John Robitaille at the Rhode Island Republican Assembly Endorsement Convention
This past Saturday, the Rhode Island Republican Assembly held its endorsement convention for statewide candidates. Candidates were allowed to make a short statement, then took questions from the audience. As always, RI-RA members asked direct and pointed questions of the candidates.
John Robitaille spoke to the convention about his campaign for Governor and received the official endorsement.
“Our country is going in the wrong direction. Our state is going in the wrong direction…” (Audio: 0 min 35 sec)Audience Question: The Rhode Island Dept. of Education is both inefficient and arguably corrupt. What’s your thinking about changing it?
“Let me tell you what it means to be a Republican to me. I am a Reagan Republican. I believe that government should be small, taxes should be low, we must hold people personally accountable for their decisions and their choices in life, and we need to protect our individual freedoms and liberties…” (Audio: 0 min 41 sec)
“I am not going to be a governor who goes along to get along. I will take on the public employee unions. I will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our next Attorney General, Erik Wallin, to fight corruption. And I am not going to get along with the Democratic controlled General Assembly. They have controlled this state for over 70 years, they are to blame…” (Audio: 1 min 8 sec)
Answer: “Well, I’m not sure they are corrupt, but we’ve got to do something…I am supportive at this point still of the format of Race-to-the-Top, not so much of the money that is coming in, but I like the concept of looking at a school, and giving one of four options…” (Audio: 1 min 3 sec)
Audience Question: What’s your position on voter initiative?
Answer: “First of all, I am supportive of representative democracy. However, when that doesn’t work, like it’s not working in the state of Rhode Island, where we have no balance in our General Assembly, then yes, I am very much in favor of voter initiative.” (Audio: 0 min 15 sec)
Audience Question about regionalization and consolidation on Aquidneck Island.
Answer: “Regionalization and consolidation…are great buzzwords, but I know other states that have tried it, and what we have to do is walk very carefully. I am very supportive of the state forming a BRAC-like base-realignment commission that the military uses to shut down and relocate military bases. It’s a very thoughtful process, where a commission is formed and empowered with significant powers to study and come up with recommendations and then to bring it to Congress for an up or down vote…” (Audio: 0 min 56 sec)
Audience Question: What is your position on abortion?
Answer: “I am and have been pro-life. When I was twenty-one years old, my wife gave birth to twin daughters, and the problem was that she was only five-months pregnant, and I stood in the emergency room and the nursery for hours watching my two daughters struggle for life. No one will ever tell me that life does not begin at conception…” (Audio: 0 min 24 sec)