300 Hear Candidates On Saturday At County Republican Picnic
By: Tom Yancy/Staff Writer
Source: The Greeneville Sun
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Greeneville businessman and attorney Richard Roberts, who is also seeking the congressional
nomination, after being introduced by Bowers, called himself "the non-politician in this crowd." Roberts
thanked the local party for the warm support it has shown him and his wife, Imogene. "Thank you from
the bottom of my heart," he said. Roberts said he has been grateful for the reception he had gotten over
his strong support for President Bush and the war in Iraq, the war on terrorists, and for U.S. troops.
Roberts said he believes this war is "the sentinel issue of our time." How the Iraq war and the war on
terror are handled will be "how our generation is going to be judged," he said. "If we resolve it favorably,
we'll continue to live in a free country and the greatest country in the world. " He added, "We have to
resolve it," and said that the threat the war poses "is not theoretical" or something that Americans can
choose to focus on, or not. "I don't believe the average Muslim person is filled with hate," Roberts said.
"I think they're worried about their children and their jobs and their homes." However, Roberts said, he
does believe that many countries in the Middle East are led by people willing to "stir up hate against
America and against Christians because of what we have and what we believe in our hearts." Roberts
said he has chosen to focus on the conflict in Iraq "not because it's easy, but because it's so important."
It is important at least partly because the United States is "40 years into" an energy crisis with no policy in sight. Meanwhile, Roberts said, the U.S. "sends three-quarters of a billion dollars per day" to purchase oil from "nations willing to destroy us." This country has "a 200-year supply of coal, but won't push the technology" to recover and use it, he said. No nuclear reactor has been built in this country in 30-plus years, Roberts added. Similarly, he said, "We have treated ethanol like a novelty" while other countries have taken it seriously and made themselves less oil-dependent. "We've got to have leadership" on those and related issues, Roberts said, adding, "Our future and security depends on it." Turning to illegal immigration, Roberts said, "No one would run a business and leave the door open at night," but that is what the U.S. is doing regarding its borders each night, and each day. Roberts said he finds it hard to reconcile in his mind a government that is contemplating a tracking system that can "tag every cow" and track it from the day it is born until it is consumed, yet "struggles" with the need for a system to keep track of immigrants who are not citizens. Roberts said some have said he should not seek a congressional seat without serving in some local office first. But he noted that his one-time employer, Howard H. Baker, ran for the U.S. Senate and won without holding another office, as did Frist. The first office that Ronald Reagan held was the governorship of California, Roberts said. Asking for support, Roberts said he is "ready to go to work for you."
The county general election and state and federal primary election is Aug. 3.