Kerry King 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.
Kerry King spoke to the convention about his campaign for Rhode Island General Treasurer, and received the endorsement made later in the day.
“What I want to do is clean up the red ink that exists all across this state of Rhode Island and, in fact, exists all across the world today unfortunately. If you ask yourself what are the key conservative principles, we all might come up with a different answer. I think all of us would say that belief in God is the key one, but another one is fiscal conservatism, and it’s a very, very basic principle. Only if we followed it, we wouldn’t be in the mess that we’re in today. And it’s a simple principle. It says don’t spend more than you earn and don’t borrow money you can’t pay back…” (Audio: 1 min 15 sec)Audience Question: What specific proposal do you have to bring the pension system more in line with what all of us deal with in the private sector?
“I am going to give you 4 numbers that I want you to keep uppermost in your mind: 100, 300, 600, and 22 billion. 100 is the deficit that the General Assembly just passed our budget with, because they are betting on 100 million dollars of Federal money. 300 million dollars is the amount we are borrowing from the Federal government to pay unemployment benefits. 600 million dollars is the amount of revenue that’s dropped off, since the high point was reached, just a few years ago. 22 billion dollars — that’s with a “b” — is the amount of collective borrowing of the state, municipal governments, and the unfunded liabilities of the state and municipal governments…” (Audio: 2 min 1 sec)
“Let me tell you what I believe in, some of the things. I believe that the United States of America is still the greatest country on earth. I believe that freedom is not free, and that we ought to be grateful to the people that fight on our behalf every day to keep us free. That entrepreneurship, innovation and individual responsibility are values that everybody in this room share….I believe that capitalism has produced the greatest good for the people of the world, not socialism. The examples are there today. Look across the world, capitalism produces the greatest value for everyone…” (Audio: 1 min 58 sec)
Answer: “…I’ve written a comprehensive article that details all of the steps that have to be taken to reformulate the state pension plan and to merge all 150 plans…so that we have one plan for all that’s fair to workers, but more importantly is something that the taxpayers can afford…” (Audio: 0 min 47 sec)
Audience Question: What would you say qualifies you, as opposed to your likely progressive, liberal opponent in this race, and are you running as a stepping stone to higher office?
Answer: “Let me just say, right now, that this is my last stop in public service. The reason I chose running for General Treasurer is that it fits my background…I want to fix the financials of this state. I want to clean up the red ink. That’s the legacy I want to leave. That’s all I want to do for the state of Rhode Island…” (Audio: 1 min 12 sec)
Audience Question: How much does illegal immigration tie into your plan to get red of the red ink?
Answer: “…I support efforts to curb the flow of illegal immigration in the state. Pretty clearly it has financial implications, because they are using our healthcare system, they are using our welfare system, and we have to address those problems…” (Audio: 0 min 27 sec)
Closing remark: “I have another engagement, so I’m going to take my signs with me. One of the aspects of fiscal responsibility is that you try to save money wherever you go.” (Audio: 0 min 9 sec)