Text of Roe Campaign Announcement

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 @ 6:49PM

ANNOUNCEMENT SPEECH AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY:  

June 29, 2016

First I want to thank Jeanette Blazier for her words this morning and for her example as a civic leader. She is truly a statesman and a class act.

And also Lawrence Shoemaker, whose service to our country and to his fellow veterans has extended over a lifetime of devotion and duty. If it were not for men like Lawrence, we simply could not be here today. We must never forget that America is the land of the free because of the brave. Thank you again, Lawrence, for being here today.

Well, eight years go by mighty fast.  It seems like just yesterday we were out meeting people all over North East Tennessee, meeting people on farms, in factories, at hospitals, at feed stores, at general stores.

Listening. Listening to real people. Real people with real life experiences outside of politics. Looking for the same kind of people to deliver their voices to Washington. And, in fact we have been out meeting people at places like these, even yesterday.

Sometimes they bring their bluegrass instruments. Sometimes I bring along my guitar. I always said my lobbyist would be the person I meet at Kroger in my district, or the person I see at church, or Sunday School, or at a high school ballgame, or wherever I might be. I said I wouldn’t be just another suit who goes to Washington and forgets who he works for.  I said I’d stay in touch. Like Ron Ramsey and the old farmer who would always tell him, “Now don’t get too far from your overalls,” I’d be In Tune With East Tennessee.

After a 35 year medical career and delivering almost 5,000 babies, I said we needed people with vast real life experiences outside politics to serve as citizen servants like our founding fathers envisioned. Not as career politicians. I said it was not about the next election, but about the next generation of Americans.

I said being a good congressman is like being a good doctor: if you listen and put your patients first and give them your best, they’ll take care of you and re-election will take care of itself.  I said I believed one person can make a difference, with a lot of help from other people who also believe that.

And if it weren’t for the hard work and prayers and love and support of so many of you here in the room today I would not have the awesome privilege of representing the people I do.  Some of you here this morning have been with me on this journey from the very beginning, together with me and with each other, through thick and thin, through happiness and heartache. You all have kept in touch. You all have kept me in tune. And I cannot thank you enough.

It never gets old. It’s never lost on me, what I’m doing when I walk those historic halls.  I don’t forget the folks I’ve talked to along the way and on the weekends at home.  The people who have to decide whether to buy food or buy medicine.  The people whose businesses are burdened, whose farms are failing because of a big, distant, impersonal government that isn’t in tune with people and doesn’t work for people like us.

When I first ran for this job I said there were worse things than losing an election. I wish more people believed that in Congress. The first feeling you have when you get to Congress is “How in the world did I get here?” After a few more months, you look around and say, “How in the world did most of these people get here?”  There is simply no substitute for the common sense and wisdom you get just from getting home every week and staying in tune with East Tennessee.

That’s why I’m officially announcing that I’m running for re-election. I want to keep making a difference, staying In Tune with East Tennessee.  I want to keep fighting for local control of local schools.  I helped repeal No Child Left Behind, and I’m leading the fight against national one-size-fits-all approaches like Common Core.

I’ve been involved in the ongoing opposition to Obamacare, easily the most damaging law in decades.

I helped write the official Republican plan to repeal and replace it with free market principles to lower costs, increase quality, and put patients in charge of their own healthcare decisions.

I’ve stayed In Tune with East Tennessee on the most important issue of all.  I’ve kept a 100% Pro-Life Voting Record. A perfect score.  I literally made my living being pro-life. I still believe that human life is a miraculous thing and a precious gift from God. Without life, there is no liberty or pursuit of happiness.

For eight years now, I’ve also fought the Obama Administration’s disastrous foreign policy. I’ve fought his misguided Iran deal, which gave an unstable regime access to nuclear technology. I’ve fought his attempts to close Guantanamo Bay and return dangerous terrorists to the battlefield. I’ve pressed him to fight radical Islamic terrorism and show the American people a plan to defeat jihadism on the battlefield and in people’s hearts and minds. We need to restore America as the shining city on the hill, and that will be a priority for me if you give me the opportunity to continue representing you.

The last issue I want to highlight this morning is veterans.  I’m proud to say that I’ve stayed in tune with East Tennessee veterans.  I’ve been helping to set a new tone on the Veterans Affairs Committee.  Too many bureaucrats think it’s about them and not about the people who have helped secure the liberties we all too often take for granted. Those who serve deserve our very best. Period. No excuses.   One of the places where I’ve helped make a difference is with The Veterans Choice Act.  Veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA health facility or who have had to wait more than 30 days for an appointment can now use any health provider they choose.  And, as part of that same bill, we gave the VA the authority to fire bureaucrats who fail in their duty to take care of our nation’s heroes.  It’s a start.  Fighting for veterans is among my highest honors and privileges.

Thank you for your being here today and thank you for your vote.

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People, Not Politics.