Washington.
How would you go about fixing some of these things, what are your ideas?
we will start with you.
>> Well, the first problem I see and the biggest problem is the economy.
We have all the corporations in America approximately 3 trillion dollars in cash.
They are operating at 70% of capacity and have unemployment at over 9%.
In order for that to happen, there has to be one critical factor, and that is uncertainty.
People are uncertain about how taxes are going to come down, how spending it going to come down.
What they are going to be doing to earn a return on their investments.
Should they hire more employees.
Can they make more product and will people buy it.
These types of problems are a pan dem nick our economy.
>> Mr. Stern?
If you go to my website, Vermont stern.ORG I have a contract with America and it is a plan 6 bills I will introduce within the first 6 months of being sworn in.
Quickly, legislation stating that legislative bill can on in the contain spending that is not directly related to the legislation the bill is for.
Gets rid of a lot of pork.
Comprehensive bill to cut the the deaf significance, freeze nonessential spending and to reduce the waste and scope of government by eliminating duplication, overlap and comprehensive plan to make health care and the cost of health care insurance affordable for every American.
Bill to make social ‑‑ solvent.
Bill for closing the border.
And immigration reform.
And exemption on the first 75 thousand of earned income per person.
Having a flat tax and all income above that point.
>> Thank you.
and I ‑‑ that's a great question because that's what's really going to affect this election and the future of our children.
I have actually several different plans you can go to my website.
Beaudry for Congress.ORG and find that ‑‑ find that most of my points here in one way or another are designed to reduce the deficit.
One of the biggest problems is the mindset that the people have down in Washington.
And this goes with both parties.
They seem to think that it is okay to just dream up of some idea or something that we would want, now we all have a little bit of a little child in us where we go to a store and see something we want or want a new TV, we want a new car.
I propose that if we just change the thinking, we all want and we all want a lot of things.
But what everybody has to do, the average person out there on the street is they look at their budget, let's sa I want to buy a TV.
I look at my income, like at my budget.
I look at my debt, I look at all the different things I have, can a ford to buy that TV?
if I can, I will buy it.
If it is a big ticket item I might consider financing it if I can live within the means.
What the federal government is doing right now is they will dream up of some great idea, health care which we all want health care, giving different items to people,ping coming up with all these wonderful bills which could be good bills and are well intended but they don't even put any thought into can we afford it, and then what their answer is, we will just raise taxes or we will borrow the money and give the mortgage deed to our children and ourselves.
We need to change the thinking.
Another part of my plan is I want to see American become finally energy self‑sufficient.
We are spending trillions ‑‑ not trillions.
Hundreds of bills of dollars every year on foreign oil and energy.
we have oil, natural gas, we could put in the next generation breeder react shores in place of the old nuclear react act shores, not leave to it our children which this generation is doing.
That would create hundreds of thousands of high‑paying jobs.
We get a handle on immigration.
That could also reduce some of the deficit.
And we need to just make sure that we live within our means.
We all want a thousand different things.
And we can only afford 12, and we have to pick and choose and get backment to constitutional principles that we were founded on.
>> There are three Republicans running for the U.S. house house seat.
Been a few years since we have had 3 folks vying for our jobs.
I hear very similar answers.
I hear the deficit is one of the number one concerns.
Maybe starting with you, Mr. Stern, what differentiates you from these other candidates, if you are trying to appeal to Republicans?
>> Well, I can't really speak for John.
I really haven't heard him speak very much.
But between Paul and I, he says I'll support this and I'll support that.
I said this is my plan, I'm going to Washington.
I'm going to push to get it passed.
I'm going to ‑‑
>> Particularly if democrats still have power
>> They will have very little power, think and looks like a big win for the Republicans at this point in time.
People are just fed up across the country.
We are hearing the incumbents dropping out, saying they are not going to run because they see what is coming.
It is going to be a big win for Republicans this year.
>> Back on the question of differentiates?
I'm going to go there to be a leader because the Republicans really don't have leadership there.
They need some people with ideas that can lead.
I mean, I've got plans that are so different from anybody else's.
I mean, I'm talking about the first 75 thousand of income exempt.
Let's go to a trickle up economy.
People have money, let them spend it and put it into the the economy, grow the economy.
People can put it into savings.
It will cut down the need for Social Security in the future.
My plan is right now general electric and Ingersoll Rand are two corporations in America aren't paying any income tax in this country.
We haven't ‑‑ we are having all these foreign products brought N foreign companies are doing services and not paying any taxes to this country.
Let them pay their share.
