Yesterday morning U.S. Senate hopeful David Young spoke to a large turnout at the monthly Polk GOP Conservative Breakfast held at the Iowa Motor Truck Association.Â Below is a re-cap of his speech, the issues he touched on, and some brief analysis.
Still in the early stages of introducing himself to Iowa Republicans, he started from the beginning.Â He was born and raised in Van Meter where he grew up and participated in little league, Cub Scouts, and 4-H before finishing high school in Johnston and then going to Drake University.
Soon after graduating from Drake he headed to Washington D.C. where he eventually became Senator Chuck Grassleyâ€™s Chief of Staff.Â He described his time there by saying, â€œwe battled the incompetence and arrogance of the Federal bureaucracyâ€ and in general made the argument that through his interactions with Grassleyâ€™s staff and in dealing with constituent concerns he kept in touch with his Iowa roots.
The bulk of the speech was framed around â€œthree deficitsâ€ that Young sees as getting in the way of the American dreamâ€”our budget deficit, a â€˜jobs deficitâ€, and a â€œdeficit of accountabilityâ€.
The Budget Deficit
On the budget deficit he noted it was embarrassing our national debt is approaching $17 trillion, that neither party was without fault, and that he wished President Bush (43) would have used his veto power on more of the bills that passed Congress during his Presidency.Â He vowed to be an â€œequal opportunity watchdog Conservativeâ€ in terms of spending and went on record supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.Â He pointed out that should Republicans take control of the Senate Mr.Grassley is in line to Chair the Judiciary Committeeâ€”which would have jurisdiction over this amendmentâ€”and pledged he would sponsor a bill to move this process forward.Â He then finished on the topic with one of the speechâ€™s strongest linesâ€”â€œitâ€™s time for a Balanced Budget Amendmentâ€¦itâ€™s the greatest legacy we can leave our next generationâ€.
The â€œJobs Deficitâ€
Young tied the â€œjobs deficitâ€ to three separate current issues.Â The first of whichÂ was taxes,Â where he favors a â€œfairer, flatter, and simpler tax code for individuals and corporations.â€Â He repeatedly stressed the importance of making these reforms permanent in order to allow entrepreneurs and job creators the confidence to invest their current capital into the economy.
The second issue he views as a hindrance to job growth is the â€œAffordable Care Actâ€, saying, â€œWe need to do all we can to repeal, de-fund, and slow down the biggest headache to our economyâ€”Obamacareâ€.Â He made the case this legislation has forced companies, for their own survival, to turn full-time employees into part-timers against both the best interests and will of each.
Lastly, Young is in favor of passing the Keystone XL Pipeline as soon as possible under the guise that it will create jobs, help with our energy independence, and bolster our national security.
The â€œAccountability Deficitâ€
Given the current climate this argument wasnâ€™t a tough one to make.Â He listed several in the long litany of Obama administration scandals and referenced the fact that Congress is suffering from its lowest approval ratings everâ€”which given its history is quite embarrassing.Â Of particular note here was that he received a large round of applause for saying that Attorney General Eric Holder needs to go.
Young concluded by saying he knows how the Senate works and would be able to â€œhit the ground runningâ€, that Bruce Braley is very beatable, and that he will be campaigning full-time and statewide over the next year.
On substance Youngâ€™s speech was fine and hit all the right notesâ€”particularly I believe Conservatives will be thrilled with his Balanced Budget Amendment stanceâ€”but to say his delivery lacks electricity would be an understatement.Â If this goes unaddressed, whether itâ€™s true or not, a majority of voters will take this blandness as a lack of passion.
Also worth noting, as mentioned above, is the awkwardness in making the case that somehow he stayed connected to Iowans through Grassleyâ€™s other staff and by talking to constituents from Iowa on the phone.Â I know he feels the issue of him living in D.C. for almost two decades needs to be dealt withâ€”but I canâ€™t help but think this is not a successful way to do so.
All things considered, this event wasnâ€™t overly positive or negative for Young.Â From his perspective it was certainly beneficial to get some speech giving experience in a small and supportive setting.Â Having never run for office before he has some kinks to work out and this was a good place to start that process.Â His growth as a candidate, or the lack thereof, will largely determine the level of success he enjoys over the next year.