My father, Senator Bob Bennett, passed away on May 4, 2016, after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.
Dad had left office a little more than six years earlier, and he gave a farewell speech on the floor of the Senate that summed up his perspective on political parties. The principles he outlines here have guided my efforts in this campaign.
You can watch the whole thing here:
Here are some noteworthy excerpts:
The next thing I have learned is that there are two parties and that there is a difference between the two parties. There are those who say: Oh, there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats; they are the same people who say we are all corrupt. There is a significant difference. The Democrats are the party of government. Going back to their roots with Franklin Roosevelt, they come to the conclusion that if there is a problem, government should solve that problem. The Republicans are the party of free markets, and they come to the conclusion that if there is a problem, it should be left to the markets to solve it.
And they are both right.
That is the thing I have come to understand here. There are some problems where government is the solution–but not always. There are some problems where free markets do provide the solution–but not always… let us understand in the debate, as we go back and forth between these two concepts, that we do not question the motives or the patriotism of anyone on the other side–or within our own caucuses…
Yes, there is a difference between the two parties. Yes, we disagree. But if we can disagree in an effort to solve the problems of the country and be willing on occasion to say maybe the other side is right, we will move forward.