TSD recently sat down with former Gov. Pete du Pont to get his take on national politics, what Delaware needs to do to create more jobs, and his upcoming “Freedom Award” Dinner honoring New Jersey Governor Chris Christie next Tuesday night.
TSD: First, Gov. du Pont, we’d like your take on the current crop of Republican Presidential candidates. Do you have a favorite?
GOV. PETE duPONT: The Republican field is very broad, and there are several good candidates. The two at the top at the moment are former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney & Texas Governor Rick Perry. I’m still evaluating both Romney and Perry. I expect a robust debate and that that contest will be with us for a while.
TSD: What do you make of the results of the NY 9 special Congressional election and the Republican Bob Turner’s victory. Is this a harbinger of trouble for the President?
PD: I was very pleased with the results in both special elections — NY 9 & the election in Nevada. Both clearly are harbingers of trouble for the President. In those very different races, we saw Republicans win two Congressional elections by significant margins. These elections are a sign that the American people across the country are not happy with what they see in the Washington White House.
TSD: How would you compare today’s economy and national mood to back in 1976 when you became Delaware’s governor? There are some unfortunate similarities, no?
PD: There are a lot of similarities in the Delaware mood in 1976 and the national mood, today. Washington’s policy challenges today are very similar to the ones Delaware had in the early 1970’s. Delaware was spending too much, then, and Washington is spending too much money, now.
TSD: In a vast, complex global economy, is there really much that Delaware – both our government and business community – can do that will help spur sustainable job creation?
PD: Of course there are things that can be done locally. At the policy level, first, we must keep taxes low. Second, we must keep government spending under control. And, third, we must continue the work being done to get out-of-state companies to come here. But we must do all three. As for our local businesses, they have the capability to compete as long as we keep government from getting in their way and over regulating, which leads back to the three public policies I already mentioned.
TSD: Next week you’re honoring Delaware Blue Hen Chris Christie with the Pete du Pont Freedom Award. Why Gov. Christie?
PD: America has prospered because people have been allowed to seize their own opportunities. The Pete du Pont Freedom Award is given every two years to somebody who is really doing well in leading America in the right direction. In the past, the award has gone to idea and political leaders like George Will, Rudy Guiliani, & Steve Forbes, who have advanced the ability of Americans to seize their own opportunities. Governor Christie is doing, today, for the State of New Jersey, the same kinds of things that our previous recipients have accomplished, and Governor Christie is making significant improvements in New Jersey.
TSD: Do you think we might see Gov. Christie on a national ticket someday?
PD: I would bet, yes. And I think that that would be great for Delaware and great for the Country.
For more on the Pete duPont Freedom award, visit PeteDupontFreedomAward.com.