By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Congressional hopeful Robert Estes won’t criticize his opponents in the 1st District Republican primary race, saying voters don’t have time to hear that.
Instead, Estes said he wants to stress the urgency of solving the nation’s issues.
“We need instant relief,” said the Southaven businessman during an editorial board meeting Tuesday with the Daily Journal. “We’re in disaster mode, and that’s the way I feel. We need an effective change.”
Dissatisfaction with the current congressional delegation prompted Estes to enter the ring, despite his lack of prior political experience. He faces incumbent freshman candidate Alan Nunnelee and his two-time challenger Henry Ross, an attorney from Eupora.
“Number one, I love my country,” the Tea Party supporter explained of his decision to seek office.
“And number two,” he continued, “I got three nieces that one day I’ll have to tell them our country is $15 trillion in debt, and your Uncle Robbie did nothing about it while he sat on the couch, ate Cheetos and watched reality TV … or I can say I did something about it.”
If elected, Estes said he’ll take immediate action to reduce what he claims are the unnecessary rules, regulations and taxes that hamper job creation. He first wants to introduce a bill to cut foreign aid by 10 percent. That would save $53 billion, he said, which he’d then divide among all the states.
He also wants to repeal the national health care act and, if that fails, introduce legislation extending the act to all U.S. senators and representatives.
“If ObamaCare is good enough for the American people,” he said, “it’s good enough for the elected officials.”
Estes supports the elimination of certain federal agencies, including the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency, to save money and reduce the national deficit. But he opposes any move to strip cash from the Department of Defense.
“We need to keep our homeland safe,” he said. “If we cut our military, that’s when the bad guys are going to come out at night.”
He also said he’ll oppose any attempt to raise the debt ceiling, regardless of the potential consequences. Nunnelee had angered some Tea Party supporters last year with his approval of a debt ceiling hike but had said failing to act would have shut down the federal government.