SALT LAKE CITY – Conservative Republican Dan Liljenquist criticized 36-year incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch for his refusal to accept any responsibility for the nearly $16 trillion national debt.
On June 15, Liljenquist and Hatch participated in the only debate of Utah’s Senate primary where each was given the opportunity to ask a question of the other. Liljenquist asked Hatch whether he considered himself “responsible in any way for the national debt that has exploded in your time in Washington?” Hatch responded, “Frankly, no…and I’m offended you keep bringing it up.”
“It is absolutely baffling that Senator Hatch refuses to take any responsibility for his record,” said Liljenquist in response. “When Republicans had control of the House, Senate, and White House Orrin Hatch was a leader in the explosion of our national debt. We saw a $16 trillion expansion of entitlements with the passage of just a single bill that he pushed – but there were many.”
Senator Hatch has been criticized by conservatives for being the third highest earmarker in all of Congress in 2010, for voting for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, and for passing other spending bills that have helped drive the national debt to almost $16 trillion.
“With this statement Orrin Hatch has proven himself to be completely out of touch with reality,” said Liljenquist spokeswoman Holly Richardson. “Not only has he continually voted for spending bills and government expansion, he championed them. Now, in a stunning statement, he claims to have no responsibility for our national debt. It’s time to thanks Senator Hatch for his service and let someone else represent the people of Utah.”
Liljenquist and Hatch will face off in Utah’s Republican primary on June 26.
Liljenquist’s campaign has launched a new ‘microsite’ called Hatch76.com highlighting the difference between Hatch’s campaign rhetoric in 1976 and his message used in 2012.
“This new site helps illustrate that Orrin Hatch has become the kind of Senator he campaigned against 36 years ago,” said Richardson. “He campaigned against seniority; he campaigned against big spending and excessive pay and pensions for Congress. After 36 years in Washington Orrin Hatch is guilty of the same things.”
Hatch76.com features actual news articles and campaign ads from Hatch’s 1976 campaign to defeat 18-year incumbent Senator Frank Moss.
“Republican U.S. Senate candidate said seniority doesn’t count for much in the Senate anymore,” stated one article from the 1976 campaign. “And it shouldn’t be a major issue of this campaign against three-term Democratic Sen. Frank Moss.”
Submitted by the Press Office of Dan Liljenquist