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This year’s election is a “dangerous cycle” that Republicans need to be aware of and act accordingly, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole said during a visit to Brunswick County Republican Headquarters Saturday afternoon.
“There are 23 Republicans up for re-election in the United States Senate,” Dole said. “There are only 12 Democrats. If they’re able to get a filibuster-proof Senate, all hell is going to break loose. Excuse me for saying that, but it will be a very, very difficult situation.
“We’ve got to work hard to preserve this seat and to help others who are running,” Dole said. “And certainly I’m going to try and do that.”
Dole said she will be running hard for her own seat because it’s going to be competitive with five Democrats running in the primary.
“They’re not targeting each other,” she said. “They’re targeting me.”
In addition, the Democratic senatorial committee has out-raised the Republican committee, “two to one,” Dole said, adding she appreciates the local party’s help.
“We’ve got to raise money, we’ve got to get out the vote, we’ve got to do all the things that are going to be important, because it is a dangerous time,” Dole reiterated.
Dole also announced that Shirley Babson will once again serve as Dole’s coordinator for Brunswick County, drawing applause.
“So we are off and running,” Dole said, adding her equally politically famous husband, Bob, “had so much fun” when he made a similar appearance in Brunswick County two weeks earlier.
In his introduction of Elizabeth Dole, local Republican Party chairman Frank Iler noted that in her multi-faceted career, she served beneath five U.S. presidents in Washington, D.C., starting with Nixon as an assistant in consumer affairs, as the 20th secretary of labor (under George H.W. Bush) and the first woman to have the job of secretary of transportation (under Reagan).
“One thing that I found extremely interesting, is that [in] the Gallup Poll, she’s been one of the world’s top 10 most admired every year since 1996,” Iler said, drawing applause.
Dole reminisced about serving under President Reagan.
“He was a great believer in deregulation, as am I,” she said, noting she was successful in having Conrail and the nation’s airports moved out of federal government.
She cited July 1984 as a month when three things happened in the Reagan administration to help save lives—raising the legal drinking age back to 21, safety belt laws in every state except New Hampshire and air bags in cars.
“It’s what makes public service so meaningful and worthwhile, when you can make a difference for people,” Dole said.
“Let’s think about President Reagan a moment, in terms of the characteristics,” she added. “Because I think as we get out in this election cycle, we need to carry the ball for the Gipper.”
Dole said she strongly believes the U.S. needs to have at least 4 percent of its gross domestic product going to the defense budget and she has a resolution to that effect.
“Folks, when you look at this very carefully, there’s no question you had a procurement holiday all though the ’90s,” Dole said.
“Now, each branch of the service needs to be modernized. They need the latest kind of equipment, the latest technology. We have airplanes that the Air Force is flying that should have been retired years ago.”
Dole also cited legislation she supports that is designed to address illegal immigration and impose penalties for those who are arrested or otherwise charged