On Wednesday, President Obama will visit Quincy, Illinois as part of the president’s “White House to Main Street Tour.” The White House press release reads, “President Obama will spend time in these areas to hear about the challenges rural Americans face and to listen to their ideas for working together to turn the economy around.”
Republican Candidate for Congress Bobby Schilling believes politics have brought the president to his district. His opponent, Democrat Congressman Phil Hare, has been in hot water lately for making several controversial votes with the Democrats and for making a videotaped Constitutional gaffe. “He’s coming here to help him [Hare] out,” Schilling told TAS on the phone. While the president is in Quincy, Schilling expects to be meeting with the local Tea Party.
The Cook D+3 District is likely have a close race this fall as Schilling, an Italian restaurant owner, father of 10, and “on-the-radar” NRCC Young Gun is set to challenge Hare. John Kerry carried the district by 3 points in 2004, and Obama took 56 percent in 2008.
Hare ran into some trouble earlier this month when he was asked at a town hall to defend the constitutionality of the Healthcare bill. Hare replied, “I don’t worry about the Constitution.” When pressed, he said, “I believe it says we have ‘the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'” When an attendee pointed out that his quote was actually from the Declaration of Independence, he responded, “that doesn’t matter to me.”
Schilling focused his attack on Hare by pointing to his voting record of consistently siding with Pelosi. Specifically, he criticized Hare’s affirmative votes on health care, cap and trade, Card Check, and the DC gun restrictions. Schilling told TAS he advocates complete repeal of the health care bill. He also added that he believed cap and trade would be a job destroyer for his district, where John Deere is headquartered and Caterpillar employs large numbers of workers. Schilling explained, “I call that NAFTA, part II. It’s going to put an unfair tax on them [the companies]. and chase them out of the district and out of the United States. It’s another incentive to keep them out of the United States.”
He also indicated that he would have been opposed to the stimulus Bill and TARP. “Realistically, no county has ever spent its way out of a recession or a depression and the United States is not going to be an exception to that rule,” Schilling told TAS.
As of last quarter, Schilling trails Hare in the money race, but reported over $100,000 cash-on-hand. Hare will likely have the backing of labor unions in this mostly-blue collar district. Yet, if anger towards the Democrats persists, Schilling might make this race competitive considering that Obama will not be on the ballot this fall.