published Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Tennessee: Wamp says values votes will help him

by Matt Wilson
Audio clip

Zach Wamp and Times Free Press editorial board meeting

U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp said Friday that Tennessee voters’ attention in the 2008 election to what he called “constitutional issues,” such as abortion, gay marriage and gun rights, will help in his 2010 gubernatorial run.

Rep. Wamp, R-Tenn., told the Times Free Press editorial board that voters’ emphasis on those issues, which he said were “paramount to Tennesseans” in 2008, comes from “a world view that sees the Bible as the foundation.”

“That’s really going to give me a great base of support in our state, because that’s the way I see the world,” he said.

  • photo
    Staff Photo by Gillian Bolsover
    Zach Wamp speaks during a Times Free Press editorial board meeting Friday.

But Rep. Wamp cautioned that social issues are not his top issues in the governor’s race.

He laid out his main three issues as education, economic development and health care. Rep. Wamp stressed a holistic approach to education, “from conception to the grave,” rather than just a focus on K-12 and higher education.

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, who also has filed the paperwork to run for governor in the 2010 GOP primary, said values issues are important campaign issues that he will address. Still, he said, they won’t be the main focus for voters.

“I think that the key issues to Republican voters and and voters in the general election are going to revolve around the economy and the state budget,” he said.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Gibbons, attorney general for Shelby County, said he would aim for getting the state back to “basic things,” namely safer communities, better schools and a low tax rate. Mr. Gibbons said those things would lead to more jobs and a better economy.

Values issues are “moving along pretty well,” Mr. Gibbons said, noting the state’s marriage amendment, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Former state Rep. Kim McMillan, D-Clarksville, said conversations with voters have led her to believe they will focus on issues “that unite us, not divide us,” such as economic issues.

At Friday’s meeting, Rep. Wamp also positioned himself as a candidate for governor who will look out for the middle class.

“I’m kind of the underdog’s guy, the middle-class guy, the fighter,” he said.

Rep. Wamp said he will to have to raise at least $5 million for the primary. He said he expects to be outspent in the race but predicted he would raise enough money to be competitive.

Mr. Haslam, whose family owns the Pilot Corp. chain of travel centers, has said spending his own personal wealth for his bid is “not the best way to run a campaign.”

  • Video: Washington spending
    At a Times Free Press editorial board meeting, U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., spoke about the Obama administration putting too much money into the economic stimulus.
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Birdie said...

I'm going to assume, since he's talking about values, that Zach Wamp isn't for letting a tax cheat run the Treasury Department and the IRS. But aside from that, Gibbons' basic priorities, like safer communities, is a more appealing platform. The candidate whose record walks the walk and who comes out with the strongest specific plan (not campaign pie-in-the-sky idealistic talk) to combat crime in Tennessee, is getting my donation and vote for Republican governor.

January 24, 2009 at 11:12 a.m.
thatguy said...

Mr. Wamp like many in Washington confuses law with morals and values, they think because the law can be manipulated to their favor so can values and morals. I remember when he ran on a promise that if elected he would serve up to two terms because after that he would not be effective but later blamed his supporters for making him continue. So did he trade his values for votes????????????

January 24, 2009 at 3:24 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

Yes, please Mr. Wamp please tell us once again why you lied about your term limits. - Also explain why you voted NO on allowing stockholders voting on executive compensation in April 2007.

-Voted NO on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels in 2001. Sounds like a good idea now huh?

-Voted NO on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M in June 2006. Smart people are pushing for Amtrak line from Chatt. to Atlanta now.

Voted NO on protecting whistle blowers from employer recrimination. (Mar 2007). Sure wish more whistle blowers felt comfortable in exposing the financial corporations mess we are in. Of course you voted for them to be subject to firings if they did.

Oh, and here is the clincher..Voted NO on regulating the subprime mortgage industry in Nov 2007. Zach please spare us the drivel about how you care for the average Tennessean. Your record is nothing more than a rehash of the failed Bush presidency and support of Big Business over the consumer.

NO, we don't need that at the governorship level.

January 24, 2009 at 4:41 p.m.
twofeathers2 said...

Pretty early for mud slinging isn't it ? I say let em go at it folks.I just set back and watch them show you how they will run our state. They are not for you they are for themselves.Just watch. People first not politics />

ps. my comment probbly wont get printed because thats just the way it goes...

chrismc77 said...

With the current attitude toward both Republicans and Democrats I think it's time for the people of Tennessee to take a serious look at a Independent candidate free of party politics and purse strings. Tennessee like the rest of the country needs a fresh face in Nashville with some new ideas and be given a chance to make those new ideas work. Isn't that what we elect our governmental officials for? To adjust their policies and attitudes to meet the times we're in? Carl Whitaker from Sevierville has ran twice and this year is running again. He had my vote two times before and he will have my vote again. I think his website for 2010 is and I think he deserves a serious look. I've been disappointed many mainstream newspapers have neglected to include Mr. Whitaker in any of their discussion other than to ignore his campaign. That does not change the dynamics of his appeal to the common people of Tennessee and a surprise for many in 2010.

January 26, 2009 at 2:06 p.m.
karma004 said...

"He laid out his main three issues as education, economic development and health care.” Are you kidding me? I listened to Mr. Wamp tell a reporter (up in D.C.) that health care insurance is a "privilege" not a "right." Why is it that no local news media bothered to report this interview with Mr. Wamp's outrageous claims? It makes me so angry to know that our tax dollars are paying for Mr. Wamp to enjoy excellent health care coverage while I struggle to pay for an insurance policy that barely covers medical needs. We are one of the only industrialized nations that does not have a comprehensive health care system for its people. Mr. Wamp went on to misrepresent how national health care would be paid for, stated that half of the uninsured opt not to have covereage (duh? they can't afford it Mr. Wamp!) and is apparently clueless about how comprehensive health care would "help" our economy, not burden it. As a supposed "Christian" how dare Mr. Wamp only care about the wealthy in this nation and not the rest of us? "Rep. Wamp, R-Tenn., told the Times Free Press editorial board that voters’ emphasis on those issues, which he said were “paramount to Tennesseans” in 2008, comes from “a world view that sees the Bible as the foundation.”" Mr. Wamp - what world do you live in? We have "freedom of religion" in our country - we must respect and honor this right! I can't imagine letting Mr. Wamp be governor of TN with this kind of mindset and attitude.

March 7, 2009 at 10:48 a.m.
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