Lincoln Day speakers saluted Lincoln, Indiana, Hoosiers


U.S. Sen. Mike Braun and Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch

HUNTINGBURG — The attributes of President Abraham Lincoln and the current strength of the Republican Party highlighted the talks at Saturday’s Lincoln Day Luncheon.

But the party cannot rest on those laurels, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch told the group at the lunch.

“We have to continue to challenge and dare ourselves to build a better tomorrow,” she said. “And it has to be a tomorrow that provides even greater opportunities that we ourselves could realize.”

More than 200 members and supporters of the Dubois County Republican Party came out for the luncheon at the Huntingburg Event Center. Along with sharing a meal, they listened to Crouch and special guest U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, heard about General Assembly activities and participated in an auction of goods. They also picked up Trump/Pence campaign signs and materials about candidates running for state office.

Crouch said she tries to serve the people of Indiana through her office the same way Lincoln served the people of the United States through his presidency.

“Abraham Lincoln said that government should do for people only what they can’t do better for themselves and no more. And as Republicans, we must never stray from this philosophy,” Crouch said. “We must fight the problems of too much and inefficient government at the same time. We must deliver services efficiently and cost effectively to those that need them.”

And the effectiveness should be measured, “not by the amount of assistance we give people, but by the number of people we get off of assistance and back on their own two feet,” she said. “And here in Indiana, that is what Gov. [Eric] Holcomb and I try to do every single day.“

Crouch talked about the values and morals of the nation’s 16th president. When he took office in March 1861, it was at a time of intense turmoil in this country, she said.

“Lincoln had to navigate a brokered convention, before he could become our party’s candidate,” Crouch said. “He got elected in the general election, with less than 40% of the vote. And then when he was elected, he faced a divided country. And of course what followed was one of the most divisive chapters in American history, the Civil War.”

But yet, he focused on what was important, Crouch said. “He would muster the will, the strength and ultimately the bows to bring our country together,” she said.

She mentioned that today’s America is also in the midst of its group of problems and issues that are dividing the country.

“And while I understand that we have serious issues in front of us, if we would take a little time to listen to each other rather than the cable news,” she said, “we might be able to figure a way to build our country back. And that’s what we’re doing here in Indiana, every single day, families, communities, businesses, local and state government. We’re all coming together and figuring out how to make Indiana a more prosperous place for Hoosier families. And while we don’t always agree, we find common ground that allows us to build for the future.”

Braun talked about the happenings in U.S. Congress and how so many things don’t get done. He spoke about the different committees he sits on. One of those is the Senate budget committee, though, “Budgets aren’t done anymore,” he said. “It’s simply one side rolling over to the other. The Republicans are as bad as the Democrats.”

He agrees that defense spending is supposed to be covered by the government, “but not when you’re borrowing a trillion dollars a year on a $4.5 trillion budget,” he said. “Imagine if you ran your businesses with a 23% loss. I mean, and then tried to put it on a credit card, wouldn’t work.”

He added: “Sadly, we’ll probably have a calamity before we address the budget of our country, which is now $23 trillion in debt. We’re soon to be $1.5 trillion in deficits in six or seven years. Interest, in time, even with low rates, will be equal to our entire defense budget.”

Braun said that the 2020 elections are going to be very important. “We’re at a pivotal point where people are sick and tired of business as usual. And you’ve got a great divide in the country,” he said. “President Trump. Man, he infuriates half the country, and he delights the other half. Sure, all of New York dislikes him. All of the Republic of California dislikes him. But middle America, in the swing states, is where we are going to either win or lose.”
State Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, who is the chairman of the county party, said that locally, the Republicans hold a majority of the political seats. And the candidates who are running for election and reelection this year will win, he said confidently.

“It’s great to have almost a full slate, and if we can get a judge candidate we will have it full,” he said. “I look forward to great success in the 2020 races. I’m confident President Trump will carry the county. Gov. Holcomb will carry the county. And we will continue to make great strides in Indiana.”

Crouch, Braun and Messmer acknowledged the people in the room and the other party members and supporters as the ones who have strengthened the party and strengthened Indiana.

“It is you, the hard working men and women, who are taking the risks, and making the sacrifices that have put our state on a path to prosperity,” Crouch said. “And as we embark on Indiana’s third century. Let’s focus on perfecting this special state in the heartland of our great country.”

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