Andrew Walter sat down with the Ahwatukee Foothills News and East Valley Tribune on July 11 to answer questions dealing with the economy, education and the Veteran Affairs scandal.
Wendy Rogers, Walter’s Republican primary opponent in the U.S. House of Representatives District 9 race, was also invited but chose not to attend. Whoever wins the primary will face incumbent Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in the general election Nov. 4.
Walter, a former Arizona State University and NFL quarterback, says he’s running for Congress because of this unique point in the nation’s history where the nation’s debt is larger than the entire economy and a great number of Arizona kids attend underperforming schools.
“These are bipartisan problems,” Walter said. “I’m of the thought that the next generation of leaders, hopefully I’m in that category, need to be able to come to the table and discuss how we solve these problems. At the end of the day, it’s not about me. It’s about the families we represent.”
To help with these issues, Walter said we need to build the nation’s economy by embracing pro-growth policies.
“When I consider my role in Washington, I think it’s to make their job easier, to allow them to do what they do best,” Walter said about small businesses. “How does that happen? It’s siding with them. If you’re ever faced with a decision and you have to side with Wall Street or Main Street, I will side with Main Street.”
Walter pointed out three ways to improve the economy: spending reform like a balanced budget amendment; regulation reform by ending certain regulations and streamlining others; and tax reform with cutting taxes for all Americans.
When it comes to setting standards for schools, Walter said he’s a believer in school choice and that standards should be set at the local level.
“Quality education is the best way for anybody to empower themselves in our country or economy and pull themselves up,” he said. “Ultimately any parent just wants their child to be self-sufficient and provide for themselves. That’s what we can do if we have standards in our classrooms, but those standards need to come as local as we can.”
He’d like to see the scope of the Department of Education reduced to dealing with only Title I schools and special-needs programs. He’d also like budget decisions to be made at the local level to keep more dollars in classrooms.
The Veteran Affairs health care scandal was first discovered in Phoenix. Walter said he wants to see as much light as possible shown on the situation to help address it. Walter said at bare minimum, he supports using a voucher system for veterans waiting for care. From there, he believes the system needs significant overhaul.
“I think it’s barbaric to have a system by which humans are not treated like humans,” he said. “My concern is that the future of America’s health care system under the current regime is the VA. We have somebody sitting in office right now, Kyrsten Sinema, who co-signed a letter which was delivered to (former Secretary of Health and Human Services) Kathleen Sebelius that advocated for single-payer or a VA-style health care system. That’s not compassionate. Clearly it’s inhumane. It’s a very serious issue that needs to be addressed appropriately.”
Walter said his campaign is all about empowering people through economic freedom.
“Today the scenario is this; I think it’s harder for the average middle-class family to provide for their kids, to pay for college, to put food on the table, to put gas in the car or to pay for health care,” he said. “These things shouldn’t be so. I’m convinced they don’t have to be. If elected, I will go to Washington and fight for the people that I believe have the largest special interest and that’s the American people. That’s Arizona. That should be our focus.”
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