House Republicans Commit to America

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House Republicans Commit to America
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I stood on the steps of the United States Capitol with 367 other Republican candidates for Congress. It was September 27, 1994, and I was the GOP candidate for Iowa’s fourth congressional district. We gave speeches, waved flags and signed the contract with America. It was a big media event because no one had done it before. It was a bet.

The Contract with America nationalized that year’s midterm elections, which the former president went against Tip O’Neil‘s canard that all politics is local. My poll showed I was ahead of my opponent, a 36-year-old incumbent who could only attack me personally as a wealthy plastic surgeon. I was new to politics and had no voting records. I rebuffed his ad hominem attacks with testimonials from patients, like the farmer who lost his thumb in a farm accident. I made him a new one by transplanting his big toe.

wsj

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