They are take ago way our jobs.
Let them pay their share of taxes.
you know, we will create job.
We will get jobs back to this country.
Very simple plan.
>> Mr. Mitchll, what differentiates you from these other candidates?
>> Well, I started working when I was 15 years old as a merchant seaman in the engine room of an iron horse ship that went from Pennsylvania up the river in Venezuela.
And from then on, I prepared myself to become an international executive because I didn't want to work like that for the rest of my life.
So I did.
And I ultimately became president of the company.
And I am one of the few people running for office that actually ran a business that hired hundreds of people and operated in dozens of countries.
I am familiar with the foreign policy issues.
I'm familiar with the domestic issues.
I'm familiar with taxes.
The thing that I plan to do, that I think is different, is go to Washington and form a caucus which we will call the constitutional caucus which started in 1994 and allowed to wither on the vine and revive that so that we have a block of people in Congress who can actually achieve far more than one person among 435 people can accomplish.
So my objective is to use my organizational skills, my international knowledge, my experience in managing people in order to try and achieve results relatively quickly.
>> Kristin if I remember correctly, your specific question is what is the specific difference between the three of us.
And that's a great question because there is a Republican primary going on just as if the democrats have their gubernatorial primary.
And the goal in our case for all three of us is to attract the most Republicans on August 24 to vote for us.
And I will start by saying that I hope that I'm going to win, but I will endorse either of my two opponents, regardless of who wins.
I want this to be a unified ticket.
The big differences between the three of us is I have a track record of dealing with the public on a regular basis.
I've dealt with the legislature both federal and statewide with my talk radio career.
I was on the air for five years dealing mostly with politics.
I'm also a retired military person and we have thousands of troops that are fighting a war right now and I propose that we need to win this war, bring our troops back and actually have a victory.
I'm not a big fan of saying we need a time line, cut it off.
I'm going to stay under the A system if elected so I will actually maintain what it is like to be one of those people.
I don't want to put myself on a pedestal if I'm elected to Congress.
I will stay on the VA health care system.
My military experience says a lot.
My dealing with people, already putting on rallies and different protests and events and seminars, all over the state.
I've got that experience already there.
Having said that, I think that all three of us are great candidates for the office.
And as I mentioned, I want to seat Republican party win.
And I am the guy that wants to unify us together and make sure that we do not lose sight of the target and that is defeating Peter Welch in November.
>> All right.
We will take a brief break and continue our conversation with the three Republicans running for U.S. house in just a moment.
Stay with us.
We are talk together Republican candidates for U.S. house.
Let's get to the money race here.
That is something that all of you do have in common.
You are far behind Democrat Peter Pell.
we got new numbers out this week and they show that Democrat Peter Welch has more than a million dollars in the bank.
Paul Beaudry, you have about 5 thousand dollars.
Mitchell you've spend more than you have collected.
A negative balance of 1131.
How Dan you John Mitchell.
Let's start with you since your campaign is in the red.
>> It turns out in a book called freak economics where they looked at the different characteristics of who wins elections that the guy with the most money doesn't always win.
It is the person who appeals the most to the public that wins.
Now, certainly money is important.
And more money continues to come into my campaign every day.
So I'm not concerned that there won't be enough money there to do what is necessary to make me and the others visible to the public so that they can make an informed choice.
>> Mr. Stern?
>> Well, I'm taking a different approach.
People that want to donate to me, I'm telling them don't donate to me yet.
If I went primary, I will be looking for contributions.
I'm going to put my money into it because this is my race, you know, and this is something I really believe in.
I'm going to put in the money to get through the primary.
>> So the money you have now is money you have contributed yourself?
And if I have to put in more I will put in more.
I'm put might money where my mouth is.
And John is right.
The one with the most money doesn't always win.
He will have to defend himself on how he keeps voting for these big spending bills.
That keeps putting the government deeper and deeper into debt.
And I don't know how he will do it.
I don't know if he has a ‑‑ he has the courage to go into a lot of debates.
That's where the three of us will benefit.
because we all have the money that he has to run ads but if he has the courage to go into a lot of debates, and we keep challenging, whichever candidate it is, challenges him i don't think he has a leg to stand on.
People keep hearing, you know, cap and trade, the health care abomination, his cash for clunkers, all these just keep gutting ‑‑ putting the government deeper in debt.
He will have a hard time defending this to the people.
They are sick and tired of big spending, bigger debt all the time.
They see this country slipping away.
>> $5000 in the bank right now?
