Republican Liberty Caucus backs former N.H. senator Jim Rubens for U.S. Senate
Former Republican state Senator, Jim Rubens, announced his run for the U.S. Senate at the Legislative Office Building lobby on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »
The Republican Liberty Caucus endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Rubens yesterday, saying that the air of inevitability around Scott Brown won’t do the party any favors at the polls on Election Day.
“Don’t believe the hype. We know that the establishment in Washington, D.C., have picked their candidate,” Chairman Aaron Day said. “For those of you that buy the electability argument, I give you three counterexamples: John McCain, Mitt Romney and Karl Rove. The results are in, we no longer need to hold our noses when we go to the polls. We can have principle and party, you can choose intelligence and thoughtfulness over sound bites and fluff. In short, you can pick substance over style.”
This endorsement comes days after Brown received backing from U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte and former governors Steve Merrill and Craig Benson. Rubens’s team said the RLC endorsement has been planned for weeks, but that the timing helps Rubens’s effort to position himself as the “grassroots” alternative to Brown. The Republican Liberty Caucus talked with all four Republican U.S. Senate candidates (Brown by email only) to see where each stood on issues related to limited government, individual liberty and free markets, the main tenets of the group’s platform, Day said. Their endorsement of Rubens was unanimous.
This is the first endorsement Day’s group has made in a federal race, but they’ve pledged to put up liberty-minded candidates in at least 20 state Senate races, sometimes to challenge incumbent Republicans. In practical terms, the endorsement will translate into get-out-the-vote efforts on Rubens’s behalf, Day said. The Republican Liberty Caucus does not disclose its donors, yet Rubens is advocating to tackle corruption in politics by eliminating outside money and going back to a public financing system.
Rubens’s platform is built on rolling back government regulations and letting the free market work, but there’s one significant policy point where he breaks from the Republican Liberty Caucus: Rubens believes climate change is man-made. Day, however, said this isn’t an issue because Rubens doesn’t think it’s the government’s job to tackle climate change. Instead, Rubens said he thinks private entrepreneurs should be able to find new clean-energy technologies that will save consumers money.
Day also noted that Rubens doesn’t support a carbon tax, which is a 180-degree turn from where Rubens was in September, when supporting a carbon tax was part of his platform.
“The carbon tax was, as I learned after campaign on it for many moons, dead on arrival, and I’m looking for solutions,” Rubens said.
During a brief speech yesterday after the endorsement, Rubens outlined some of his “bold solutions” that he would bring to Washington if elected. Rubens, a former state senator, is a candidate who prefers to wade into policy details rather than speaking in broad terms. His platform includes typical Republican ideas such as flattening the tax code, reducing the size of government by rolling back regulations, shutting down the Department of Education and giving control back to cities and states. He also opposes the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, which both U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Brown voted for, and the Affordable Care Act.
One of his unique ideas is to break up cable and telephone monopolies by freeing up public access to the airwaves and wireless internet. Rubens is also advocating for a voucher program for veterans so they can obtain care at the hospital or clinic of their choosing. As a state senator, Rubens helped write a charter school bill and made it easier for towns to use secret-ballot voting.
Rubens will face Brown, former U.S. senator Bob Smith and conservative activist Karen Testerman in the Sept. 9 primary.
(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kronayne.)