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McCotter promises shrunken government

AMES — Thaddeus McCotter, a relative newcomer to the 2012 field, didn’t take the stage in the Hilton Coliseum to a floor packed with supporters that were waving signs. Despite that, his ending applause rivaled that of the frontrunners.

“When I learned they were going to play that video, I was a bit chagrined,” McCotter said as an opening statement and in reference to a campaign video that featured him playing guitar in a cornfield.

“In my mind’s eye, I have a full head of hair.” he explained to the audience’s laughter.

The remainder of his remarks — very similar to his Iowa stump speeches — were not built for such friviolity.

In discussing the economy, he noted that “the only thing too big to fail in the U.S. are the sovereign American people.”

“That is why I have no doubt that you recognize the future is not big government, it is self-government,” he said.

McCotter believes that government cannot just be cut or shrunk, but that it — and especially entitlement programs and regulatory agencies — must be “restructured for the 21st century.” He says that Republicans understand the fallacy of the “welfare state” is the temptation of false security that takes a person capable of “the dignity of self-reliance” and makes that person dependent upon government.

“You cannot empower an individual by making them dependent on another person,” McCotter said, repeating a phrase he has often used at Iowa events.

“You are the masters of your fate, and you are the custodians of the legacy of liberty. … The lamp of liberty which you cradle in your humble hands will be bequeathed to future generations … and you will trod the road to happier times.”

If elected as president, McCotter pledged not to work for “the pundits, the bundlers or the powerful.”

“I will work for you,” he promised.

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