Former U.S. attorney Matt Whitaker officially joined the U.S. Senate race Monday. He announced his intentions to run during an event at an Ankeny manufacturing company. Joined by his wife and a crowd of 50 friends, colleagues, supporters and curious onlookers, Whitaker immediately made presumptive Democrat nominee Bruce Braley his target.
“We have promised our next generation that they will have the American dream, but the only thing we seem to be handing them now is $50,000 in debt for every man, woman and child. That is why I am running,” Whitaker said. “There is not a doubt in my mind that Bruce Braley and Barack Obama will not make America strong. They will not have better days under their leadership.”
The former Iowa Hawkeye tight end also leaned heavily on his football background to make his points. Whitaker fielded questions from a throng of Iowa media members following the announcement. During that 7-minute session, he outlined his stances on several topics.
“The key issues are the size of government, the overspending, because as a small business owner and someone who has to manage a family’s budget, we look at, the government has enough resources. It’s in the priorities and in their overspending, so we need to get spending under control. That’s going to be the big issue,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker said areas he would work to cut spending include foreign aid to countries “that don’t like us”, as well as limiting subsidies to the United Nations.
It seems the Whitaker campaign will rely on the Branstad/Grassley modus operandi of visiting every Iowa county. That tried and true formula has helped make Chuck Grassley one of the senior members of the U.S. Senate and Terry Branstad the second longest-serving governor in U.S. history.
“I’m taking my message on the road to all 99 counties and sharing that positive vision for our future and our kids’ future,” Whitaker said.
The former U.S. attorney expressed strong views regarding immigration reform and the current proposal from the so-called gang of eight in the U.S. Senate.
“I don’t support amnesty,” Whitaker said. “As a former prosecutor, I enforced the immigration laws. I understand they’re broken. I’ve been to the borders in Canada and Mexico and I see the significant challenges we face. But, the current bill, I wouldn’t support amnesty or a path to citizenship, but I do think we need to fix the problem and we need to secure the border first.”
Whitaker is also concerned with the myriad of scandals working their way through Washington, D.C. He mentioned the Benghazi tragedy and the IRS’ targeting of conservative organizations.
“We just need some answers,” Whitaker said. “As it relates to Benghazi, there are so many unanswered questions and so many different stories we’ve heard. The same thing with the IRS. You kind of wait and see what happens the next day. The story seems to continue to change.”
Matt Whitaker’s resume is impressive and he hopes to parlay that experience to woo Iowa Republican primary voters. Whitaker also highlighted his status as a D.C. outsider. So far, the only other Republican to officially enter the race is former Grassley chief of staff David Young.
“I think you look at my experience as a small business owner, as a federal prosecutor, and as a husband and father. I obviously have a core set of convictions and I’d like to try to make a difference,” Whitaker said. “That’s what I think this campaign is going to be about is someone who’s willing that’s willing to take a stand and make a difference.”
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