And I'm actually glad you brought this question up because it is very obvious that the three of us, we have nowhere ‑‑ we can't compare with what Peter Welch has raised.
He has a million dollars and all three of us combined we probably even don't have 25 thousand I have $5000 left.
Every penny that I have taken in with the exception of a few hundred dollars of my own money, that I have taken out of pocket, hats been from individual contributors.
I have not taken a penny from any corporate PACs, any union PAC.
I'm a man of the people, and by the people.
I don't want to have any special interests.
I've also changed are managed with the money that I have had, I have been able to get my signs out, I've been able to travel all over the state, live within my means which is exactly the way the federal government needs to live also and I'm already running a fiscally conservative campaign and if I don't have it, I don't go out and spend it.
I'm not afraid to work.
I make my own lawn signs.
I recycle old political lawn signs that are going to be thrown away.
I paint them and put my own poster on it and everything.
And it is working.
I've done an exceptionally good job in my opinion from what I'm hearing on this trail so natural and part of it is because I am going to live the way I plan on running the office down in Washington, within our means and I'm not borrowing any money.
I'm not in debt and I'm in the black, not a lot but I've got enough where I can survive all the way up to primary day very easily.
>> One of the top issues people are hearing about is the BP oil spill.
I'm curious, we will start with Mr. Stern, how you think BP has handled that, if there should be a temporary ban on off‑shore drilling and if you think that the cap should be raised for payouts for when there is a disaster like this.
Let's start with how they are handling it.
And it will be determined, I think.
There is accusations, they handle it improperly.
And that is what caused it.
But I ‑‑ I haven't heard any conclusive evidence yet.
So I'm not going to jump top conclusions there.
Should they raise the cap on it?
They are responsible for whatever it takes.
If it is ‑‑ if it goes over ‑‑ what did they put in, 12 billion dollars I think it is.
If it goes to 108 billion, you know they are responsible.
As far as ‑‑
>> Offshore drilling.
Stopping it, no.
They should be more responsible because in Brazil and Australia, when they do off‑shore drilling there are two safety devices required.
And in the United States only one.
Why is that?
somebody's dropping the ball in Washington.
>> Mr. Mitchell?
>> It is interesting you asked because I used to oversee a company in New Orleans that sold fire and detection and suppression systems to Texas towers in the gulf.
They typically drilled in shallow water.
the government interfered in the marketplace and told them to go out and drill in deep water.
A mile deep.
A human being can't go down that far.
They made a mistake in not having the appropriate equipment, but then who knew what the appropriate equipment was because you don't normally drill that deep.
I think they've done a yeoman's job in trying to solve the problem.
They are not being irresponsible and as a result, it appears as of yesterday or this morning, that they have a fix that seems to be working.
They are also drilling parallel wells in order to try and stop the one that is leaking.
So, I think they have been as responsible as one can be in these circumstances.
I think that these coast guard is doing a wonderful job with their retired admiral a sifting with what they can.
It is impossible for the government to deal with this because the government is ‑‑ isn't in the oil drilling business.
So it turns out that BP is actually doing a pretty darned good job under the circumstances.
Their public relations have been less than stellar.
But, one learns from these things, it is the first time it has happened at that depth so my guess is, if it happens again, they will be much better prepared.
The question is should they stop drilling, of course not.
We don't stop driving cars when there is an accident.
We don't stop flying an airplane when there is an accident.
We continue to search for the best way we can.
You recall that in our constitution we were to form a more perfect union.
And there is no perfection.
So we continue to try harder and harder.
>> What about the cap on compensation for folks affected by the the oil spill?
>> Well, I think that our legal system provides a way for people to get redress if they deserve it and I suspect that there will be any number of attorneys working with the insurance companies and with the company and I think capping something like that doesn't make any sense because who knows what the cap should be.
>> That's a great question and very timely also.
I'm very disturbed about the oil spill that's taking place down in the gulf.
And my answer might be similar but there is going to be a couple little differences.
I do agree with Mr. Mitchell that the PR campaign that BP has put out is horrible.
They ‑‑ they are not acting, to me, like it is their number‑one priority.
To me it seems like their number‑one priority is, what can we do to, you know, CYA what, can we do to protect ourselves.
They want to make sure that they are looking at the bottom dollar.
Right now we've got thousands of fishermen that are suffering from this.
And I think what they ought to do is BP and the Obama administration and Congress at the same time ought to shift their focus to make sure the number‑one priority is to stop the leak as soon as possible.
Get any politics out of the way.
They can experiment, do different techniques to try to stop it.
