U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, (R-GA) spoke for more than a half hour to Brookhaven Rotarians about his views on this year's presidential primary, national defense, social security and the military.
We identified four key topics Chambliss addressed. See what he said below:
2012 Political Campaign
On Rick Santorum: Rick has been a fourth-tiered candidate until Iowa, eventhough he’s a great guy and has a great message.
On Ron Paul: No one anticipated that Ron Paul was going to do as well as he did. I think that the fact that he did as well as he did is an exhibition of kind of like the Occupy Wall Street crowd. You may not necessarily agre with them, but you can't help but empathize with the feelings that they have with the direction that the country's going. People are angry, they're upset, and not just with the administration, but with Congress.
On Mitt Romney: I expect Romney to do well in Nevada, because it's a big Mormon state, and then you go to Florida. Florida is going to be an interesting election because it’s not a caucus state, it’s a free and open election. If Romney does well in South Carolina, he’ll win Nevada and so going into Florida, he will have a lot of momentum and I’ll say he’d be difficult to stop. He’s a good man, I really like him, and if he’s nominated, I would definitely feel comfortable.
On Endorsements: I haven’t endorsed anybody. I’m sitting back on the sidelines but obviously I want a Republican to win the presidency.
The bipartisan Social Security Commission reports every year on the status of the Social Security Trust Fund, and they’ve told us for the last two years that we’re going to pay out more money in social security benefits than we take in in social security taxes. If we don’t do something, then social security is going to be going broke in the near future. We know today that if we take no action whatsoever from a policy standpoint that in 2032 that there will be a 22 percent across the board cut in social security benefits. 2032 sounds like it’s a long ways off, but it’s right around the corner. Just think about the fact, and we can all remember very vividly we were getting ready for 2000 and whether our computers were going to work and here we are in 2012.
I did not support the removal of all our troops by the end of the year, that the President decided to [move forward with]. The U.S. has a lot of civilians still in Iraq. We've got USAID employees, agriculture, employees and a number of other civilians. Those people need protection and the Iraqis are not able to protect them. We’ve since hired contractors to protect those employees.
The Debt and National Security
As Mike Mullen, retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said, 'Our number one security interest in America is not al-Qaeda it’s our debt.' We’re looking at a reduction in defense spending like you’ve never seen. We can see another 600 million in defence reduction over the next 10 years. If that happens, I can tell you it will be a hallow military representating the United states of America.