Entries in Jason Chaffetz (3)


Romney Surrogate Says ‘No More Excuses’ for GOP Nominee -- With the clock counting down towards Election Day, Mitt Romney needs now to begin aggressively courting independent voters to break the dead heat in which he finds himself currently locked with President Obama, a close GOP surrogate said on Monday.

Asked why Romney finds himself neck and neck with the president despite polls that favor the presumptive GOP candidate’s position on the economy, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz said the calendar still favors Romney but that he could no longer make “excuses” for not pulling ahead.

“I happen to think at the end of the day we’re not trying to win at Labor Day, we’re trying to win at Election Day.  I don’t think it’s going to be very close.  Those that follow politics day in and day out already know how we’re going to vote, which direction we’re going to go in,” Chaffetz said during an ABC News/Yahoo! Webcast from inside the Tampa Bay Times Arena, home of this week’s Republican National Convention.

“But there’s this center part of the country -- now that school’s back in session, the NFL is kicking off, college football is in the air.  They’re going to start focusing on this.  Going to see debates.  Going to see the convention.  The next three nights are critical, it’s prime time baby,” he said.

Chaffetz, who came to Congress in 2008, said there were “no more excuses” left for Romney; it was time for action.

“No more excuses.  Game on,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tea Party Rising Star Chaffetz Won’t Challenge Sen. Hatch in GOP Primary

Comstock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) -- GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, a rising star in the Tea Party movement and a fixture on the cable news circuit, surprised many in Washington and his home state by announcing that he would not challenge Sen. Orrin Hatch in a GOP primary.

At a hastily convened press conference Monday afternoon in Salt Lake City, Chaffetz said he would seek re-election to the House so that he could continue his efforts to tackle the federal budget.

In a statement, Chaffetz wrote: “Ultimately, I can spend the next 15 months doing my job, or I can spend the next 15 months campaigning to do Senator Hatch’s.”

Chaffetz was widely expected to challenge the six-term senator. He’s popular with the conservative activists in the state. He’s experienced at beating incumbents: He won his Provo-based seat in 2006 by knocking off Rep. Chris Cannon with 60 percent of the vote. And he’s been mulling this run for months, even taking a statewide town hall tour this month.

Most important, the nominating system in Utah gives oversized influence to conservative activists. In order to even get on a primary ballot, you have to win at least 41 percent of the approximately 3,500 delegates at a Republican convention. In 2010, Republican Sen. Bob Bennett lost his bid for a fourth term when he took just 27 percent of the vote in a three-way race at the convention.

Credit, however, has to go to Hatch, who took the Tea Party threat seriously. After watching many of his colleagues lose primary challenges in 2010, Hatch began a concerted effort to woo Tea Party types. He tacked hard to the right on policy (most recently with his vote against raising the debt ceiling). And his campaign organization, said one GOP insider, has put together an amazing ground game. He even promoted an endorsement from conservative media personalities like Mark Levin and Sean Hannity.

Even so, Hatch isn’t completely out of the woods. While Chaffetz has to be considered his biggest threat, it doesn’t mean that other Republicans are going to pass at the opportunity to challenge Hatch at the convention.

FreedomWorks for America, which has been hosting a “Retire Hatch” campaign, remains committed to keeping up the fight.

In a statement immediately following Chaffetz's press conference, National Political Director Russ Walker said: “We are confident a principled fiscal conservative will enter the race to defeat 36-year big government incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch."

“Sen. Hatch voted for TARP, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout, against a ban on earmarks and was the lead sponsor of an individual mandate in health care,” FreedomWorks Utah field coordinator Dan McCay said. “Utahns believe it’s time for Sen. Hatch to step down and while Rep. Chaffetz will not be the one to replace him, we remain committed to finding someone new.”

And it’s likely that the Club for Growth -- which led the effort to oust Bennett in 2010 -- would also get behind a serious challenger to Hatch.
Hatch, however, has proven to be well-prepared for a fight and is sitting on more than $3.4 million in the bank.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


(HOLD FOR PIC)Congressman Says Colbert is 'Fake Newscaster' for 'Fake Hearing'

(WASHINGTON) -- As comedian and satirist Stephen Colbert heads to Capitol Hill Friday, some Republican lawmakers are asking whether his appearance will be anything more than a political stunt.  Colbert is listed as an expert witness for a House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, refugees and border security hearing on immigrant farm workers and the AgJOBS bill.

“He’s the best fake newscaster in the country, and it’s fitting for this fake hearing to have Colbert,” said Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz. “He’s a nice guy and a darn good leg wrestler…But he’s not an expert on farm workers.”

Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the subcommittee chairwoman, invited Colbert to appear after she joined him at a farm in upstate New York in August, when he spent a day picking vegetables alongside other migrant workers as part of the United Farm Workers' Take Our Jobs campaign.

Chaffetz, who has appeared on Colbert's Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report”, said he'll give him the benefit of the doubt and ask him serious questions about his farm experience, but said he does not believe the testimony will be substantive.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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