This past election, Bruce Poliquin pulled off a stunning victory. Most of the political pundits, both here in the State and nationwide, did not offer much hope of the former State Treasurer defeating Emily Cain and her running mate, Blaine Richardson. Yet despite their combined efforts, Bruce Poliquin emerged victorious in impressive fashion. But now he must legislate.
From a Conservative standpoint, Representative Poliquin has had a good start. With a Pro-Life vote, a very public grilling of the Head of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and several strong statements in between, he has been developing a very strong conservative resume at the Federal level. Still many of us were more than dismayed last week when Poliquin voted no on a test vote to repeal ObamaCare.
The news has caused an instant furor here in the State of Maine. Many are calling for his head, decrying his betrayal of the voters. Blaine Richardson is one of the loudest voices reminding everyone that they could have voted for the Cain/Richardson ticket…because we all know that repealing ObamaCare would be first on Emily Cain’s list of things to do in Washington. Bruce Poliquin has offered his explanation and, frankly, I believe him, at least for now, and here’s why.
First, there were numerous occasions on the campaign trail that I witnessed the then candidate Poliquin say that he would vote to repeal ObamaCare if there was a quality plan to remove it; in other words, an exit strategy. Any good businessman will tell you that to make a major change in business philosophy or direction, you better have a good exit plan.
Any decisions made in haste, passion, and in a vacuum with no strategy to control the damages of the possible repercussions will be disastrous. Like it or not, this President committed us to a monstrosity of a health plan in hopes that if it stayed in existence long enough, the Nation could not function without it. Poliquin simply wants to make sure we have the right exit strategy in place that does not damage hardworking Americans any further.
Grandstand politics has always bothered me and both Parties are guilty of this. Speeches and votes to gain political points, to garner public opinion and yet with no true solutions to back them up are so prevalent in modern day politics. The Republicans must show they are capable of providing a solution that will not only end this travesty of ObamaCare but also heal the damage it has done to our Nation. It takes courage to challenge the grandstanding of your own Party and call for a true solution.
Secondly, Bruce Poliquin is willing to face the music. He has come back to Maine to answer the people and explain his vote. I can assure you, if he was pulling a fast one on Mainers, he wouldn’t be traveling all over this great State, looking people in the eye, and answering their questions. He’d be hiding in the shadows of Washington like his predecessor, Mike Michaud, was fond of doing.
Imagine my surprise, when I received a phone call from Representative Poliquin. Imagine my further surprise when he did not ask me to write on his behalf or try to help him, through my column, to persuade any that might be disparaging his integrity at this point. He simply wanted my opinion and an opportunity to answer any questions I had.
I was very direct and frank. I expressed my concern that his comments on “repeal and replace” sounded uncomfortably like just another Republican version of government run healthcare. I told him I was not in favor of that and believed the right solution is a free-market solution. Bruce Poliquin assured me in the strongest of terms that he absolutely believes that the solution to healthcare is in the free-market and not the government.
He also agreed with me when I told him he must continue to be open and transparent with the people of Maine on the why and how of his votes in Washington. Nancy Pelosi has already indicated that Emily Cain is her pick to challenge Bruce in the next election. It is still unclear whether Pelosi has tapped Blaine Richardson to be Cain’s running mate again. At any rate, Poliquin must maintain this open dialogue he has established with the voters of Maine, as it is inevitable he will be under a steady barrage of negative press from the Maine media.
While some are trying to say that Poliquin has gotten off to a rocky start in Washington, I am convinced to the contrary. I believe he has kept his word. Bruce Poliquin hates ObamaCare and its effect on our Nation. He will vote to end this sad chapter in our Nation’s history when the right course of repeal is presented in Washington.