Handel, Georgia’s former secretary of state who wants to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss in next year’s election, spoke to the Cobb Young Republicans at Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub off the Marietta Square on Tuesday evening.
Attorney Will Fawcett of Smyrna said he liked hearing that Handel supports the Fair Tax.
“I was unaware that she had endorsed that at this point, so that spoke strongly to me. I’m big into tax reform,” Fawcett said.
Handel said given that she was asked about her position on Syria as soon as she walked in the door of the pub, she wanted to address that topic first.
“Based on what I know today, I would vote no against military action in Syria,” Handel said.
Handel gave credit to President Obama for bringing the issue to Congress.
“However, we are where we are today because of lack of leadership, we’ve been leading from behind when it comes to foreign policy matters, this line in the sand was drawn many months ago, nearly a year ago, I believe, and yet as it was crossed nothing happened,” Handel said. “We have to always put U.S. national security interests first, and, as of now, the president has not articulated the mission, clearly defined the mission and objectives of that mission to warrant and sanction going in with military action at this time.”
Defunding Obamacare the Mike Lee way
Handel said she supports Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s approach to defunding Obamacare. Since the federal government has not passed a budget in years, but has rather been operating on temporary “continuing resolutions,” Lee advocates for Congress to use the power of the purse to delay Obamacare by stripping the next continuing resolution of funding for the healthcare program.
If the upcoming continuing resolution has dollars in it for Obamacare, Handel said she would vote no. As for what President Obama does in reaction to that is up to him, she said.
“Does he want to push forward fundamentally flawed policy and to do that shut down the federal government? Will he take a step back and say, ‘let’s keep the government going,’ which is the responsible thing to do, and let’s regroup and talk about health care reform in a separate debate. But that will be for the president to decide. That’s his decision point when it comes to him and is he going to put his legacy policy over what is best and right for the American people?”
Wrongful spying on Americans
Handel said while it was proper for there to be an extraordinarily heightened state of security immediately following the terrorists attacks of 9/11, a balance is needed when it comes to homeland security and privacy rights.
“Over time, it’s always important to get the right balance between having safe, secure and not infringing on freedoms, and you have to be ever vigilant on that, and I think it’s clear that on any number of areas NSA overstepped its bounds,” Handel said. “We saw the different reports coming out over the past couple of weeks where over any number of instances they actually violated constitutional rights.”
Handel said she appreciates knowing about the NSA spying, but disapproves of the way Edward Snowden went about revealing that information.
“How he went about it was completely unacceptable, and the process is going to play out, and I believe ultimately he will be held accountable because it’s clear that he broke any number of laws in what he did,” Handel said. “There was a way that if indeed he was as concerned as he said he was based on that actual merit of the issue there was a process for him to follow, yet he chose to go about it a different way, an unacceptable way.”
Repealing Common Core
This year, the Cobb Board of Education has struggled over the adoption of math textbooks aligned with the controversial Common Core state standards, standards critics view as a movement to federalize education. Handel called for the state to repeal Common Core.
“First of all, it’s my understanding that the standards that we had in place to begin with were of a higher level than the standards that are coming down,” Handel said. “Secondly, for those who will say that Common Core has nothing to do with curriculum, that makes no sense because standards always lead to your curriculum, and I think that we are in a place in Georgia where we elect our local school boards, we elect our (state) school superintendent, we elect our governor, and those are the three levels that deal with how we are going to educate our children, and Georgians know best.”
Billie Dendy, wife of Cobb GOP Chairman Joe Dendy, was among those in attendance.
“One thing that I like what Karen said was that results matter,” Dendy said after the talk. “I will say that her resume is impressive. I like the fact that she did what she did against Planned Parenthood because I believe she was right in doing it. I knew she stood alone in that because I’ve talked to her about it, and I see a lot of potential with Karen, but I see that with other candidates too, so I’m not saying that I support her, but I like what she has to say.”
In her book, “Planned Bullyhood: the Truth Behind the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure,” Handel writes of her experiences as a Komen executive when the organization decided, and later reversed, its decision to end grants to Planned Parenthood.
Handel said because of her pro-life beliefs she was targeted by the left’s anger over Komen’s decision.
Handel, 51, and her husband, Steve Handel, live in Roswell with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Mia and Abbie.