During his hour-long tour stop in Marion County last week, Sen. Jerry Moran offered his thoughts on a wide range of topics. Following are some highlights.
political priority in D.C.
?We?ve now gotten into this position that our loyalty is to our political party?s president compared to having loyalty to what we think is right for the country.
?Republican presidents were wrong, Democrat presidents were wrong. We are elected so that when those circumstances arise, we should support the president when he or she is right and we should oppose them when they?re wrong. It seems to me we are locked into ?Republican vs. Demo?crat.??
?During most of my time as an elected official, Repub?licans and Democrats generally believed that paying our bills as we went was important. You borrowed money once in a while, but you used to pay it back before very long.
?Over time, I think it?s been a matter of political convenience. Democrats in particular no longer think the deficit matters, and many Republicans are reaching that same conclusion. If you reach that conclusion, then it takes a lot of the burden off of how you vote and how you think about things.
?In my view, of all the things we could do for the economy, we don?t have to balance the budget today, but, boy, we need to be on a path that shows that within a short order of time that we?re getting there.?
deficit as a moral issue
?Morally, why do we think it?s right to spend money we don?t have and expect somebody in the future to pay for it? My generation has failed to do what my parents? generation did for me, which is to hand off a country that was as good as it was when they started.?
WHAT VOTERS WANT
?I think what people want is: Can the Congress and the president live within our means, and can we abide by the Constitution? Neither of those things are radical concepts. Sometimes the Tea Party crowd is accused of being right-wing crazy, but if you boil down what most people in Kansas care about, they want that kind of basic stuff.?
?There is a large spectrum of issues we have to deal with, and it?s a very narrow set of issues in which there?s little or no room to budge?they are morality, integrity, promises, the core things we believe in.
?Then there?s a wider set of issues where we have no choice but to figure out how people of different points of view, philosophies, backgrounds, experiences, constituencies?how you sort out these things and come together to deal with the wider array of issues.?
?Almost any piece of legislation I vote on is a conglomeration of a whole bunch of stuff. Ultimately, the analysis you make is: Does this advance the cause, is the impact more good or more bad?
?The point is, people across the country think differently than we do. This is a diverse country. Particularly for us rural folks, if you take only what is good for you and are unwilling to think about what could be good for somebody else, we?ll get nothing.?
nuclear deal with iran
?I think it?s a terrible agreement. I voted against it. I think it creates huge problems for the security of the world…. I can?t understand how the president can think that negotiating a deal with Iran makes any sense. It?s a country that is the No. 1 supporter of terrorism around the world.?
?To me, you figure out what people?s motivation is for coming?what their intentions are, what their history is?before you allow them to come here. To me, it?s important that you not bring somebody here who is interested in killing Ameri?cans. Yet somehow that has become politically incorrect?to think that you ought to vet people who are coming to the United States.?
?This is a president that wants to solve all the problems of our nation in our nation?s capital. I can tell you that most of us who come from where we come from, one-size solutions from Washington, D.C., are pretty damaging to us. Maybe they work someplace, but they don?t fit us very well.?
Obama?s leadership style
?It?s embarrassing to me to admit to my constituents that my extent of conversation with President Obama?I?ve been in office the entire time he?s been president?has to be less than three minutes. Total.
?While I think it?s damning to say that I as Republi?can senator don?t know the president, almost without exception every Democrat senator would say exactly the same thing. They have spent no time with this president.
?It?s not as if he has worked to bring us together. There?s an arrogance about him that he is going to do what he thinks apparently is right. There?s little outreach to figure out how we work together.?