He's campaigning for the 6th District seat.
With loud cheers from supporters, Republican Dan Bongino came to Frederick on Tuesday to announce his intentions to run for Congress from the 6th District. He spoke to an enthusiastic crowd at the American Legion Post on Taney Avenue.
He received some of the loudest applause from the audience when he promised to repeal "Obamacare." "There is nothing compassionated about this program, folks," he says. "There are Democrats as well that are leaving in droves. Union are moving against it. People are organizing against it right now. Folks, we have no choice. It has met none of the standards it has set forth; none."
"Obamacare" or the Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress in 2010, and was intended to expand health care coverage to Americans who don't have it. Opponents say it violates the Constitution because it puts too many mandates on citizens. But the US Supreme Court upheld it as Constitutional in 2012.
Even as they express opposition, Bongino said Republicans must also come up with solutions. "This program is a disaster, but--and there is a but here--we as Republicans have an obligation to put forth a positive solution forward. Saying 'Obamacare' is bad is not a prescription forward. That is called whining, Fix it!," he said strongly.
During his comments, Bongino talked about how he grew up in New York City in an apartment above a bar, and how his family went from paycheck to paycheck. He said he knows what it's like going to bed hungry. But he said many government programs to help fix social problems have made a bad situation worse. Bongino said he saw that when he was a police officer in New York City. "When you're in neighborhoods that are struggling and you're talking to people everyday, you see for real the damage that some poorly-driven, poorly-designed government policies can do. That's real pain, folks. That's not a novel. That's not a soap opera. It's not a TV series. Those are real people who are really struggling in real time and in real life," Bongino said.
In addition to being a New York City Police Officer, Bongino was also with the US Secret Service.
Bongino had originally talked about running for Governor of Maryland, but decided to campaign for Congress. "I didn't think it was best for the party, for me, my family, or for Maryland to get into a steel-caged match primary when there were seats that were competitive that we could win. I thought it was the best choice for us and our network of people," he explained.
The 6th District was held by Republican Roscoe Bartlett for 20 years until he was defeated by Democrat John Delaney in 2012.
On another topic, Bongino told reporters he would not support the current immigration legislation making its way through Congress, calling it an amnesty bill. He also took issue with criticism that Republicans are anti-immigrant. "We're not anti-immigrant! That's a talking being told you by the left that has no real solution. We are pro-immigration, legal, the right way. We will absorb you with open arms. Please, just follow the rules. I have to follow them," he said to applause."
Bongino said his wife, Paula, immigrated legally from Colombia.
But he did acknowledge it would be costly to round up the estimated 12-million undocumented immigrants in the nation and deport them. "Is is possible, physically, right now to find 12-million people? No, it's just not. There's just not enough money to do that. But that doesn't mean we abandon the law. That's not going to work either," he said.