Politically minded students and staff gathered in the Varsity Theatre to hear Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz speak about current Republican party platforms Friday, Nov. 22.
Chaffetz, U.S. Representative for Utah’s 3rd congressional district, is a BYU graduate and a former Democrat. He spoke of a few political issues he was passionate about, while the majority of the meeting was spent answering questions from the audience. Wyatt Warnick, president of the BYU College Republicans, introduced Chaffetz to the audience.
“We’re really excited for this event. It gives us an opportunity, as members of the community, for civic dialogue,” Warnick said.
While studying at BYU Chaffetz joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was elected to congress in 2008, and is vocally passionate about his opinions of political policy.
“In the United States of America you have the opportunity to succeed. You also have the opportunity to fail,” Chaffetz said. “We as a nation can’t be afraid of that.”
Chaffetz described himself as having four core principles at the heart of his political agenda: fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability and a strong national defense. He said that while he believed strongly in his stances, there is a need for differences in opinion in our country.
“We as a nation are different from almost every other country on the face of the planet because we are self-critical,” Chaffetz said. “In a lot of nations on this earth you can’t challenge your government.”
Chaffetz answered questions on the Affordable Care Act, universal background checks for gun owners, immigration and other hot-button political issues.
In response a student’s inquiry to the truth behind the Benghazi attack, Chaffetz said he was less certain that the attacks on Benghazi were not in protest of the viral video that most news stations referenced.
“It did not line up with what the (Obama) administration was telling,” Chaffetz said.
He concluded that since the U.S. is the most forgiving country on earth, that there needs to be an open dialogue on these types of hot button issues between the American people and the executive administration.