By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Henry Ross, who lost to Alan Nunnelee in last year’s Republican congressional primary, said Friday he’s strongly considering another run against his former opponent.
After a speech about the U.S. Constitution at the Kiwanis Club of Tupelo in which he criticized “spineless” members of Congress, Ross was asked if he would run against Nunnelee in 2012 and responded that he was “thinking very seriously” about it.
“There hasn’t been the conservative approach to limited government that was expected from this congressman,” he said.
Nunnelee, from Tupelo, represents the 1st District and was sworn into office in January after defeating Democratic incumbent Travis Childers.
Ross decried the collapse of the American family at the hands of a Congress and Supreme Court that he said had exceeded their constitutional authority repeatedly since the New Deal days of the 1930s, plunging the nation into peril.
Among his examples were the high court’s 1965 finding of a constitutional right to privacy, which led to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision striking down state laws prohibiting abortion; an overly broad interpretation of the constitution’s establishment of religion clause in decisions outlawing organized school prayer; and congressional overregulation of the economy backed by the Supreme Court.
But if voters act soon to elect a new crop of leaders, Ross said they can save the country before further damage is done. Nunnelee, he implied, should not be among them.
“He’s an establishment Republican politician who tends to shun controversy to retain his position,” Ross said of Nunnelee. “We need some really significant changes in the country, and we need leaders who aren’t afraid to bring them.”
Although he didn’t describe himself as a member of the Tea Party, Ross said he shares the movement’s values and believes it’s right about most issues.
Nunnelee defended his record in a written statement to the Daily Journal.
“For the first time since WWII,” he wrote, “we’ve cut discretionary spending for two years in a row without shutting down the federal government.”