Rudy Boschwitz is campaigning as a moderate and respectable voice for Minnesota. But first he must convince Minnesotans that incumbent Sen. Paul Wellstone does not deserve re-election.
Boschwitz is trying to regain the seat he lost in 1990 to Wellstone. The two-term senator was the only incumbent senator to lose that year.
This year, Boschwitz, 65, is trying to make sure he doesn’t lose again. He has campaigned all year, calling Wellstone “embarrassingly liberal” and an “embarrassment to Minnesota.” These themes have been played throughout the campaign as the National Republican Party has spent $2 million for Boschwitz on radio, television and billboard ads.
Boschwitz has avoided labeling himself a conservative, despite his support for Bob Dole’s $560 billion tax cut plan and capital punishment, and his opposition to abortion and gay rights.
Instead, Boschwitz has tried to cast himself as an independent, pointing to his support for several of President Bill Clinton’s measures that Wellstone voted against, such as welfare reform, an end to farm subsidies, the death penalty and trade agreements such as NAFTA and GATT.
“Paul Wellstone is so liberal and so out of touch, he can’t even work with the Democratic president,” Boschwitz said.
Balancing the budget is the key issue Boschwitz brings up in speeches. He reminds listeners repeatedly that Wellstone was ranked as the number-one spender for 1995 by the nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union. Boschwitz said the deficit has come down in the past four years, but that “it will go down with Wellstone kicking and screaming.”
Boschwitz supports the Republican Congress’ proposals on education funding. He favors limiting the growth of Pell grants and student loans. He said there are more federal student loans now than ever, and he supports the grant system.
Balancing the budget is important for our future, Boschwitz said. He supports a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.