Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, United States Congressman from Arizona’s 4th District, visited the University of Arizona for a talk hosted by College Republicans United Thursday, April 21. Gosar has been in office since 2010, consistently winning elections in his district by large margins. He is up for reelection in November.
Gosar’s talk at the University of Arizona took place in Gallagher Theater in the Student Union Memorial Center where he issued a brief speech, touching on a few hot topics in Republican politics and bringing attention to the upcoming election. After, he had a long Q&A with the attendees, covering a large number of different topics in politics.
A strong supporter of former President Donald Trump, Gosar has come under fire recently for alleged connections to the alt-right. His vote to overturn the 2020 election, along with various video memes he has created, led to his censure by the House of Representatives and removal from committee assignments. One of the video memes he created depicts Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a titan from the anime "Attack on Titan" as its head was chopped off by a character representing Gosar. Gosar’s censure was the 24th such censure ever issued by the House.
The censure was inevitably brought up during Gosar’s talk.
“The 18-40 age group … [was] lost miserably in 2020 … in my office, we’ve been making the attempt to talk to you. That’s why we made the videos,“ Gosar said, pointing out that he believed that this particular demographic could be better connected with using memes. “Some people have a sense of humor and some people don’t.”
“I recommend a comparative analysis … are we better off under this administration or the last one?” Gosar asked, listing a series of things he said he believes are serious issues, including the border crisis, high inflation and weak military, all of which he considers to be a direct result of the change in administration in 2020.
A recurrent theme of the evening, beyond the regular reminders that an election was coming up, was Gosar’s argument that conservatives need to stand up for their beliefs and hold corrupt, irreverent politicians to account.
“We need to be proactive, not reactive … go big or go home. Don’t ask for what you want, ask for more,” he said, reinforcing the idea that conservatives needed to be assertive, forward and insistent.
Attendee questions covered many different topics.
“We can’t forgive student debt without holding university administrators accountable for tuition costs,” Gosar said, responding to a question regarding student loan forgiveness.
“We need to let children choose their education … let the money follow the children,” he said, insisting that this was the solution to many issues in higher education, offering a way to even address the issues that many conservatives have with Critical Race Theory.
Another issue that came up was China.
"China is buying land and water rights in the United States,” Gosar said, adding that, “the Charter doctrine gave up U.S. patents.”
These points build on a widespread fear in Republican circles that China is encroaching on United States sovereignty.
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“We are fixing supply chains in Arizona,” Gosar said, building on his points about China, citing increases in production of rare earth metals in Arizona as well as plans to bring in semiconductor manufacturing in Phoenix.
“Production backs the dollar,” he added later, claiming that in order to keep the dollar stable we need to continue producing goods within the United States, “[but] that’s the opposite of what this administration is doing.”
The war in Ukraine was also addressed.
“I find it very troubling that we’re fighting over a line in the sand between Ukraine and Russia, and we won’t defend the line in the sand at our southern border,” Gosar said, framing the border crisis as an invasion. “We should absolutely arm Ukraine … but no member of the United States military should be in that war.”
He made note of the efforts he has made to facilitate the distribution of arms to Ukraine.
The southern border came up several more times over the course of the talk.
“I support immigration, but the right way,” Gosar said, “I think immigrants have a lot to teach us … but what’s happening at the Southern border is an invasion.”
This same concern was reinforced other times in different contexts.
A question was also fielded on what Republican Congressmen are doing about prohibitively high costs in healthcare.
“We need to be building a marketplace in healthcare,” Gosar said. “There used to be an antitrust exemption for medical insurance … . We revoked it just before the Biden administration came in. We need to take on big pharma, and then hospitals … . We need competition in the market.”
Gosar wrapped up the evening with a few notes on what he believed was most important for the future of the party and the country.
“We need to return to the family,” Gosar said, “and not just the nuclear family, but grandparents, aunts, uncles … if we can get back to that, the power will return to the people.”
The event was wrapped up by a series of pictures with the members of College Republicans United.
“We are a club of students committed to Conservative ideals,” said President of College Republicans United Alton Zhang, encouraging any interested students to find the organization on Twitter or Instagram.
“We’re a social club, a community where people can get together and talk about their political views no matter where they might lie on the spectrum,” Zhang said.
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