Saxby Chambliss: On a likely primary challenge, and problems with the F-22

I’d originally sought a conversation with U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss to discuss the problems of the F-22, outlined a day earlier on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

But by the time we talked on Thursday, the defeat of U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in Indiana was an unavoidable topic. Chambliss said he was, of course, “bothered” by the defeat of any Republican incumbent, and declared his friend to be “a gentleman and just a great statesman.”

“But when you look back, Dick had been here for 36 years, he did not own a house in Indiana, had issues relative to not going home often enough,” Chambliss said.

Lugar was also damned by FreedomWorks and the tea party movement for his bipartisanship – he had served as U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s mentor on foreign policy.

So there’s the natural question of whether Luger should serve as a warning for Chambliss, who has spent the last 18 months pushing for a bipartisan solution to the federal debt crisis.

Georgia’s senior senator said he anticipates primary opposition when he runs for re-election in 2014, but won’t take it as a penalty for speaking politely with Democrats. Rather, he’ll consider it feature of Georgia’s status as a one-party state.

“Just look at what’s going on in our congressional delegation right now. Every one of them, except Tom Graves, has one or multiple primary opponents,” Chambliss said. “We can all remember that Democrats had primary opposition on a regular basis, even incumbents. I think it’s only natural to think that that’s going to happen.”

But Chambliss is not worried. “I never sold my house,” he said.

***
Now, as to the F-22: On Sunday, “60 Minutes” featured two Air Force officers, in uniform, describing problems with the stealth fighter’s oxygen system that had caused them to refuse to fly the plane.

The interview was conducted in the presence of a member of Congress, to assure the pair of their protected status.

“I actually caught part of it live. I didn’t know it was coming on. It’s not a new issue – it’s been with us for a good while. Needless to say, it’s a serious issue, and being taken seriously by the Air Force,” Chambliss said.

“It’s not often that you active duty personnel exercise whistle-blower rights. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before,” Chambliss said. The senator said he anticipated no specific hearings on the plane’s problems.

The F-22 has been criticized as an expensive, Cold War beast that was ill-suited to the asymmetrical warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan – where it was not used. However, a U.S. flock of F-22s was recently sent to the United Arab Emirates – as a not-so-subtle message to Iran.

“I was coming back from Afghanistan last week – we ended up staying an extra day in Dubai, and had a chance to visit personnel there. We have just moved some F-22s to Dubai,” said the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Iran is equipped with a Russian-made missile defense system designed to go the Patriot system one better. “When you go into air space where you’ve got SA-20s, nothing we have in the inventory other than the F-22 can fly in there and take out those types of missiles without being shot down. So it’s still the Air Force’s main weapons system,” Chambliss said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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54 comments Add your comment

Billingeorgia

May 10th, 2012
6:24 pm

Likely primary challenger … you can bet on it. Saxby Shameless is a RINO extraordinaire and big Lib Re-PUKE-ican.

thetruth

May 10th, 2012
6:25 pm

Looks like a Tea Partier may primary SC.

thetruth

May 10th, 2012
6:25 pm

FIRST…….. btw

Mark Bureau

May 10th, 2012
6:27 pm

Senator Chambliss better start worrying about a primary challenge. Many people fell for his plea about preventing Obamacare’s 60th vote. Look what putting him back in the senate got us…..everything that Barack Obama wanted…. Yes, he needs to worry

Jon

May 10th, 2012
6:42 pm

I look forward to Karen Handel’s challenge.

And the hilarity when Dan Becker gets involved…

Voter

May 10th, 2012
6:49 pm

Senator Chambliss there will be primary challenger or challengers. Also have you ever thought why Tom Graves has no challengers this time. To quote someone thought about running. You can’t run against his voting record. To that I say AMEN

MrLiberty

May 10th, 2012
6:59 pm

I would vote for ANYONE over Chambliss. that fascist liberty hater must go. He is just another reason why so many rightly hate the republican party. He talks a great talk and then does everyhting in his power to destroy the constitution and freedom in america. Hopefully a libertarian republican will win the primary and can then go on to help President Ron Paul restore america.

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
7:23 pm

Galloway posted “Luger was also damned by FreedomWorks and the tea party movement for his bipartisanship”. This is a total lie (”spin” in political terms for lie). Luger was defeated by his own party because he continually strayed from Republican principals and got duped by Democrats who only pretended to compromise. Bipartisanship must be a 2 way street.

@ Jon – Little chance Karen Handel will be foolish enough to run against a millionaire incumbent Senator. She is a right wing single issue, non-college educated, defeated politician, recently fired from the Komen Foundation for cause without a portfolio.

