Schweitzer says his future isn't in Congress

2011-07-28T19:57:00Z 2011-07-29T00:10:11Z Schweitzer says his future isn't in Congress

By CHARLES S. JOHNSON

Gazette State Bureau

The Billings Gazette

HELENA — Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Thursday made it clear once again that he has no interest in running for the U.S. Senate or House.

Some have speculated that the Democratic governor, who leaves office after his second term expires in early January 2013, was gearing up to challenge veteran Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., in 2014.

Asked at a press conference if he has any interest in running for the Senate or House, Schweitzer’s answer was an emphatic no, just as it was a year ago during a television interview show.

The governor launched into a long explanation of why he’s not interested in becoming a senator or congressman.

“The system is broken, and it isn’t because we don’t have good people,” Schweitzer said. “We have some good people that we’ve sent from Montana, and we have good people there now. But it seems that the system is broken, and we’re all responsible for that.

“It’s journalism. It’s the 24-hour shout news and radio. It’s the blogs that are shouting at each other and just are angry all the time. It’s the political parties that are always trying to make hay out of it.

“We’re reaching a debt ceiling and last week we were talking about some congressman taking pictures of himself and blogging it around. Most of what they talk about in Washington, D.C., is gotcha, instead of doing their homework and getting their job done and finding a way to work together.

“It’s the corporations with their lobbyists, who are shoveling cash on this side and that side so it protects them from having any kind of regulation or paying their taxes in the United States. So it’s all of us. It’s the political parties, it’s the lobbyists, it’s journalism or the lack thereof. The end result is we have a lot of people shouting at each other and not getting things done.”

Schweitzer said the United States is “just shoveling cash to the military industrial complex, like Eisenhower warned us” not to do.

The American people aren’t immune from his criticism.

“It’s about us looking in the mirror and saying how much do we demand from our government and how much are we willing to pay for. So some of our problems are on us. It’s tough medicine.”

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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