Virginia needs a common-sense Jeffersonian conservative as its next U.S. senator if America hopes to reverse the national decline that has occurred since the election of Barack Obama as president, George Allen tells Newsmax.TV. Allen, who has served as Virginia’s governor and senator, said he was inspired to enter politics by President Ronald Reagan.
“I’m running because I think this is a pivotal time in our nation,” Allen said during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. “The 2012 elections are going to determine the trajectory of our country and whether we continue to decline or whether or we begin to ascend again.”
Calling himself a “common-sense Jeffersonian conservative,” Allen said the nation needs to regain control of its destiny. “We do need a winning American energy game plan using our plentiful resources, we have to create more jobs and we need to be more competitive in our tax and regulatory policy so we get more investment in the United States rather than driving it away,” he said.
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Allen was considered a likely 2008 presidential candidate when his 2006 Senate re-election campaign collapsed after he called an Indian-American opposition campaign worker a “macaca,” a word viewed as a racial epithet. Jim Webb, who recently announced he would not seek a second term, went on to win the election by less than 10,000 votes.
“I take responsibility for that mistake that I made,” Allen said. “I never should have drawn that young cameraman into the whole debate. I’ve apologized and take responsibility for it. People want to hear about ideas, and that allowed that campaign to be diverted from ideas and issues that families care about. And speaking of families, I know how tough it is on families. And because of my mistake my family had to endure a lot insults and all sorts of jabs to them, and I never want to have to put them through that again because of an error that I make.”
Allen said that while voters generally know he is opposed to the bailout, stimulus plan, government spending and Obamacare, it's even more important for voters to know that his campaign also calls for a balanced budget, reducing taxes on businesses, a line-item veto and a positive energy game plan for America.
Allen also counts himself as lucky for having had a personal relationship with Reagan. He said he first met Reagan when his father, famed football coach George Allen, moved the family to California to coach the Los Angeles Rams. Then-Gov. Reagan used to come to the team practices. The family then moved to Virginia when his father took the head coaching job with the Washington Redskins.
“And I’m at Mr. Jefferson’s university, the University of Virginia, and I was telling everyone this Ronald Reagan, this guy’s really a great leader. And then Ronald Reagan decides he’s going run for president in late 1975, 1976, and he asks me to become chairman of Young Virginians for Reagan. And I say, ‘I know nothing about organized politics.' He says, ‘Well, I understand you tell people how much you like me?' I say, 'Oh gosh, yes, I tell everyone that, governor.' He said, 'Just keep doing that.’ And so that’s what got me involved in organized politics.”
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