The F-22 was an expensive mistake. Sorry Lockheed, Georgia, and U.S. taxpayers.

fire eater

May 10th, 2012
7:33 pm

Lugar was removed by America’s GUN OWNERS who organized a nationwide grass-roots fundraising effort for Richard Mourdock. He was given ZERO chance of unseating that RINO…goodbye and good riddance; there are more who need purging.

Timus

May 10th, 2012
7:44 pm

Saxby is still trying to put in a good word for that $150 million death trap that the taxpayers flipped the bill for. Sorry to break it to him but we can take out those same locations in Iran from the Gulf with cruise missiles.

Red

May 10th, 2012
7:58 pm

Still think he should have lost that primary in 2002. A far better man lost that race. Many people pointed out what sort of Southern Democrat he was back then. But too many people fell for the “just put an R behind their name and they’re good to go” nonsense. His immigration stance, Gang of ‘fill in the blank’ history, pork projects, Farm Bill welfare, etc. He needs a drubbing far worse than Lugar got. Send him back down to Colquitt County filling out government paperwork for the rest of his days.

Political Avoider

May 10th, 2012
8:06 pm

Politics never enter my mind when I am in heaven—here.

http://www.bestoftheroad.com/town.do?destinationId=25837

Don Hutelin

May 10th, 2012
8:09 pm

Chamblis already has one announced (R) challenger.

td

May 10th, 2012
8:23 pm

Now I do not blame Saxby for trying to work a budget out, even though, I disagree with some of the items in his plan. I do blame Saxby for being a moderate and hope a conservative as far to the right as Read, Kerry and Shumer is to the left runs against him in the primary.

Just Nasty & Mean

May 10th, 2012
8:27 pm

Saxby showed his true colors by packing the Farm Bill with so much pork, he made Jimmy Dean look like a piker.

He also voted for the NDAA allowing arrest of American citizens w/o trial.
Recently, by acclimation, he voted for HB347 that allows the President to appoint secret service to ANYONE (like Axelrod) and if you protest–you can be arrested and imprisoned for a year by the
Secret Service. In Gilmer county, he stated the Fed is part of the constitution.

He’s lost….

Even worse, Saxby has stood by while the Marxist in the White House chips away at our freedoms and Constitution.

He’s a back-bencher and unintelligent slug–with absolutely no credentials to be on the intelligence Committee or in the Senate.

Saxby—2014 has your name next to Lugar’s. ..You might as well stand aside and

td

May 10th, 2012
8:46 pm

“Obama, by all accounts, was a habitual drug user in high school. He tried cocaine, he admits in Dreams From My Father; he “tried drugs enthusiastically.” The Chicago Tribune reported back in 2007 that Obama thanked the “Choom Gang” in his high school yearbook; “chooming” was Hawaiian slang for smoking pot. The Honolulu Advertiser reported that Obama’s senior portrait “prominently displayed … A package of ‘Zig-Zag’ rolling papers and a matchbook.” One of Obama’s close friends was arrested for drug possession during high school.

In his memoir, Obama talked about routinely getting high. “Junkie. Pothead,” he wrote. “That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.” But, according to Obama, he only got high because he was contemplating deep matters: drugs could “push questions of who I was out of my mind.”

Obama told students in 2007 that this activity constituted “goofing off” and “wasting time”:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/05/10/Obama-High-School-Drugs

Sage Boucher

May 10th, 2012
8:49 pm

I’ve been suspecting for a while that Saxby will be nominated for Vice President. He’s has years of experience working with the Senate, and is a southerner to balance out Romney’s being from New England. I can only hope this will drag Mitt down even further.

Kris T.

May 10th, 2012
8:51 pm

I will hold my head high as I vote Saxby out in November. Good riddance to a pest.

luangtom

May 10th, 2012
9:04 pm

When are we going to get someone currently in office to speak of term-limits? When one sits in office for three-decades, it is far too long. Lugar’s demise is testament to this. No one should be in Washington, DC, for over thirty-years. No one. There are far too many elected officials that remain in office that feel they know more than or what is best for their voters. NOT. They all seem to follow the money and get entrenched in affairs that make them money while in office, when they are supposed to be there to represent all of us. Maybe it is time for someone to challenge all of our elected officials, no matter the party, the incumbents need to know there are others just as qualified as they.

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
9:29 pm

Sage Boucher posted “I’ve been suspecting for a while that Saxby will be nominated for Vice President.”

No chance. He is 70 years old, has no executive experience, has been a Senate back-bencher out of the leadership, and is simply not presidential timber. He is from a solid red state, so adds nothing to the ticket.

Romney will pick somebody from one of the swing states who is an “up and comer” and will automatically be a contender for the GOP nomination 4 or 8 years from now. Think Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, or New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte.

