By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Nearly 400 area Republicans were given their marching orders Saturday evening – make phone calls, knock on doors and vote.
But they weren’t told which candidate to cast their ballots for in Tuesday’s primary, with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s name never mentioned during the speeches at the annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner hosted by Congressman Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green.
While it may have been left open which candidate to support, it was made very clear who to defeat.
Keynote speaker Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz hammered the Democrats for failed actions in Benghazi, dishonesty by the IRS, and blunders by the Secret Service.
“Everyday I feel like I’m in a cesspool fighting against people who don’t care about doing the best for the people of America,” Chaffetz said Saturday evening at the dinner.
Chaffetz, who believes in limited government and was in the spotlight recently for taking on Planned Parenthood, urged fellow Republicans to take a stand in next Tuesday’s primary election in Ohio.
“This is ground zero. What you do really, really matters,” he said.
Neither Latta or Chaffetz mentioned Trump during their prepared remarks. When approached before their speeches, Chaffetz said he supports Marco Rubio for president, but more importantly, he wants the Republicans to take back the White House.
“I want to win,” Chaffetz said. “I want the most conservative person we can find to beat Hillary Clinton. We can’t afford to lose the White House again.”
Chaffetz attributed Trump’s success with voters to the nation’s demand for change.
“I think the country is beyond frustration with President Obama,” he said. “They know it’s off track.”
Chaffetz wasn’t ready to throw his support to Trump yet, saying the party still has four viable candidates. “Ohio’s up next. They are on deck.”
Latta agreed, saying his constituents want something new. And Trump fits that bill. “Nobody’s like Donald Trump,” he said. “If I go to the grocery store, people come up to me. People just want something different. He’s a total outsider. A lot of people think he’s viable.”
And elections are the time for Americans to act on “peaceful revolutions” by voting for change, Latta said.
“We’ve got our marching orders here in Ohio,” Latta said to the crowd. “We cannot have a third term of Barack Obama. We cannot afford it.”
“The regulations coming out from this administration are strangling,” Latta said, including “Obamacare” that was “rammed down” the throats of the American people.
Chaffetz, who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has focused much of his energy on “shining a light” on problems he sees in government – such as Benghazi, the IRS, Secret Service and Planned Parenthood funding.
He criticized the national media for failing to cover stories on wrongdoings by the IRS and cover ups in Benghazi.
“We have got to get to the truth in this,” Chaffetz said about Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi. “She lied. It disqualifies her from being president of the United States,” which met with a round of applause from the audience.
Chaffetz also suggested that Congress make better use of its “atrophied muscle” giving the body the power of impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors by presidents, judges and civil officers.
“If you’re not serving the best interest of Americans, then you are going to be impeached,” he said.