Thursday, February 9, 2023

Candidate visits to garner awareness

October 16, 2000

GRAND RAPIDS - For voters not happy with the leading presidential candidates, Howard Phillips would like you to know the Constitution Party makes a great alternative.

Phillips and his fellow party members feel his race for the presidency is not receiving fair coverage. He was not included in the presidential debates and even received what he called a rather rude response from Tim Russert, host of “Meet the Press.”

“I wrote a letter to Russert asking him to include me in the debates or at least his show,” Phillips said. “After all, I am on the ballot in over 40 states.

“In his response, Russert said that (his show) is about news, and when I become news, he may cover me.”

Phillips did find some supporters Friday while in west Michigan at The Home School Building in Wyoming, Mich.

“I think it’s neat for you to run for president,” one 12-year-old student commented to Phillips.

“I think it’s neat for you to spend time with me even though I’m not very famous,” Phillips responded.

The Constitution Party has strict Christian ideals and holds onto a literal interpretation of the Constitution.

Phillips created the U.S. Taxpayers Party in 1992 for voters wishing to return the country to its “common law” Biblical foundations. The party was then renamed the Constitution Party.

Phillips was the party’s presidential nominee in 1992 and 1996.

“There are 31 candidates running for various offices as Constitution Party candidates,” Phillips said. “Our message is, don’t waste your vote on Bush or Gore. Even though one of them will win, they support abortion and homosexual activities, things we don’t support.”

Tom Grego, Constitutional Party candidate for the 3rd District U.S. House seat, explained how he thinks his party stands out.

“The big thing is it’s offering the voters the option for a party who’s against abortion,” Grego said. “Mr. Phillips believes in life. The Constitution defends life.”

Grego said Phillips would make reducing the federal budget a high priority.

“We would reduce federal funding by imposing tariffs,” Grego said. “Our goal is to really get back to the Constitution. Gore said the Constitution is a living, breathing document and is open to interpretation.

“That’s nonsense - it’s as simple as you can get.”

Phillips said students should not be allowed to receive federal scholarships or grants because the Constitution doesn’t allow for it.

“We believe in parental control of education,” Phillips said. “I would not want any institution to accept federal money.

“The Bible says ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ and if someone’s family cannot fund a child’s education, they should wait until they can fund it. They don’t have the constitutional right to use the government’s money, or anyone else’s.”

Phillips said he has not accepted any federal money for his campaign, and has sustained it through private donations and his family’s money.

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