Q. Do the purists in the Republican Party realize that demographic changes will render the Republican Party obsolete and irrelevant?
A. Unfortunately, there are those in the party that are more concerned with ideological purity than with building an electoral coalition that will allow Republicans to win all across the country. To win moving forward we must find ways to attract women, African-Americans, Hispanics, gays and lesbians and Asians.
Q. If you could do your political career over, how do you feel you could more effectively have created change? Where (outside of the Washington insiders) should people look for future change?
A. I was humbled and honored to serve the people of northeast Ohio in Congress. I was blessed to have the opportunity to be their voice in Washington. I would like to think I was a positive influence on the system while in Congress and hope I can continue to be a positive influence out of Congress. You don't have to serve in Congress to effect change, the most important thing any American can do is to get involved.
Q. Why does it appear to us not in DC that "bipartisan agreement" almost always means grow government and spend money? Can't "common ground" someday mean cut spending and shrink government - or is it hopeless?
A. Bipartisan agreement, by its very definition, means that both parties can't get 100% of what they want. Too often we have a political system that views compromise as failure, the truth is that we can't accomplish anything - whether it’s shrinking the government or growing it - without compromise.
Q. Can the farm bill pass if you split up agriculture subsidies and food stamps?
Q. Ohio is a battleground state for President, but its congressional map looks like Georgia. What will it take for the stars to align to get competitive redistricting?
A. The injection of partisan politics into the redistricting process has been one of the most corrosive changes to our system of government. It will be incredibly difficult, unfortunately, to change it.
Q. Is health care going forward?
Q. Why all the votes to abolish Obamacare?
A. The truth is that Obamacare is wildly unpopular. Fair or not, opinion polls show the American people do not support the legislation. The votes to abolish Obamacare are the product of this reality.