Rep. Paul Broun Announces Run for Senate, Seeks to Rein In Federal Spending
Republican Congressman Paul Broun announced Wednesday he’ll be running for Saxby Chambliss' U.S. Senate seat in 2014.
He did it in a cleared-out conference room at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead. Media and a few dozen supporters filled the room.
"I'll be the only candidate in this race whose first priority is to stop out-of-control spending in Washington D.C," said Broun.
He spoke for about three minutes. The message focused on reining in federal spending and limiting the size of government.
"Each American's share of the national debt today is over $52,000 and that number has grown by almost 50 percent just in the last four years. We must have someone that will lead the fight to stop this madness," said Broun.
After his prepared remarks, he circulated the room, posing for pictures with supporters and talking with reporters.
He said he’d stand out in what promises to be a crowded field because of his record.
"I've introduced more measures to cut spending than any other member of Congress in the House and the Senate that's from this state," said Broun. "Georgians are going to look at that. They're going to see I've been that fighter."
Broun is a physician with a medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He was first elected to Congress in 2007 as a staunch fiscal and social conservative. He opposed the bailout of the banks and the federal health reform law. He supports turning Medicare into a voucher program. And he’s called the idea of man-made global warming a conspiracy.
Broun has received national attention for several controversial comments about President Obama. He has called him a socialist on multiple occasions. And last month he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that in his view the "only Constitution that Barack Obama upholds is the Soviet constitution."
Recently, he said evolution and the Big Bang Theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell.” At the Senate announcement, Broun didn't back away from the comment.
"It's been well known that I'm a bible-believing Christian but that's not what Georgians are focusing on, that's not what Americans are focusing on. They're focusing on out-of-control spending in Washington," said Broun.
Despite his vow to limit government spending, Broun remains in favor of hundreds of millions of federal dollars for the ongoing Savannah port expansion. When asked where he draws the line, he took out a pocket copy of the Constitution.
"I draw the line at the U.S. Constitution - what it says we should be doing and shouldn't be doing. We're spending money we shouldn't be spending," said Broun.
Other Republican candidates who have expressed interest in the Senate seat but not yet declared include Congressmen Tom Price, Phil Gingrey, and Jack Kingston. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland and former Governor Sonny Perdue have ruled out a run.