Different views of the political landscape laid out before the Regional Chamber of Commerce on Friday as the business community looked through the political lens of both Republican Representative Pete Sessions and Democrat Marc Veasey.
Both men have opponents in the midterm. But Friday’s events were not about running for election, but their evaluations of what is and isn’t working in the presidential playbook.
Veasey and Sessions took the stage for a conversation about the country. FOX 4’s Shannon Murray was the moderator.
President Donald Trump was the X-factor in every issue discussed.
“As you know, Canada and Mexico are our two largest trading partners. Canada is one of our strongest allies,” Veasey said. “And the way that he sort of bullied them around and threatened tariffs and wanted to put them under certain classifications and that would make them a threat to the United States security, I thought was completely unnecessary to get to where we are today.”
“I would like to see Mexico be great too,” Sessions said. “And I don’t want to create a circumstance where there is a huge fight, but there are things that had to be updated.”
Veasey warned the tariff-tiff with China will hurt American businesses.
“And a lot of these businesses are going to be harmed,” he said. “And it’s going to be very difficult for them to ever come back if the president doesn’t tone down how he talks about some of these.”
“We've been putting up our white flag at the Chinese for too darn long. I’m glad we checked our backpack and there ain't no white flag in there,” Sessions said. “We're gonna go and we're gonna do business and we're gonna meet China where they are or we're gonna go work around them. But we are not gonna tolerate them thieving from us.”
There was a question that might cause some to go in the shadows when the census comes calling. It will be the first one with a citizenship question since 1950.
“I would say that it’s fair to ask the question are you a citizen of the United States,” Sessions said. “It would not say are you here legally or illegally.”
“I think it’s very clear this census is intended to help protect a Republican party that’s becoming more and more reliant upon a part of the population that is continuing to be a much smaller percentage of the population year after year after year,” Veasey said.