Today, 2nd District Congressman Charlie Bass did a bit of campaigning close to home. He spoke at the Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary Club meeting at Franklin Pierce University this morning. It wasn’t a campaign event per se; Rotary International has strict rules about clubs not endorsing candidates, although politicians can address Rotary groups. And so, Bass spent his time this morning making the case for reelection.
He has a tough race ahead of him. He barely eked out a win against Democratic rival Ann McLane Kuster in 2010. And now she’s back for a rematch.
So on his home turf this morning, Bass campaigned in front of a politically diverse–but friendly–group, many of whom were more likely to call him “Charlie” than “Congressman.”
Like Kuster (and any number of congressional candidates in the country), Bass is campaigning primarily on economic issues. He’s also heavily stressing his bipartisan reputation, his budget bona fides as a co-sponsor of the Simpson-Bowles-inspired budget bill, and the dangers of Congress not reaching a compromise before automatic, across-the-board spending cuts take effect this January. Here’s a highlight:
“I’m a Republican. I believe in low taxes, less government, entrepreneurship, opportunity, a strong national security, personal liberty. But, I don’t believe that people of great principle who step forward and are willing to work out the problems are abrogating those principles in the process of doing so.
“And I think that what’s happened in America is that people think that being willing to work with one another is somehow abrogating their core beliefs. All of the biggest and greatest accomplishments that have occurred in the 236 year history of our nation–every one of them–have occurred as a result of people, men and women of great principle, who have been willing to come to the table and listen to each other and work it out.
“And I have dedicated this campaign primarily as a result of what I have seen since I was last elected in 2010, to working across the aisle on a reasonable plan to resolve every single one of these crises that we face at the end of the year. The extension of appropriations, which we’ve already done, raising the debt limit, dealing with the issue of the payroll tax holiday, dealing with the issue of the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, dealing with all the various tax issues, the tax provisions that are going to expire at the end of the year. Which will affect, in my view, every single person sitting in this room in front of me this morning.
“Failure to do that, just for starters, means that taxes will go up, for everybody, by about 25 percent in January. It will be the most mindless spending reductions put in place that have no bearing on whatever need or anything else. And it doesn’t have to happen that way,” Bass said.
StateImpact also checked-in with Kuster’s campaign last night in Plymouth. You can catch that dispatch here.
Ed. Note: In an earlier version of this post, we erroneously reported that Bass was a member of the Simpson-Bowles commission. He was rather one of the GOP co-sponsors of the resulting bipartisan budget bill. We regret the error.