Tim Burchett downplays importance of debates: ‘How many…before it’s enough?’

Tim Burchett seeks Tennessee’s 2nd district congressional seat

Tim Burchett, the quintessential eastern Tennessean…

“She is very good at articulating her point of view, and has a lot more polish than I do,” he said regarding his Democratic opponent for Tennessee’s 2nd District Renee Hoyos. “But maybe that’s part of my charm, I do speak in a lower vernacular and am fluent in East Tennessean,” he continues.

“I’ve been at three forums with my Democrat opponent, how many do I need to attend before it’s enough?” he asks. His campaign has been criticized for not engaging his opponents in debates. On Oct. 17, his opponent Democrat Renee Hoyos participated in a debate at Carson-Newman University and tweeted that her “opponent did not show up.”

Burchett downplays the significance of debates, having previously declined to engage directly with Hoyos. “Generally, in a debate you bring your side, I bring my side and we both leave thinking we’ve won,” he states of debates as part of the campaign process. “I don’t feel like debates promote free thought or answer the public’s questions, when it’s my supporters versus their supporters, its not free thought just group think,” he continues, noting the partisanship and dysfunction of the current political environment.

“I think it teaches you to work with a lot of people who have different ideas,” he said of his time as Knox County Mayor. “Working with many people with different ideas and viewpoints helps to think outside the box, to avoid groupthink,” he said as to why that experience benefits him moving forward towards congress.

“Energy independence,” he said is his number one priority if elected to Congress. “The U.S. military is involved in over 100 countries because we are trying to keep the price of gasoline at $2 a gallon. Developing energy resources in our own country, reducing dependency on foreign energy supplies, lets us bring home men and women serving in these countries, all of which saves money and develops U.S. infrastructure.”

“Total frustration with what is going on in our country, in our world,” he replies when asked what prompted him to run for Congress. “People in politics are not able to articulate or speak very well to their own view points, I speak my mind in politics, even at expense to myself,” he said.

“I enjoyed the campaign process, and I like meeting people, it’s a lot of fun to be out meet with people. Reality is when you are talking to on their front porch and no one is on camera or being recorded, that’s when you get what people really think or feel,” he said about the campaign trail and campaign experience.

“Ron and Rand Paul, I voted for Ron twice in presidential elections,” he said when asked about politicians that inspired and influenced his policy stances and his own politics.

Tim Burchett served as County Mayor for Knox County from Sept. 1, 2010 until Sept. 1, 2018. A member of the Tennessee State Senate 7th District from 1999-2000, he served as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1995-1998.

 

Featured photo: Burchett for Congress website