Republican congressional candidate Erik Aadland speaks at a forum hosted by the Centennial Institute on Sept. 30, 2022, in Lakewood. (Screenshot from livestream)
To Republican congressional candidate Erik Aadland, progressive policies “always fail” and “always cause more suffering,” and the way to correct course is with a conservative congressional majority.
“What we’ve come to realize is that Democrat policies have never served this country, but it’s on stark display right now,” he told a crowd at the Centennial Institute during a candidate forum on Friday morning.
“That’s a positive thing because people are waking up and asking questions,” he said.
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It was the second forum Aadland joined this week, after a virtual event hosted by the League of Women Voters on Wednesday night. His comments on Friday were similar to ones he shared then, though with a more conservative slant at times.
The Centennial Institute is Colorado Christian University’s right-of-center public policy think tank. It hosts the annual Western Conservative Summit and supports traditional Christian values. Aaland’s Democratic opponent, state Sen. Brittany Pettersen, did not participate in the forum.
“I’m sorry my opponent’s not here. Maybe she doesn’t believe in faith, family and freedom. I certainly do,” Aadland said.
Aadland said he is running for Congress to be part of a push to change the country “back to its founding principles” grounded in Judeo-Christian values.
Aadland said that under a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, it’s likely there will be investigations launched on a number of issues. The Democratic-led House is conducting a high-profile investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Investigations led by Republicans, Aadland said, would need to be balanced with “sound legislation.”
“You’re going to see investigations into some of the corruption that we’ve witnessed, especially in the Department of Justice, and within the military with the spreading of the woke agenda in the military academies,” he said.
On inflation, Aadland called the economic concern a direct result of government spending.
“Government needs to operate within its cash flow. We’ve got to fund essential services like Social Security and Medicare and we need good infrastructure. There are essential things that the government needs to provide, but it needs to be efficient,” he said.
He also connected inflation with energy policy, saying that the country is heading towards a “disastrous” energy landscape under the administration of President Joe Biden.
“Sound energy policy acts as a hedge against inflation. We need balance in our energy policy — one that powers our economy but also protects our environment and is sustainable going into the future,” he said.
Aadland criticized the United State’s response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and said he does not consider himself a war hawk following his combat experience in the U.S. Army. He said he wants to see a greater effort to facilitate peace through diplomacy, rather than “encourage escalation” through ongoing support to Ukrainian forces.
The Centennial Institute denied access to a Colorado Newsline reporter and photographer. The forum is available to view on YouTube.
Colorado’s 7th Congressional District includes Denver’s western suburbs and extends into Jefferson, Park, Lake, Chaffee, Teller, Fremont and Custer counties. An analysis of recent election results from the nonpartisan redistricting staff shows a Democratic advantage by about 7 percentage points.
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