“I took off my jacket because I’m not packing tonight,” joked Brad Zaun as he opened his stump speech for a Liberty Iowa gathering. He was refering to last week’s story in the Des Moines Register over his admission that he sometimes carries a weapon as a State Senator into the Iowa Capitol Building.
Brad Zaun was the featured guest for last night’s Liberty on the Rocks event. The event also included short speeches from others representing the Sam Clovis and Matt Whitaker campaigns. David Edwards shared of his personal friendship with Clovis, and that he’s voting for him because he’s the “real deal.” Literature and yard signs were available for the Clovis, Whitaker, and Zaun campaigns.
During the main speech, the applause line came when Zaun mentioned he had voted against all the appropriations bills in the Iowa Senate. If he’s elected to national office, he would not support any subsidies. “I will not vote to pass this debt on to my kids. Period.”
“I have three non-negotiables, and everything else is on the table,” Zaun said, “those non-negotiables are our veterans, the elderly, and the disabled.”
Zaun pledged to always do what’s right, even if it’s unpopular or not politically expedient. “If it’s one term, so be it,” he said, refering to how many go to Washington and do whatever will get them re-elected. “I’m accountable to my wife, and to all of you.” He said there were two ways he makes decisions–out of a “deep faith” and the Constitution.
During the Q&A time, someone asked a follow-up question to Zaun’s earlier statement as to why he’d like to get rid of the Department of Education. “I’m married to a teacher,” he said, and went on to express concerns at the amount of time she spends completing paperwork rather than preparing lessons, and the amount of data collection on students. He also said a one-size-fits-all program doesn’t work, and there are different needs even in various schools around Iowa.
When asked about whether he’d consider cutting military spending, he agreed there was plenty of waste and ineffectiveness in the military that could probably be cut. He said shutting down foreign bases would save us some money, and we should not be the police of the world. he believes in an official declaration of war if it would be necessary, and thinks our first priority for the military should be protecting our borders and interests. He also would like to promote freedom, and liked Reagan’s idea of having a strong military but not having to use it.
He also fielded questions on the NSA, “I do not and will not support gathering information on Americans,” and Social security reform, “We have to have a hard conversation with younger people,” and raising the Debt Ceiling, “No.”
In an appeal to undecided voters, he encouraged them to “Check me out. See what I do in [state] senate. I’m not gonna change. I do not lie.”
Zaun made several pledges during the appearance, including keeping it civil during the primary. But, he said if he’s the nominee, “I’m taking the gloves off [in the general election].”
Said one previously undecided voter after Zaun’s appearance, “Zaun it is.”