Representative Steve Holt (R-Denison) responded to Rep. Andy McKean’s (D-Anamosa) decision to leave the Republican Party and joined the Democrats in the final week of the legislative session.
“In the process he took to the Iowa House floor to attack our president, my Republican Party and my values,” Holt said. “He claimed he no longer recognized the Republican Party — that our values had changed and that he could not belong to a party with President Trump as its leader.”
Holt said McKean has that right, but others have a right to respond to his “opportunistic decision for five minutes of fame on CNN to attack the Republican Party and our values.”
Holt questioned whether McKean ever understood what it means to be a Republican.
“I am extremely proud to be a member of the House Republican caucus — a group of leaders that fights to advance the values we were elected by the People to fight for,” he said. “I became a Republican at 10 years of age. As I got into politics and read the platforms and beliefs of the two major parties, it was clear, my values were reflected in the Party of Lincoln. And the very same fundamental values that were at the heart of the Republican Party then are alive and well today.”
He went on to discuss how excited he was when Richard Nixon became President of the U.S. And how disappointing it was to see what Nixon did.
“Despite this disappointment, as a young man I remained a Republican because the foundation of my belief in Republican principles had nothing to do with who occupied the White House at the time,” Holt said. “It was about principle. Republicans believe government should only do that which cannot be done by individuals and private organizations.”
Back then, Holt said, Republicans believed in capitalism and free enterprise, less government intrusion and opportunity for all Americans. Those principles remain today and stand in contrast to the Democrats.
“The socialist, big government ideology that has taken over the Democrat Party,” Holt said. “Folks, John Kennedy would not be at home in the Democrat Party of 2019 as they become more and more radicalized, standing against the principles that built our nation.”
Holt spoke admirably about President Ronald Reagan.
“But I am not a Republican because of him,” he said. “And I recognize that in 2019 we are not in the era of Reagan. Politics today are more polarized and there’s plenty of fault to go around for all sides on how we got here.”
He could not recall comedians creating videos that depicted the decapitation of Reagan. He didn’t remember singers talking about burning down the White House or actors calling for assassination. News outlets also were not taking sides and working for the liberal agenda.
“So we are not in the era of Reagan and I am extremely grateful that our President, Donald Trump, is a fighter,” Holt said. “He fights for fundamental American values, he works to secure our border, to slash regulations that impede economic growth and opportunity, reduces taxes, rebuilds our military, works to improve care for our veterans, defends our precious unborn children and stands up boldly for capitalism and against socialism, which is absolutely and UnAmerican economic system and form of government. So thank you, Mr. President, for putting Americans and America first.”
Republican values, Holt said, are the bedrock to the American principles rooted in faith in God, self reliance to hard work and limited government.
“Rep. McKean, I am grateful for the freedom-loving, capitalist-defending, God-fearing, Second Amendment-protecting, smaller government, more freedom, pro-life Republicans that I serve with in the Iowa House,” Holt said. “And you can bet we will continue to fight for the values that built America and Iowa.”