Friday, August 11, 2006

Schwarz on the Walberg-Renier Race

Following his loss in the August 8th primary, Congressman Joe Schwarz was interviewed by the Battle Creek Enquirer on his plans after leaving public office. It's an interesting article and worth reading in full, but one section in particular interests me:

For now, though, he'll be able to take a step back from that world, with a campaign no longer on the immediate horizon. Instead, he is in the role of observer. He offered his take on the Nov. 7 general election, which will find his rival in the primary, Tim Walberg, facing off against Democrat Sharon Renier, whom Schwarz bested in the 2004 general election.

"I got to know her a little bit two years ago," he said of Renier. "She's pretty bright and has a good grasp of a lot of issues — not all issues, but a lot of them. She's a very credible candidate."

Though Schwarz was gracious in defeat on Tuesday, he took a few swipes at Walberg on Wednesday.

"Tim Walberg is conservative in the extreme, and is not particularly well versed in a number of issues that he's going to have to bone up on," Schwarz said. "National security, homeland security, the military, health care come to mind right off the top of the head. Economic development also.

"We'll see how he performs."

(emphasis added)

Is this just a final post-primary swipe at Walberg? Perhaps. But it's unusual to see Congressman Schwarz have nothing but kind words for Democrat Sharon Renier and then go out of his way to criticize Tim Walberg. Why would he do this?

Because Schwarz, like the 29,000 other Republicans that did not vote for Walberg, saw that Tim Walberg campaigned on a narrow message and has no real plans for other issues. Walberg's primary message was, "I'm against gay marriage and abortion, against the income tax, and against 'liberal' Joe Schwarz." But what would he do for our district?


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