2014 Congressional candidate and “New Generation Republican” Carl DeMaio, as part of his college tour, spoke in the ARC Thursday night, about the current state of the U.S. government, his “Free to Be” plan, his past as a businessman, Roadmap to Recovery, and Obamacare.
His focus was on his “Free to Be” plan, which accentuated five concepts for millennials: free to be in the job of your dreams, free to be anyone you are with equal rights under the law, free to afford tuition, free to be able to choose your healthcare, and free to live your entire life without playing off the debts of someone else. Then, he began a brief Q&A session with students. Approximately 50 people attended the event, and the College Republican Club reported 73 people as the peak attendance of the event.
DeMaio began the event with a challenge, telling students that now is not the time to wait for the “old guard” to fix the problem and students need to work to be their own solution by getting involved.
“But this is exactly why you can’t tune it out and walk away because your future is on the line,” DeMaio said, “Your opportunities are not the same opportunities that prior generations had and that’s because of the failure of policies in Washington, in Sacramento, and locally here at City Hall. So the question is, are you going to accept that?”
DeMaio also ensured that these governmental problems of economic opportunities and fiscal responsibilities span across both parties, that both must rise up and insist no more.
“There is not a democrat or republican solution to this problem. There is not a democrat or republican blame to assign. Applying labels to solutions, that’s not going to help us. This has got to be an American solution, where we say no one should sit on the sidelines. We should insist on leadership and we should insist on tough decisions being made,” said DeMaio.
Justin Vos, president of the College Republican Club on campus, said that DeMaio is just the candidate needed to change the direction of government.
“Carl’s been a great advocate for reform. He’s really the kind of leader that we need in office. We’ve had so many people who just sit around not really doing the job that they’re expected to do,” Vos said. “You know, we don’t need wishy-washy politicians like the one we currently have, Scott Peters, who doesn’t have new ideas, doesn’t have bright solutions. We need somebody that can get things done. And that’s the kind of guy Carl is.”
Ultimately, Vos said this event is important for students because it received attention from both parties.
“Democrats are scared of Carl now. They’re scared because they know he’s going to be a great leader,” he said. “They know he’s going to come in, he’s going to make reform in Washington. They know that if they get him in there, that things are going to change there and that we’re going to see America become a better place.”
Right at the start of the event, democrats Kai Pedersen and Roberto C. Torres with others, arrived with signs of protest, and were quickly met with Public Safety who made them put their signs outside and allowed them to stay if they would be respectful.
Kai Pedersen, the vice president of the College Democrats Club, said that it wasn’t their intention to make a scene in protest.
“We don’t want to be seen as protestors, but people who want some questions to be answered” said Pedersen.
Kai Pedersen, the vice president of the Democrat Club, was impressed with what DeMaio had to say, but still had some concerns.
“Overall, with the event, I was pretty impressed with the level of detail and with the level of thinking that candidate DeMaio portrayed,” he said. “I was concerned by some of the rhetoric that I heard.”
Pedersen said DeMaio claims to be a new kind of Republican, not afraid to challenge the Republican Party on key issues, while still using the language of the “old guard,” something he finds concerning, especially in the way he “demonized Obamacare.”
“There’s a lot of misinformation and disinformation going around about Obamacare,” said Pedersen. “One of the things that representative DeMaio said is that we’re going to see premiums skyrocket for everybody. And at the same time, we know that at least, is not completely true because we are seeing some examples of premiums becoming much more affordable through the new online health exchange that recently came online.”
DeMaio responded that young people and small businesses everywhere are getting notices that their coverage is no longer going to continue, and this is a problem that has been confirmed time and time again from an informal Facebook survey he took.
“Look, right now it’s pretty clear that premiums are more expensive and people have lost their coverage. That’s not rhetoric; it’s facts,” DeMaio said. “And I want a health care reform that makes healthcare more affordable and more accessible. Those should be our measuring sticks. And clearly, the facts are piling up that people are paying more and losing insurance coverage because of these new regulations. We have to fix that.”
DeMaio visited PLNU on invitation by Vos and as a part of his college tour this past week in which he also visited USD, SDSU, and UCSD.