Immigration, money, energy and war: District 4 congressional candidate McClintock speaks in Auburn

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Touching on state as well as federal issues, Republican Tom McClintock gave Auburn Rotary a glimpse Tuesday into the mechanics of a campaign that pits the veteran legislator against Democrat Charlie Brown for the 4th District congressional seat. Vying with Brown to succeed U.S. Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, McClintock quickly moved to quell questions about his out-of-district residency in Elk Grove and the 400-mile distance between Placer County and his current home district in Ventura County. “I lived three years in Rocklin and I’m looking forward to coming back real soon,” McClintock said, alluding to his South Placer County residency in the mid-1990s while out of office. McClintock moved into state politics from there, distancing himself from the newly minted state budget plan that he said will continue to move California deeper into debt. “It’s the ugliest budget I’ve seen since 1991,” McClintock said, adding later that the state has “dug itself into another $11 billion hole.” He drew chuckles with a folksy maxim that states if you find yourself in a hole to not keep digging. Turning his attention to federal matters, and quoting from presidents Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln along the way, McClintock told a generally receptive, mildly enthusiastic Rotarian audience that the congressional campaign leading up to the Nov. 4 election revolves around energy, border and fiscal management issues. On energy, McClintock said Congress is keeping important energy supply solutions off the table by forbidding drilling offshore and many onshore areas. The candidate said he’s against proposals for more energy taxes because they would ultimately come from the pocketbooks of taxpayers – not from oil company profits. On immigration, the senator said that with hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants obeying the laws, millions of illegal immigrants are cutting in front of them. McClintock said he advocates completing the 700-mile border fence, bringing in the military to guard the border and cutting off federal financial support to sanctuary cities, starting with San Francisco. The comment about San Francisco drew applause from the audience. Noting that the national deficit this year exceeded $400 billion and could top $500 billion next year, McClintock said the federal government is going into debt while overreaching into prerogatives reserved in the Constitution for state governments. Rotarian Bart Ruud asked McClintock during the ensuing question-answer period about his stand on veterans issues. McClintock answered that if one lesson was learned in Vietnam and Iraq, it was that the “full might and fury of the country must be” behind its fighting forces. If reinforcements are needed, the nation has an absolute obligation to provide them. Support for last summer’s troop surge is an example of how opponent Brown and he differ, McClintock said. After the meeting, Ruud said he would characterize McClintock’s speech as “a well-practiced rallying cry.” “You could go to his Web site and see the same thing,” Ruud said. Keith Lukens, one of Auburn Rotary’s longest-serving members, said he may not have understood all that McClintock touched on: “But I like almost everything he said.” The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at