Why are you seeking election?
I am running for U.S. Senate to champion the causes of working Hoosier families by protecting good-paying jobs in Indiana, helping to make college more affordable and preserving Social Security and Medicare programs for seniors to rely on in their golden years.
What makes you a qualified candidate for the position?
As Indiana’s 46th governor, I worked with a Republican Statehouse to put more money back into the pockets of hardworking Hoosiers with a $1.6 billion tax cut, the largest in Indiana’s history at the time. We worked together to create 350,000 jobs and make college an affordable and achievable goal for more young Hoosiers through the 21st Century Scholars program. As U.S. senator, I worked across the aisle to pass the auto rescue that helped save 100,000 Hoosier jobs and on legislation to help accelerate a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. I want to bring that bipartisan approach and common sense problem-solving back to the U.S. Senate.
What are your legislative priorities if you are elected?
We need Hoosier common sense in Washington, and leaders who will actually work together to address the challenges facing Hoosier families and workers today. We need to go tougher on trade and protect good-paying jobs from being shipped overseas. We need to help our small businesses grow and keep our workforce strong. We need to make college more affordable and help our young people compete and succeed in the 21st Century economy. We need to make sure that Social Security and Medicare are strengthened and these critical programs stay strong for generations to come.
What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing our nation at this time? How do you plan to solve them?
Our nation and our state face tremendous challenges today. From bolstering our national security and combating the terror threat of ISIS to saving our jobs from unenforceable trade deals that leave our workers in the lurch, we need leaders in Washington who will work together, put families first and leave partisan gamesmanship at the door. We can destroy ISIS at their roots by eradicating safe havens abroad. We can lift up our hardworking families by making sure their jobs aren’t shipped to Mexico for cheaper labor. We can make sure our children inherit more from us than our unpaid bills by cracking down on waste and fraud in government spending. We can accomplish a lot by working together.
Major manufacturing companies, including Carrier in Indianapolis, have recently left the United States for Mexico, citing too much federal regulation. Do you believe there is too much business regulation or not enough?
Oversized government regulation has had an overly burdensome effect on businesses and a dampening effect on economic growth. Washington needs to re-evaluate the level of regulation imposed upon our businesses. The Carrier Corporation was a profitable business when it decided to ship 1,400 good-paying Hoosier jobs to Mexico. A loophole in the tax code allows Carrier to enjoy a tax break as it outsources Hoosier jobs — and that has to come to an end. We need to close that loophole, make sure trade deals actually help American workers and do everything we can to ensure our hard-working families are protected from outsourcing.
How do you plan to help work alongside the next president and administration, whether a Democrat or Republican wins?
The problem with Washington today is that too many leaders confuse compromise with betrayal of party. We need principled compromise and common sense back in the legislating process. I don’t care which party an idea originates from — if it’s a good idea for Hoosier families, I’ll support it. I will work with any president — Republican or Democrat — to champion the issues that matter to Hoosier families.
Name: Evan Bayh
Office sought: U.S. Senate
Political party: Democratic
Occupation: Strategic adviser at McGuire Woods
Political experience: Indiana governor (1989-1997), U.S. senator for Indiana (1999-2011)
Family: Wife Susan; two children