Republican Mike McFadden called reporters to a news conference Thursday to talk about his plans to fight wasteful government spending, but when reporters started asking questions about other issues McFadden declined to offer specifics.
McFadden is a political newcomer who hopes to run against DFL Sen. Al Franken in November. A half dozen other Republicans are also competing for the party’s nomination.
The Sunfish Lake businessman said his campaign has begun issuing “Waste of the Week,” reports to highlight what he says is needless federal government spending. The first report is on state-run Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges like Minnesota’s MNsure.
“And our first waste of the week is a tie between three state Obamacare exchanges; Maryland, Oregon and Minnesota,” said McFadden.
After a series of well-publicized problems, MNsure said this week more than 180,000 Minnesotans have used it to sign up for insurance. McFadden would not say whether Minnesota should have used the federal exchange rather than creating its own.
He also refused to say whether he would have voted to block debate in the U.S. Senate on pay equity for women.
McFadden also refused to give a yes or no answer on whether he supports what’s called “personhood” legislation, which considers a fertilized egg to be a person from the moment of conception. Many of the other Republicans in the race say they support that.
McFadden also declined to weigh in on legislative efforts this week to increase Minnesota’s minimum wage.
Some of the other Republicans in the Senate contest accuse McFadden of skirting issues. Asked about his refusal to get specific, McFadden suggested specifics are not important.
“What I think is really important with politicians and with leaders [is] you understand their overriding philosophies — how do they make decisions?” said McFadden. “And so I’ve been very specific in this campaign as to how I make decisions.”