Republican congressional candidate Chris Herrod says he’s supportive of President Trump’s executive order to end the separation of families who are trying to cross the U.S. Mexico border.
“I don’t believe parents should be separated from their children,” said Herrod.
But, Herrod says the whole uproar surrounding this issue highlights the urgent need for Congress to act and find a solution to the problem of immigration.
“As you know, I’ve had a pretty tough stance against illegal immigration. I think we need to send the message that the only way to come to this country is that you come through the legal channels. The difficulty is how we balance our humanity versus not encouraging more people to come here,” says Herrod.
Herrod says he’s concerned about President Trump slapping tariffs on China and many of our other traditional trading partners, he feels tariffs punish consumers instead of governments. However, he applauds Trump’s efforts to even a playing field he feels is tilted against the U.S.
“I think he’s trying to negotiate a better deal for us. I’m convinced NAFTA needs to be renegotiated and I’m glad we’re doing that. But I’m a bigger believer in one-on-one negotiations because I believe it’s a better way to handle trade,” he said.
Herrod says he’s not upset with President Trump’s well-publicized disagreement with Candian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying he’s not worried some back and forth fighting will permanently damage that relationship. But, he does break with Trump over his call to readmit Russia to the G7.
“That’s the one thing that’s given me more pause than anything else with Trump. My inlaws in Ukraine had their windows blown out by a Russian separatist bomb two years ago. I don’t know if Trump was serious about this or wants a little attention. But, when it comes down to bringing Russia into the organization, that’s worrisome to me,” says Herrod. “I’m still a big believer of what Ronald Reagan said, that the only thing the Soviets understand is brute force, so you have to be able to use leverage on them.”
Domestically, Herrod says he’s a big supporter of the Trump tax cuts passed at the end of 2017 because they lowered the corporate tax rate significantly. But, he’s worried that the ballooning national debt is a significant risk to national security. He says the government will have to make some hard choices, like cutting social safety net programs, to fix it.
“I think we have to leave those seniors who are already on Social Security or Medicare alone,” says Herrod. “For me, I’m 52 years old. You tell me I’m going to have to work a year or two longer or I’m going to get 10-percent less at my age, I’m willing to do that. We need to do something like that to seriously scale back the debt. You have to be willing to touch the third rail of politics, and I’m willing to do that.”