BY: Wolfgang von Baumgart, Staff Writer
Delaware’s Republican primary US Senate candidates, Rob Arlett and Gene Truono discussed issues last night at the Georgetown CHEER Center in an event sponsored by the Sussex County GOP, moderated by WGMD 92.7 FM morning talk show host, Mike Bradley.
“Tom Carper is the major reason why we need term limits. I am running to put courage back in the U.S. Senate. Congress is not doing its job,” said candidate Rob Arlett in his opening statement.
Candidate Gene Truono stated that it is important to focus on the issues: tax reform leading to economic growth, nomination of constitutionalists to the U.S. Supreme Court and final repeal of Obamacare. He further stated that he should give the Democrat candidates a copy of “Economics 101” in reference to their fiscal policies.
Both candidates agreed that to support Supreme Court nominees who would apply the U.S. Constitution as written.
On the issue of fair trade policy, Arlett stated that he would put America first and said that the best entitlement is a a job for all Americans while his opponent said that Tom carper does not support fair trade policies and we should continue to squeeze China to achieve fair trade.
Both candidates supported President trump’s decision to pull out of the JCPOA Iran Nuclear Deal, signed by former President Barack Obama. Mr. Truono stated that sanction will work to further squeeze the Iranian economy in order to stop further nuclear proliferation and have a similar effect as it did on North Korea. “That’s why we need to replace Tom Carper”, countered Rob Arlett.
On the issues of veterans choice in health care and reform of the Veterans Administration , the candidates agreed on the need for major policy and administrative improvements. Gene Truono stated that he strongly supports the rights of veterans to choose private health care options, but did not support merging the DOD and VA health care systems. Rob Arlett said he supports veterans choice one hundred percent and said that the VA needs to focus more on veterans and less on red tape. He also advocated greater access to mental health care and mentoring services. “
Regarding illegal immigration and border security, Rob Arlett said “We need border security at all fronts. We are a nation of laws. Carper supports illegal immigration”. He further advocated “removing benefits for illegals”. In response, Gene Truono stated that our immigration system is broken and supports passage of the RISE Act and strengthening ICE.,p>The candidates had different ideas as to which federal regulations were most severely restricting Delaware’s economic development. Truono stated that the current federal financial regulatory structure was most harmful and advocated consolidation of the current five federal financial regulatory agencies into a single entity, while Arlett focused on the Waters of the USA Act on Delaware largest industry, agriculture.
When asked about the government reform and how they would each “drain the swamp” , Gene Truono said “The swamp is broader than we think”. He also said that we need to make it easier to fire federal employees who weren’t doing their jobs. Rob Arlett stated that he has a former FBI whistle blower on his staff, dedicated to rooting out corruption in government and one crucial way to reform the federal government in service to the people is to defeat Tom Carper.
Given Delaware’s current political demographics, a statewide GOP candidate requires significant independent and moderate Democrat crossover support in order to win an election. Rob Arlett emphasized that he was steadily gaining support among registered Democrats tired of Senator Carper’s official performance and Delaware’s current economic stagnation.