Republican challenger Dino Rossi told a room full of small-business owners in Spokane on Monday that he is the candidate they should elect if they want a chance at restoring the American dream.
Rossi, trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, took particularly sharp aim at federal spending, saying $30 billion could be saved immediately by halting planned raises for government workers and freezing wages at their current levels. Substantially more could be saved by trimming federal jobs created during the past two years.
“America is in trouble,” said Rossi, a guest speaker at the National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Summit at the Davenport Hotel. “I’m running against an … 18-year incumbent who really doesn’t understand how business works. Brand X is terrified. She’s never had a challenge like this before – an opponent with name recognition.”
Rossi served in the state Senate from 1997 to 2003 before two failed attempts to unseat Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire in 2004 and 2008.
“We have to help small businesses be successful,” he said. “Unfortunately, Sen. Murray is taking vote after vote after vote that is killing jobs.”
Rossi said he would repeal the controversial health care reforms, which he called a “tax-and-spend bill” to applause from the group of business advocates.
“We can’t just be against things. We have to replace it with something that works,” he said.
He offered a couple of ideas, such as lawsuit reform, allowing businesses to purchase insurance plans across state lines and allowing small businesses to band together to buy the same insurance packages as “the big boys.”
“There are all kinds of options that decrease costs and increase access,” he said.
He said he would keep all of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts that benefit the richest taxpayers.
“When they are successful, you don’t punish them for their success. (Success) is what creates jobs,” he said.
As for Murray, Rossi said “she’s never had a private sector job in her whole life. I think Sen. Murray will keep going in the wrong direction. This election is incredibly important.”