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Broun says he wants automatic budget cuts to occur

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia, announces his plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss in 2014 on Wednesday in Atlanta. The Athens Republican is the first candidate to enter the 2014 field officially, but he's certain not to be the last as several GOP congressmen mull a race that blew wide open when Chambliss announced last month that he would not seek a third term. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia, announces his plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss in 2014 on Wednesday in Atlanta. The Athens Republican is the first candidate to enter the 2014 field officially, but he's certain not to be the last as several GOP congressmen mull a race that blew wide open when Chambliss announced last month that he would not seek a third term. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

SAVANNAH — Traveling across Georgia to tout his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, Republican Rep. Paul Broun said Friday that he sees $100 billion in automatic budget cuts as Washington's only realistic option for trimming spending. Even with the Pentagon warning that the cuts would devastate the military, Broun said: "I want to see it go into place."

"It's the only way that we're going to get any positive spending cuts, and I'm in favor of the sequester going into place," Broun said in an interview Friday as he stopped in Savannah. "We've got to reel in the spending with Congress as well as the president. Both parties are guilty."

Broun, of Athens, officially announced his campaign to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss on Wednesday, making him the first and so far only candidate to do so for the 2014 race. He wasted no time in making a lap of the state's major cities, sitting for interviews and meeting with tea party leaders and other supporters. Broun swung through Augusta on Thursday before heading Friday to Savannah and Macon. Stops in Columbus and Albany were planned Monday before the congressman returns to Washington.

The automatic budget cuts are scheduled to kick in March 1 if Democrats and Republicans can't reach an agreement to trim $1.2 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. Sequestration would trigger $42.7 billion in cuts to the military over seven months. Domestic programs would face equal cuts.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, trying to head off cutbacks that would shrink the Pentagon budget by 7 percent, said Thursday that the measure was "designed to be so nuts that everybody would do everything possible to make sure it didn't happen."

Broun is courting tea party supporters and other fiscal hawks as he calls for slashing government spending. He served in the Marines and is still in the Navy Reserve. Broun said he's confident much of the funding the Pentagon would lose in the automatic cuts would be restored down the road, though it would likely take several years.

"We can plus-up the military as soon as we make those cuts that are necessary," Broun said. "If we have a financial meltdown in America as we're doing today, we won't have the money to support our defense."

With plenty of time left to join the 2014 Senate race, several of Broun's fellow GOP congressmen are being mentioned as possible contenders for the Republican nomination, such as Reps. Phil Gingrey of Marietta, Jack Kingston of Savannah and Tom Price of Roswell. National Democrats say they plan to wage a fierce challenge for the Georgia seat.

So far, Broun is sticking to a message that he'd be the only candidate willing to stop runaway spending in Washington. But since winning his House seat in 2007, the physician has widely been known outside his northeast Georgia district for ultraconservative statements on social issues.

Last year Broun grabbed national headlines when he told a Baptist church group that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory were "lies straight from the pit of hell." On Friday he brushed aside questions about whether such statements might turn off voters in a statewide general election.

"It's well known that I'm a Bible-believing Christian, and I understand that other people have different beliefs and I respect those beliefs," Broun said. "But what everybody in this state — whether they're black or white, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative — can understand very clearly is we have to stop the out-of-control spending in Washington."

Comments

DavidBrown 1 year, 6 months ago

Am I the only one out here who is bothered by Congressman Broun's four marriages? Whatever happened to family values? How can Congressman Broun reconcile his stated respect for the sanctity of marriage with his four marriages?

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Karl 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe he thinks so highly of marriage that he decided to participate in it four times!

It's most likely all those gay marriages that are breaking up his heterosexual ones. Repubs can do a lot better than this yokel.

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

And you are not concerned about Clinton's lies about having sex with another woman while married? Typical words from someone with a double-standard!

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tressag5 1 year, 6 months ago

Is Clinton running for Georgia Senator? I had no idea.

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

didn't he get re-elected after lying to the country and making a fool of himself and his wife?

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Why_not 1 year, 6 months ago

He fits the mold as a very typical TEApublican who thinks he has all the answers but can't see past his nose.

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

I love ice tea. What do you drink?

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

I'll second the motion. Let the cuts start. It's the only way to let the Liberals play their next cards.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 6 months ago

A someone who works for, and knows several other friends and family members who work for, the defense industry, the idea of sequestration is chilling. Should spending be cut? Absolutely. And there are ways to go about it. Sequestration is not the right way. You can't cut just to be cutting. There has to be a well-thought-out, well-studied plan for how to cut back on spending. The biggest hurdle is getting past the Congressional liberals who seemingly honestly don't think we have a spending problem.

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

don't private companies cut across the board?

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

maybe your doesn't but many do. They start at the top and work down. I wish every company would first walk through their parking lot and cut the employee that has an Obama sticker on their car. Let's see Obama's policies in action. Across the board gets things started since the Democrats won't make a budget to do anything positive. What are the Democrats frightened of? Spending less so they get fewer votes?

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 6 months ago

Again, you can't cut just to be cutting. You have to plan out what you're going to cut. That way you can account for other possibilities but still have enough set aside to manage the necessities.

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

at this time, it's the President's call as to where to place the cuts. It is a Democratic decision that must be made. Let Obama trying leading for once in 5 yrs.

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

Taxes are upon us "across the board."

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Dubbin 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm conservative but Broun is the stereotypical "Foghorn Leghorn" southern Republican that sullies the brand. Can anyone tell me why a white MAN who's been married four times is a moral authority on anything let along women's reproductive rights? Wonder what his opinion on legitimate rape is?

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

Clinton was good at it. Folks have such short convenient memories.

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Karl 1 year, 6 months ago

So kev, Clinton is running against Broun? News to me.

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Dubbin 1 year, 6 months ago

I do agree with him that it is time for spending cuts though.

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