In his first speech since easily winning re-election in Georgia's 10th District, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun attacked what he called President-elect Barack Obama's "Marxist" agenda and derided some fellow Republicans for abandoning conservative principles during a luncheon Friday.
"In my opinion, we've elected a Marxist to be president of the United States," Broun, R-Watkinsvile, said to members and guests of the Martinez-Evans Rotary Club at Doubletree Hotel.
The remark prompted Rotarian Lucinda Williams to defend Obama and question the intelligence of Sen. John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Broun clarified his mark by saying he believes Obama's policies of bigger government and shared wealth are Marxist.
"When Barack Obama is right, then I'll support him," Broun said. "When he is wrong, I'll fight him."
In addition to Obama, Broun also criticized McCain.
"I'm very disappointed with the McCain campaign," he said. "In my opinion, it was inept."
Broun said he believes McCain failed to adequately differentiate himself from President Bush and failed to embrace conservative values. He referred to McCain as a "milquetoast" Republican.
Broun also was disappointed at Obama's and McCain's support of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, which Broun voted against twice.
Such legislation only adds to an $11 trillion national debt and mortgages the livelihoods of future generations, Broun said. If such "unfunded liabilities" as Social Security or Medicare are included, the national debt soars to $53 trillion, Broun said.
"We cannot continue spending money like this," he said. "We can't afford it."
He also said he didn't like that the bailout bill essentially established U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as a national "finance czar."
Once he returns to Washington, Broun said he hopes to curtail federal spending and to earn an appointment on the House Armed Services Committee.
"I believe in the military," said Broun, who served as a Marine and as a doctor in the Navy. "Having a strong military is the No. 1 function of the federal government."
Current federal policies, such as the Base Realignment and Closure legislation, have weakened the military, he said.
"BRAC is over," he said. "Before it can come back it has to be reintroduced as a bill and I promise I will fight any new BRAC legislation."
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