Kyle and Kurly Looooooove the Kochs

May 10th, 2012
9:30 pm

Saxby the Chickenhawk Chambliss is a worthless no-account, but no worse than any other GOPer.

td

May 10th, 2012
9:38 pm

luangtom

May 10th, 2012
9:04 pm

Term limits were passed by Newt and were ruled unconstitutional by the Federal courts.

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
9:50 pm

@ td – Newt and Congress failed to get term limits. The Republican leadership brought to the floor of the House a constitutional amendment that would limit House members to six two-year terms and members of the U.S. Senate to two six-year terms. However, this rate of rotation was so slow that the congressional version of term-limits garnered little support among the populist backers. Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority, or 290 votes (in the House), and the votes to impose term limits on Congress fell short of that number – probably on purpose. Gingrich put it in the Contract with America, but was not really in favor.

In May 1995, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton that STATES cannot impose term limits upon their federal Representatives or Senators after several passed them by wide margins.

Jack From Cumming

May 10th, 2012
10:06 pm

Would love a tea party alternative

Wondering

May 10th, 2012
10:13 pm

This blog makes Nunn’s point. As this state’s political party moves further to the right, alienating the middle, they will force moderates to flee the Republican Party. With fully a third of the state receiving their medical care from the government, it will be interesting to watch the Republican Party cut medicaid, medicare and social security.

honested

May 10th, 2012
11:26 pm

td,

I guess that’s why noots has such a problem with the courts.
The nerve, following the law and the Constitution when noots knows what’s best.

honested

May 10th, 2012
11:28 pm

Saxby has been just like the rethugs who took over the state just before he Clelaned his way into the Senate.
What reason is there to move farther wrong when it is quite clear and obvious that the wrong-wing policies DON’T WORK!

Governance is not an ideological debate team exercise!

eatmotacos

May 10th, 2012
11:50 pm

And, don’t forget that “Mr.Vidalia Onion” singlehandedly quelled the nationawide enforcement of our immigration laws.

Auntie Christ

May 11th, 2012
12:06 am

s td has a fast breaking news flash!! ““Obama, by all accounts, was a habitual drug user in high school. He tried cocaine, he admits in Dreams From My Father; he “tried drugs enthusiastically.” ….Blah …Blah …Blah From that respected and renowned for integrity site brietbutt.com, where you know there will be no distortions or quotes out of context.

I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you to learn a young person used illegal drugs in the 60’s. What am I going to learn next? that george w bush was a coke head and falling down drunk? Oh say it aint so! The horror, the horror!

Centrist

May 11th, 2012
12:12 am

President Obama won North Carolina (0.32%), Indiana (1.04%), Florida (2.82%), Ohio (4.59%), Virginia (6.29%), and Colorado (8.95%). Flipping ALL these electoral votes would give an electoral victory to Romney – but so far only North Carolina, Indiana, and Florida look possible. He could probably get Ohio if he picks Senator Rob Portman for VP. Virginia is home to lots of federal employees, and Romney has campaigned on shrinking government head count and tying government employee compensation to the private sector (pay cuts). He might overcome that by picking Governor Bob McDonnell for VP. Colorado is a far stretch at this point. An even greater longshot is New Hampshire (9.61%).

The Senate looks to go slightly Republican and the House is safe for Republicans. At least at this point, gridlock looks to be around a while longer.

DevilDogOz

May 11th, 2012
6:20 am

Had I known how $axby was going to pour on the pork over the last four years I would’ve held my nose and voted for Jim-whats-his-name, the dem, during the last general election. Like Lugar, another out of touch old guy who has got to go so someone can embrace the new realities that confront this nation.

Kyle and Kurly Looooooove the Kochs

May 11th, 2012
6:31 am

Regarding possible VPs for RomOney, how about Ted Nugent? RomOney would have to pin him to the ground and cut off his ponytail though – and dry-razor that soul patch while he’s at it…

Kyle and Kurly Looooooove the Kochs

May 11th, 2012
6:34 am

RomOney has serious problems with the woman vote, and McConnell was for vaginal rape-probing before he was against it. Maybe not a great choice.

Bill from Atlanta

May 11th, 2012
6:34 am

Sax has got to go. Destructive to the conservative cause. He will not get my vote

Kyle and Kurly Looooooove the Kochs

May 11th, 2012
6:35 am

RomOney could just shave Nugent’s arse and get him to walk backwards, and we’d never know the difference.

iiiarf

May 11th, 2012
6:40 am

I wonder:
Who pays the US Senator and Representatives? ( Yes I know we the people, but the nation or the states)
Were they ever paid for by the States they represent?
If yes, when did that change?
And I am wondering why they are paid. Was Washington. Jefferson, Adams, Franklin paid, it is not a job it is a service.
Or is it?
It should be a service to represent your state.
A service to represent the people who are like you.
A service to learn what works in anothers regions.
A service to go back and be educated.

