SANTA CLARA — From Hillary Clinton to gun rights, former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz mentioned many of the GOP’s talking points Thursday while leaving the window open for him to run for governor.
Chaffetz was a guest speaker at the Washington County Republican Women luncheon in the Santa Clara City Hall, which was attended by over 100 Republican women, men and other leaders in the community. Chaffetz, who is currently a contributor appearing on Fox News, also repeated attacks against Clinton, Democrats and the “mainstream media”
Chaffetz on Clinton scandals
Much of Chaffetz’s speech was dedicated to his opinions on familiar Clinton scandals.
Chaffetz resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives in June. From his time as chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Chaffetz conducted extensive investigations into Clinton. He said he still believes Clinton is to blame for many scandals, including the response to the 2012 Benghazi attack and her private email server.
“When Donald Trump was elected, and I’m the oversight chair, I’m excited because now I can blow the lid off all these things,” Chaffetz said. “I want people to be held accountable and Lady Justice with that blindfold is not supposed to peek under and make sure it’s not a Clinton before they move on.”
Chaffetz drew cheers from the crowd when he mentioned how Clinton should “be served justice.” He was even asked by an audience member if he thinks “that old hag will ever be prosecuted.”
“I think we can all look in the mirror every day and just be grateful Hillary Clinton is not our president,” Chaffetz said at the start of his speech.
Speaking about the Second Amendment, Chaffetz also criticized retailers like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods for recently raising the minimum age for gun buyers to 21.
“They’re getting some pats on the back from some Democrats,” Chaffetz said. “But they’re saying it’s OK to subvert the law because you have a moral conscience that says you should be 21 (to buy a gun).”
He compared the decision retailers have made to refuse to sell some people guns to the decision a baker has made to refuse to make a cake for a LGBT wedding, an issue currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“You’ve got duplicity there,” Chaffetz said. “So if it’s about religious liberty, then they’re totally opposed to it. But if it’s about making sure we can’t exercise our constitutional right to bear arms and acquire those arms, then it’s OK for them.”
Possibility of running for governor
When asked by an audience member if he is considering running for Utah governor in 2020, Chaffetz said his answer is a “definite maybe.” According to a 2017 poll by Dan Jones & Associates, Chaffetz would be a frontrunner in the governor race if he were to run.
“It’s a good year and a half or two years until I need to make a definite decision on that,” Chaffetz told St. George News.
Lesa Sandberg, president of the Washington County Republican Women, said she was grateful for Chaffetz coming on his own dime to speak about issues that matter for GOP women.
“The only question we didn’t get out was why he left (Washington) because we love him and we’re proud of him,” Sandberg said. “And our ladies think he’s cute.”
In his speech, Chaffetz told stories about how his upbringing in Utah led him to be a strong believer in conservatism and the Constitution. He also mentioned a new book he is working on about the “deep state.”
“As long as we’re adhering to the Constitution, if we can get fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability and strong national defense, then our country will be moving in the right direction,” Chaffetz said.
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