Interview With U.S. Senate Candidate Jim Oberweis
Voters this month will decide the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. It's a race between two suburban businessmen, Doug Truax and Jim Oberweis.
The Oberweis name is recognizable for the Illinois based dairy business the candidate started and still owns along with an investment firm.
Oberweis, 67, is also known for his previous five failed campaigns. That included unsuccessful attempts to run for U.S. Senate. He won a state Senate seat in 2012.
Like his primary opponent, Oberweis favors repeal of the Affordable Care Act. He says there are some parts of the law he could support, but says the solution is to "repeal and replace."
"It's so fundamentally flawed it probably can't be fixed as is," he said. Oberweis said allowing children to remain on their parent's health policy until age 26, provide coverage for pre-existing conditions and more comparison shopping for coverage across state lines should be allowed.
Oberweis clarified his stance on President Obama's foreign policy.
"I think where we are today, we've gotten there in some very strange ways," Oberweis said. "This president has been too willing to draw a line in the sand, and then people cross over it and he does nothing."
"While I am satisfied where we have gotten, how we have gotten here is not too good."
Oberweis also wants to make sure the military remains well equipped. But he says the nation cannot afford to be involved in every conflict. He would support funding cuts for the military.
As a businessman, he said he will push for fewer regulations that stymie growth and streamlining the tax code.
Oberweis also commented on a t-v ad he aired in 2004, where he was in a helicopter above Chicago's Soldier Field to illustrate the number of immigrants coming in to the country illegally. He drew heat for his comments and now calls the ad a "mistake."
"The commercial was a terrible commercial that didn't express my position on the very well at all. So I wish we hadn't run that commercial or done it in a much better way," he said. Oberweis stands by the numbers he touted in the ad.
Here in 2014, he said his position has changed slightly. He wants better enforcement of the borders. He also said for children brought here illegally, there should be a pathway to citizenship. Parents who did break the law should not get amnesty, but should be allowed a special visa that would require them to pay taxes and social security, but not allow them to access government entitlements.
Oberweis compares himself to former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald, also a Republican. He brushes off criticism that he might be too conservative to win statewide. He has pledged to serve only two terms in the U.S. Senate, if elected.