By Christina M. Seiler
Republican congressional candidate Jackie Walorski says she is not responsible for U.S. jobs going overseas.
In town Thursday to tour Rochester Mobile Homes, Walorski said it's unbelievable for her opponent, U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd District, to claim a state representative would be responsible for federal policy.
"I think it's a ludicrous assertion to be talking about a state representative having anything to do with jobs going to Mexico or China," Walorski said.
She was referring to Donnelly's most recent television advertisement.
Donnelly's ad says: "More than 2 million American jobs have already gone to China. Jackie Walorski supports the bad trade policies that send our jobs to places like Mexico and China. That's wrong."
"I think it's almost to the point it's hysterical ... that he's taking a pot shot at me," Walorski said.
She said Democratic policy has caused jobs to go overseas. She pointed to the recent medical device tax, which she believes will hurt the medical implant and device industry in Warsaw and Kosciusko County.
Walorski says the "Obamacare" tax on medical device manufacturers threatens 20,000 Indiana jobs.
On the other hand, state policy, Walorski said, has made Indiana a national leader in job growth percentage this year.
In a Thursday press release Walorski lists this as her track record on jobs: Indiana is one of only nine states with a AAA bond rating; Indiana is a national leader for the low cost of doing business; Indiana is the best state in the Midwest for low taxes. She cites the sources, including Forbes magazine in the case of cost of doing business.
The federal stimulus plan, she said, has done little to bring jobs to the nation or Indiana.
"Joe can run from his voting record, but he can't hide. I can't wait to get him in a debate," she added.
When asked if she'll reply to the negative ad with a positive one, Walorski said: "I'm going to take every opportunity to defend myself."
She said Indiana's success can be modeled at the federal level, if spending is frozen. "We're spending ourselves into oblivion," she said.
Asked if she would continue to support funding for the Mt. Zion Dam, Walorski turned the conversation to federal spending and debt. "The job is worthy of it. That doesn't mean the job is dependent on public funding."
She talked about Indiana's recent effort to privatize government and bring money into the state from private sources and used Major Moves and the U.S. 31 rebuild as an example.
Walorski said she hears horror stories about veterans returning to Indiana and not getting adequate medical care. Instead of more veterans clinics, she said, the system needs to allow veterans to find care in their own communities.
"Open the door to the vet like you open the door to an illegal immigrant, or anybody else," she said.
"We are the leader of the free world, this nation," Walorski said. "I think by the end of the Obama Administration we will have a very beleaguered military," she said, adding the armed forces don't have the tools they need to get their jobs done or adequate care when they return.
Walorski believes Indiana, with a Republican House of Representatives, will pass immigration law similar to Arizona's. "The thing to do is what Arizona just did, which is to codify federal law," she said.
Walorski said she'll debate Donnelly any time. "You're one of the lucky communities where he chose, out of his back pocket, to have a debate," she said. "If he were here, I'd go right now, in the parking lot."
Donnelly, Walorski and Libertarian Mark Vogel have agreed to participate in The Sentinel debate this fall at Rochester High School. A date has not been set.