You blog’s are right, CB is gone. But so is JI but 16 is to far.

I look at the list Handel, Graves, Bortz, Martha ???.

I screwed up before, I won’t do that again.

Herman is the one.
Saxby enjoy the farm. You have plowed your seeds and done VERY WELL.Do you want to tell Georgians what life out of Congress will be like.
I am sure that you will suffer, LOL.

Do me a favor, go back to what you where, be honest in you comment, be honest in you.

Road Scholar

May 11th, 2012
6:48 am

Lugar didn’t own a house in Indiana?! So what! Did he pay his state taxes? Yes!

It’s also interesting in Massachusetts that Ms Warren may have filed for minority status for school/loans; she is 1/8th American Indian. If a person has any % of black blood in them they are considered African American; double standard?

Kyle and Kurly Looooooove the Kochs

May 11th, 2012
6:51 am

RomOney’s possible bounce from Obama’s gay marriage endorsement crashed to earth just off the runway. I’m sure most of you GOP thugs admire RomOney for leading a little lynch-mob to wrassle a gay boy to the ground and cut off his hair, but he already has you animals on his side.

Some folks have a problem with gay marriage, but everyone except you thugs dislikes bullies, and there is little to to make us thing that the poor little rich boy that was Little Lord Mittens – basically Dubya without the cocaine or Coca-Cola – has changed his basic sociopathic disposition.

Kyle and Kurly Looooooove the Kochs

May 11th, 2012
6:52 am

Sittimg Bull

May 11th, 2012
6:53 am

In 20 years there will be as many as 6 new countries in what is the USA, “stupid is as stupid does”

Buckhead Boy

May 11th, 2012
7:00 am

Term limits would put an undue burden on the “job creators”, having to buy more politicians and swiftly. Just be patient and wait for the trickle-down.

Ga Values

May 11th, 2012
7:16 am

The only people who like Saxby are the lobbyist because they can buy our vote on the cheap. By the way Saxby’s son Bo is a lobbyist, who gets a family discount when he buys Saxby’s vote.

Edward Ruffin

May 11th, 2012
7:25 am

3rd Congressional District challenger, Kent Kingsley, is for term limits, 12 years for Congressman, 12 years for Senators. It is a good idea and I am voting for Kingsley for that and a number of other reasons. And yes, Chambliss needs a Conservative challenger.

hiram

May 11th, 2012
7:29 am

Thanks to the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Fools, compounded by an ignorant electorate(manifest on this blog daily), the Congress will know longer represent states anyway. They will be the Senator from Eli Lilly, the Rep. from Exxon/Mobile…

red herring

May 11th, 2012
7:44 am

Saxby is part of the Ga. good old boys network. It doesn’t matter who is in the white house our senator will roll over for them in order to get in their good graces. We need people with real tea party values in our elected offices. Like Luger his time has past.

LeRoy

May 11th, 2012
7:46 am

You can tell that Galloway is full of it because he casts Lugar as a bi-partisan but Lieberman as a traitor.
Galloway is a partisan. Nothing to learn from a shill.

honested

May 11th, 2012
8:12 am

Again, let me ask (and I’ll simplify the question a little) when has a ‘conservative policy’ provided benefit to the People of the United States?

I’m not talking about ‘corporations’ (not citizens, can’t vote), I mean People.

The entire Bush Depression was created by President Clinton’s failure to veto a stupid change in banking law that was entirely a ‘conservative’ invention. If nearly destroyed the world economy.

What is the end result you contards hope for?

Jack in Sandy Springs

May 11th, 2012
8:22 am

I look forward to Tom Price or Karen Handel beating Saxby like a drum in 2014. Either could do it without breaking a sweat. Watch for Price to do it and Handel to take his seat.

td

May 11th, 2012
9:15 am

Kyle and Kurly Looooooove the Kochs

May 11th, 2012
6:34 am

RomOney has serious problems with the woman vote, and McConnell was for vaginal rape-probing before he was against it. Maybe not a great choice.

One could say the reverse is true. Obama has a serious problem with men since that gender gap in favor of Romney is as big as the female gender gap is in favor of Obama.

Centrist

May 11th, 2012
9:20 am

td posted “Obama has a serious problem with men since that gender gap in favor of Romney is as big as the female gender gap is in favor of Obama.”

“Amazing” that such a thing is lost on the media and lefitst partisans (but not the public in general).