BROOKLINE, NH — Republican Charlie Bass came to the Brookline-Mason Republican Committee meeting Thursday to explain how, if elected to represent New Hampshire’s 2nd district in the United States Congress, he would bring fiscal responsibility to Washington and put a halt to irresponsible government spending.
For the approximately nine members of the local Republican group who attended Bass’ speech, there was more to discuss than candidate aspirations.
Bass served in Congress from 1994 to 2006, and many of the New Hampshire residents who showed up to the meeting at the Brookline Firehouse had questions about his previous voting record in Congress, at times criticizing him for not taking more typically conservative stances on issues such as immigration or oil drilling.
“Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or a liberal or a conservative, it makes no difference,” Bass said. “We just can’t sustain the size of government today.”
Bass called for a more fiscally responsible federal budget, promotion of clean energy, job creation and for a “repeal and re-work” of the health care bill.
“There’s no discussion about it,” Bass said of federal deficit spending initiated by Democrats. “It’s a ‘don’t worry be happy’ attitude.”
He spoke to a Republican group who also voiced their own complaints, speaking in opposition to illegal immigration and temporary workers who they said threatened their jobs.
“America is us,” said one angry member. “America is people also collecting health care from Barack. America is now Barack’s aunt, who is here forever.”
Bass had to raise his voice to be heard over the noise of a lawnmower while speaking to a group that battled high school graduations and family commitments in trying to achieve quorum at their monthly meeting. The group has hosted Republican candidates for various state and national offices.
“Everyone thinks you need to be a Democrat to be cool,” said Eric Pauer, the group’s secretary, who noted that they now have about 80 members.
Bass emphasized his committment to improving life for New Hampshire’s residents, and his ability to “know what needs to be done right away.”
“I never thought I’d be standing in this room. I never thought I’d be contemplating running for Congress,” he said. “When I left the podium in November of 2006, I honestly never thought I’d enter politics again.”
But he said he decided to run again to deal with the new problems facing the federal government.
“The issue we face today is the impact the change in leadership has had on the fiscal stability of the nation, and having a different approach than how the current leadership has acted is why I am running,” he said.
And the attendants at the meeting certainly agreed with Bass on the dangers of deficit spending and providing unnecessary benefits to individuals. Discussion of an entitlement to permanent disability insurance when an individual has “lost the will to work” drew incredulous laughs from the group, and one man suggested requiring citizens submit to a drug test if they receive government benefits.
“Government is the same creeping giant that is slowly killing us,” the man said. “All my life, government’s been getting bigger and interfering in our freedoms in this country.”
—To see Bass’ upcoming campaign events, click here.