Thursday, January 12, 2006

Illinois Gubernatorial Candidate Andy Martin to make primary referendum on Iraq

GOP Candidate Martin to Make Illinois Primary a Referendum on Iraq

Martin Urges Bush to “BRING HOME OUR HEROES.”

January 12, 2006


(CHICAGO)(January 12, 2006) Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Andy Martin will tell the Cook County Republican Convention Friday, January 13th in Rosemont (Chicago) Illinois that he will make the gubernatorial primary a referendum on Iraq. Martin promises that if he is nominated he will ask to meet with President Bush to tell him “The Illinois economy is hurting. Mr. President…Bring home our heroes. Put Illinois first.”

Martin will hold a news conference after his speech to the Republican convention.

“Tuesday the president invited ‘honest critics’ to comment on to our Iraq policy. It is entirely appropriate that Republicans lead that effort,” Martin will state.

“Governors do not have a role in foreign policy, so I will not address the current conduct of the war. My prior reporting from Baghdad in 2003 exposed Paul Bremer’s incompetence and maladministration.

“Governors do have a critical role in domestic economic policy. I believe the protracted conflict in Iraq is devastating the Illinois economy. Three years ago people bought SUV’s and drove them with oil at $20 a barrel. Today oil at is $70 a barrel. People buy Japanese cars.

“Ironically, our allies profit from American efforts to spread democracy in the Middle East. United Auto Workers lose their jobs to foreign auto makers. Families fear for their futures. Pensions are disappearing. This cannot continue.

“Arab nations have not come to our aid, three years later. Saudis profit by selling us oil at inflated prices to defend them. The American public will not tolerate this incongruity indefinitely. It is time to Put America First.

“It is time to invest in Illinois, not Iraq. The heartland is hurting; voters want budgetary priorities to reflect economic reality. American taxpayers cannot afford to spend $1 billion a day forever just so the Middle East will someday become ‘democratic.’

“I follow in the great tradition of Illinois’ own U. S. Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, who said ‘When I feel the heat, I see the light.’ It is time for Illinois voters to send a little ‘heat’ to Washington, to send a clear message, so policymakers see the ‘light’: ‘Mr. President… bring home our heroes.’

“It will not benefit Americans if we go bankrupt fighting for Arab democracy. Bringing democracy to the Middle East is a job best left to Arabs, not Americans.

“I have a consistent record of supporting President Bush’s goals while offering ‘honest criticism’ of his methods. As a result of our differences over Mr. Bremer, the president should respect my insight and analysis. I think a Republican whom the president respects is the best person to open the president’s eyes to the devastating impact of prolonged conflict on the Illinois economy.

“In the March 21st primary, a vote for me is a vote to send President Bush the message, ‘Mr. President… Bring home our heroes. It is time to put Illinois and America first.’

“Every Illinoisan now has the opportunity to cast a primary vote for ‘heat’ and ‘light’ in the tradition of Senator Dirksen. They can support me to express their view of the war’s impact on our state.

“Finally, my fear is that if we do not recalibrate our economic priorities to Put Illinois First, the public will eventually lose faith in the war against terror; that is a conflict where there can be no retreat and no defeat.”

Media contact: Andy Martin (312) 440-4124; Website:; Contributions: