BANGOR, Maine — Sen. Olympia Snowe urged fellow Republicans to “pull out all the stops” to ensure President Barack Obama is held to one term Saturday night.
“We’re mired in one of the worst post-recession recoveries in the history of our country, and that’s why there is so much at stake in this election,” Snowe said. “That’s why it’s important to elect Republicans.”
Snowe was the keynote speaker at the Bangor Republican Committee’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner at Wellman Commons, and she painted a dire picture of the U.S. governed by the Obama administration for another four years.
“The president said, when he assumed office, that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his term, and now we have three of our nation’s highest deficits in the history of our country, which have produced a 43 percent increase in the overall national debt, which has catapulted us into what economists describe as the economic danger zone because our debt is 100 percent of the gross domestic product,” Snowe said.
Just a few minutes after announcing Maine’s Republican Caucus results to a roomful of about 60 people, Snowe detailed the reasons she feels America is “at a tipping point”:
• “By 2016, the United States will be overtaken by China in terms of size of economy.”
• “There are a million more Americans unemployed today than there were when President Obama assumed office in January of 2001.”
• “We also lost our triple-A credit rating for the first time in the history of our country. America is losing rather than attracting growth capital. Americans are investing $115 billion more abroad than foreign investment is occurring here in the United States.”
• “The [Congressional Budget Office’s] forecast is grim. According to their own predictions, the unemployment rate will be 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and economic growth will only be 1.1 percent. That is as good as it gets.”
• “This administration has embarked on a regulatory rampage. In 2010 alone, President Obama issued more than 82,000 pages of regulations, which was an historic act. That’s why I believe we have to do everything to reform the process and inject common sense and practicality.”
• “And then you compound that further by the overlay of the gargantuan health care law that represented more than 2,700 pages, a $500 billion tax increase, has already produced more than 10,000 regulations, and to borrow a line from the legendary John Paul Jones, they have not yet begun to regulate.”
Snowe told the gathering, which included office-holders in Maine, that she has three basic pillars in her Senate agenda to create change.
“One is to balance the federal budget … Second is regulatory reform, and third is overhauling the tax code,” she said. “We have not had a federal budget in three years, so it’s no coincidence that we would have three of the highest deficits in the history of this country during the same three years in which we’ve had no federal budget.
“Now we’re headed toward a fourth year because the Senate majority leader announced a week ago, rather dismissively, that we don’t need to do a budget this year. I mean, that’s a rather remarkable statement since we’re required by law to pass a budget by April 15.”
Snowe encouraged those at the dinner to continue the momentum from last year’s elections — which gave Republicans control of Maine’s executive and legislative branches at the same time for the first time in 47 years — and elect a Republican president and recapture a Republican majority in the Senate.
“We have to thwart the assault by the president and the Democrats on the private sector,” Snowe said, adding that’s why she proposed regulatory reform blocked on two different occasions by the majority leader.
She also recalled an attempt to pass a balanced budget amendment in 1997 that fell one vote short.
“Back then the federal debt was $5.3 trillion and today it’s going to more than triple … to $16.4 trillion by the end of this year,” she said.
Snowe recalled that Obama was asked recently whether he thought Congress needed a balanced budget amendment and that he answered no because Congress can do its job.
“Well, obviously, the Congress can’t do its job and we can give 16 trillion reasons why it can’t,” she said. “So work hard and work united, not divided, to help Republicans win this fall.”