Republican Rivals Duel it Out
A packed auditorium of 1,400 people rallied conservative supporters at last night’s Republican debate between Senator Orrin Hatch, and his two Republican challengers Chris Herrod and Dan Liljenquist. The Republican Women of Utah Valley (RWUV) hosted the event at Draper’s … Continue reading
A packed auditorium of 1,400 people rallied conservative supporters at last night’s Republican debate between Senator Orrin Hatch, and his two Republican challengers Chris Herrod and Dan Liljenquist.
The Republican Women of Utah Valley (RWUV) hosted the event at Draper’s Juan Diego Catholic High School. Each candidate gathered to meet, greet, and disagree on issues. Issues like the space program, federal land use, and the state’s natural resources all presented heated discussion on all sides.
Senator Hatch said this is his final term in which he will run, but his contenders argued that his potential seventh-year campaign could leave some people wondering if seniority should trump leadership.
Attendee Bill Weaver, a Republican supporter, said he thinks there should be term limits. “The system is what it is, so you got to vote for somebody you don’t really want, just because of seniority. That’s a terrible system and we need to change that,” Weaver said.
The debate began with a question from a member of Juan Diego Catholic High’s debate team, who delved into the issue of the space program. A moderator convened with each question prompting every candidate to discuss their strategy.
Republican representative Chris Herrod said he thinks change needs to begin at the state-level. “My goal as a U.S. senator is actually to push the power back to the states and represent the states, and then make sure we control the national debt, which I believe is our greatest national security issue,” Herrod said.
However, all the candidates agreed on one thing: cut back on government spending to trim the nation’s deficit.
Dan Liljenquist (R) said he thinks his children will have to deal with the effects of government spending. “You can’t hold up the balance budget in one hand,” Liljenquist said, “and then pass for legislation that makes it impossible to balance in the other.”
Even though this is Senator Hatch’s potential seventh-year term, he also argued that spending is where the problem lies. “That’s where the money is, that’s where the bloated tax code is, that’s where we need to take things down a little bit if we’re going to save this country,” Hatch said.
The next debate will be held in southern Utah on April 16th. There are about one dozen Republican candidates running, but only Hatch, Liljenquist, and Herrod will attend the debate.