I've heard stories where the Russians had similar problems and they just sent a submarine in, torpedoed it and stopped the well.
I'm not saying that's what they could do but they have to make the number‑one priority is to stop the oil spill.
Stop it dead in its tracks.
As far as banning offshore drill, I'm going to say absolutely not.
I agree with Mr. Mitchell also.
You don't shut down the automobile industry or the airline industry when there is an accident.
We need this oil.
Also, we are talking about an area where thrills a lot of oil, a lot of natural gas.
And china is actually has wells off of Cuban waters and Cuban and china are taking some of that same oil and natural gallons.
If we don't take it, they will take it and empower them.
I say put America first and let's use some of our own resources.
Also I do believe that one thing that is very important is that BP does have to pay for their own problem.
They caused I let's get some additional safety features there so they can have up to 4 safety valves as far as these deep shore ‑‑ deep wells go.
That wouldn't be enough for me as far as I'm concerned.
What Peter Welch is doing and we have seen the news item and on my website, Beaudry for Congress.ORG.
He ace tacking BP by going after their dividends, going after their shares, and all that.
And he is conveniently forgetting that BP, numb one, needs to survive as a company out of this.
They might not make a profit for a few years which is fine with me because they deserve to pay for what they have done.
But, they have to survive, stay in business because if you listen to Peter Welch and he affects all their investments and BP stock, tank and BP goes bankrupt and they are under, hundreds of thousands of people will have their pensions suffer.
BP could go under and all of us taxpayers, all 5 of us sitting here will pay for that oil spill.
I say let's make BP pay for it
>> Closer to home and another cap that's been proposed here on our dairy farmers by both of our senators, what do you think about this idea, Paul Beaudry, we will start with you.
Do you think that our farmers here at ‑‑ in Vermont should have a cap on the amount of milk they produce to try to keep our milk prices stable?
>> In a minute or less each.
>> I will make it simple.
I believe ‑‑ I'm a free market person.
I believe in letting the free market work.
I have red some studies where they have had some places where they have eliminated certain subsidies and eliminated a lot of the rules that they have had on farmers and the free market con take over and come in.
If a farmer is a good farmer, he will be able to produce as much milk as he possibly can, get the best price he can for it, but if you cap it.
Then all of a sudden what's he going to do if he he's 20, 30, 40, 50 thousand dollars in the hole that month?
he will have to come up with a way to produce it or he might be forced to produce something else other than milk.
He could fire up a sugar bush or could have other crops that he's growing.
He could diversify and not depend on that one product and I think this is not smart politics to put caps on it.
>> Mr. Stern less than a minute.
They thud have a base price, a break ‑‑ or just a little bit of profit.
A bottom price it goes to.
Let the free market work.
And if they overproduce they won't sell the milk.
Then they will cut back.
Simple as that.
The way every industry works in this country.
Free market works but the government doesn't want it to work.
They don't want to allow to it work.
>> Mr. Sanders proposed to put a cap on the amount of milk that each farmer can produce.
Who is going to set the cap?
it is simply isn't possible.
They tried it in Soviet Union for 70 years.
And what happened was they black market developed.
And that's exactly what would happen in Vermont if we put a cap on what each farmer can produce.
He will produce that and then produce more and sell night a black market and that's absurd.
>> So just a few seconds.
What's the strategy now between now and August 24, are you folks more focused on sounds like Congressmen Welch?
>> I'm focused on winning the primary.
My name is Paul Beaudry and my strategy is I'm going to be doing lots of sign waves.
Will see me out be the street.
Wave back, honk your horn back.
I need to raise some money go to Beaudry for Congress.ORG if everybody gave 20 to 50 dollars I could be in the running against Peter Welch.
Can we defeat Welch?
yes, I can.
>> Mr. Stern just a few seconds.
>> What I'm telling people is look at the thief us, see who has the best shot at beating Peter Welch.
Primary is the easy one for the Republicans.
It is the other one, it is the one that can cross the party lines, bring in the independent vote, bring in some of the democrats possibly, but who has the moderate ideas, who has the ideas that will bring this country forward.
>> Mr. Mitchell?
>> Find out more about me by looking up Mitchell for, that's numeral 4 Congress.ORG.
You will see all my ideas there.
Right now I'm concentrating on getting out and getting people energized to come and vote for me the end of the primary.
>> Well, thank you all for joining us.
We are out of time and please join us next week and that's when we will be talk about the Republicans who are running for secretary of state.
Until then have a great day.
>> Take care everybody.
We will see you soon.
>> So long.