Steve Chabot, current U.S. Congressman for Ohio’s 1st District, spoke at the College Republican kickoff Meeting Wednesday-focusing on grassroot Republicanism and standing up to any liberal college faculty members at Miami and other universities.
After being introduced by Scott Owens, executive director of the Butler County GOP, Chabot took to the podium and thanked College Republicans for all of their work over the years.
“I would not be here as an incumbent if it weren’t for a lot of people in this room,” Chabot said, regarding his close race for the first district seat against John Cranley in 2006.
Owens remarked that Butler County could have gone Democratic if it weren’t for the support of College Republicans working steadily on campaigns, big and small.
Chabot then pointed out that although 2007 isn’t a big year for national elections, local elections, such as for local trustees and judges, will set the tone for the presidential election next year. Chairman of College Republicans Chris Berry agreed.
“We will be getting involved in local races-to win the White House you have to,” he said.
A key point in Chabot’s speech, which lasted just under an hour, was that young Republicans have a hard time maintaining their beliefs in college.
“Most of the (Miami’s) university’s faculty is not of the conservative persuasion … it takes some courage to be a conservative,” Chabot said.
However, then he said that even though some of the faculty members are liberals, Miami is still a great place to go to school, adding that Miami was his second choice to the College of William and Mary.
First vice chairman of College
Republicans, junior Thad Boggs, believes Miami is a comfortable environment for conservatives, but added that the political climate does have its problems.
“Compared to other universities, we have it better,” Boggs said. “It isn’t harder to be conservative, but it is hard to motivate people and have them practice their political orientation.”
Throughout the night, Chabot spoke about why conservatism is important for students to uphold. “(Republicans) are really looking out for the best interest of the country,” he said.
At one point early in his speech-when Chabot was speaking about the necessity to cut taxes-the power cut out in the room in Shriver Center.
Iraq was another staple in his speech.
“Although I’d like to get our troops out, the bottom line is the ‘surge’ has worked,” he said, commenting on Tuesday’s report by Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus.
Chabot went on to say that as a result, he feels the U.S. should have 30,000 troops out in the next five to six months. Chabot warned about pulling out of Iraq early, however, because the country could become a haven for terrorists.
When asked his opinion on striking Iran militarily, Chabot said that it is the most dangerous country on earth, due in the most part to Iran’s leader, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his determination of obtaining nuclear weapons. But said Chabot was “not promoting a preemptive attack” on the country.
However he did say that if Iran were to obtain the weapons, working with Israel would be an option for the U.S.
Chabot ended his speech with predictions about the future of Washington D.C., doubting that the Senate would swing back to the Republicans in 2008. But he does believe the Republican Party can retain the White House and take back the House of Representatives.
Chris Berry, chairman of College Republicans, felt Chabot’s speech was important, saying that Chabot took very general issues and then outlined areas for action well.
“We aren’t the most informed about what is going on outside of the Miami bubble,” Berry said.