Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) said Sunday his party’s likely candidates for the next presidential election look lost on two key issues — foreign policy and the economy.
Gilmore, himself a 2016 White House hopeful, said his experience leading the Old Dominion made him more qualified than other potential contenders.
“What makes me different?” he asked host John Catsimatidis of “The Cats Roundtable” New York’s AM 970. “As the former governor of Virginia, I actually ran one of the major states in this country.”
“Secondly, none of the other potential candidates knows anything about foreign policy, whereas I do,” he continued.
Gilmore cited his work chairing the National Commission on Homeland Security as proof of his foreign policy bona fides. The former governor said he held that role for five years.
The economy, Gilmore continued, is another area the GOP’s 2016 field could shore up. He said he already had a plan for creating economic growth through tax reform should he someday reach the Oval Office.
“A lot of the potential candidates at the national level talk about economic growth or even tax cuts, but they don’t actually have it thought through,” he argued. “They’re just mouthing the words. We have thought it through.”
Gilmore said he would begin by issuing tax cuts for “everybody in the country.” After that, he would reform the personal income tax by changing it to 15 percent and eliminate the estate tax entirely.
The Virginia lawmaker said these measures would produce a booming national economy. He also challenged the narrative that the current one was as good as it gets.
“Maybe this slow-growth economy is good enough for other people,” Gilmore said, referring to President Obama and likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWarren: 'Today is a great day... but I'm not doing a touchdown dance' Hollywood stars weigh in on GOP pulling healthcare bill Hillary Clinton: Today was a victory, 'but this fight isn't over yet' MORE.
“But it’s not good enough for me.”
Should Gilmore run, he will enter one of the most crowded GOP presidential fields in recent memory. At least 19 other Republicans have expressed interest in the executive mansion.
Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzHow 'Big Pharma' stifles pharmaceutical innovation AIPAC must reach out to President Trump Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE (R-Texas) became his party’s first official 2016 candidate on Monday, formally announcing his bid at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.
Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioSenators introduce new Iran sanctions Senate intel panel has not seen Nunes surveillance documents: lawmakers With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder MORE (Fla.) is expected to launch his own campaign on April 13.
Gilmore served as Virginia’s governor from 1997 to 2001. He launched campaign operations in 2006 for the 2008 presidential election, but dropped out in July 2007 over fundraising difficulties.