ST. GEORGE – Billing himself as the “true Republican” alternative to Mitt Romney this election season, Constitution Party candidate for U.S. Senate Tim Aalders met with prospective voters in St. George Saturday evening as part of his campaign’s visit to Southern Utah.
Prior to meeting with a small crowd during a candidate town hall meeting held at the Clarion Suites in St. George, Aalders visited Cedar City and Beaver. In Beaver his audience was two women at a cafe, he said.
“It’s my priority to meet with the people when they ask,” Aalders said, adding that if he is elected, the people of Utah will be his boss because he will be committed and accountable. In contrast, he said Romney will be more supportive of big money interests that donate to his campaign and upholding the political establishment in Washington, D.C.
“I’ve been in the corporate world. We didn’t spend money without expecting a return on investment,” he said, once more pointing at the corporate connections he says Romney will honor more than Utah voters.
Aalders, who hails from Highland, is a business owner. He is also known in the world of talk radio, having been a conservative talk radio show host for the program “Buy Back America Radio.” He left talk radio last year following the death of his 25-year-old daughter who died of a rare heart disease.
Aalders said his daughter’s passing played a part in his decision to enter the race. He said his daughter’s short life added to the reasons he has for his pro-life stance when it comes to abortion. This is another issue that Aalders and Romney have a difference of opinion on, he said.
On his campaign website, Romney also touts himself as “pro-life and pro-family.”
As the town hall continued, Aalders said he believes God sends children to earth for a reason, adding that many extraordinary people – the likes of Martin Luther King, George Washington and others – may have been lost to abortion.
Aalders also spoke to his stance on the $21 trillion national debt, which he said congressional Republicans have added to while also doing nothing to lessen it.
“I will never vote to put our country in debt,” he said.
Aalders pledged to voters that if he ever voted for a bill that added to the debt, he would resign from office.
This extended to his stance against omnibus bills. He said if there’s a piece of legislation that’s worth discussing and running through Congress, then it should be made into its own bill.
On immigration, Aalders said he is the son of Dutch immigrants. He supports the creation of a border wall and using technology to aid in securing the border.
While there are people who enter the country illegally who may be seeking a better life, Aalders said there are also darker elements like the drug trade and human sex trafficking that cross the border and need to be stopped.
“We want to make sure the people who come to here care about our country as much as we do,” he said.
When asked about the Second Amendment and gun control, Aalders said he is a concealed carry permit holder and that the government shouldn’t make laws limiting firearms ownership.
As for his view of President Donald Trump, Aalders said he sometimes wishes Trump didn’t have access to Twitter, but overall he supports the president’s policies.
“Look at the economy and job market right now,” Aalders said, pointing to them as a result of Trump’s policies. “Right now, I’m happy with it.”
However, should the president propose something Aalders deems as unconstitutional, he said he will call Trump out on the issue and discuss it with him.
If elected, Aalders said he would make it a priority to come to every county in the state once a year in order to better stay in touch with the people he would represent and be working for. If he failed in this endeavor, he pledged to resign.
Aalders also said he would take advantage of a Senate rule that allows senators to speak twice on every bill set before them. He would do this with the intent of making sure Utah’s voice is heard, as well as to speak against any bills he believed to be unconstitutional or that added to the national debt.
While he is a registered Republican, Aalders is running as a candidate of the Constitution Party.
“It’s actually a strategic decision,” he said, explaining that it provides Republican voters who don’t want to support Romney a way to vote for a “true Republican.”
When people have said voting for him would be a wasted vote, Aalders said he thinks the same thing about voting for Romney.
“I believe in the Republican Party’s platform,” he said. “It’s the same as the Constitution Party’s platform.”
Gary Welch, a Constitution Party member, said the difference between the Republican and Constitution parties can be seen in their commitment to the principles of the Constitution and its application in government.
Aalders, who has poured $100,000 of his own money into his campaign thus far, asked for the voters’ support beyond just showing up to a town hall and taking signs and bumper stickers.
“I need your help. I’ve done everything I can,” Aalders said, asking those present to spread the word about his platform and become more involved in the campaign. “You’re the difference. It’s all in your hands.”
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