Weh gave no specifics, but stressed his role as a businessman and veteran as part of his qualifications for the United States Senate.
“I want to tell you that I firmly believe that we can restore the vitality of this country and the vitality of this wonderful state,” Weh said in his announcement. “But hope isn’t a plan. It will take hard work. Americans have never had a shortage of that.”
Weh also spoke about the national debt, fixing what he called “the Obamacare train wreck,” maintaining a strong national defense and improving the economic outlook in the nation.
He also played up his outsider status. Weh said he is “not a career politician.”
“You’ll hear me talk about common sense. Seems to be in real short supply these days in the United States Senate,” Weh said. “Common sense helps smart people figure out what’s right or wrong. What’s important, what’s not important.”
The video of the announcement is embedded below. A full transcript of the video, as transcribed by New Mexico Telegram, is available below.
Weh is the second Republican to enter the race. David Clements is already in the race.
Both hope to knock off incumbent Tom Udall. Udall was first elected in 2008, defeating Rep. Steve Pearce easily. This is the first time Udall is up for reelection.
Weh previously ran for governor in 2010, losing in the Republican primary to Susana Martinez. Martinez, of course, went on to win the general election.
Here is a transcript of Weh’s speech for those who cannot watch the video:
Hello, I’m Allen Weh. Welcome to my home. I’m standing here with both humility and pride to announce my candidacy for New Mexico’s U.S. Senate seat in 2014.
Washington is broken. It’s going to take proven leadership and courage to fix it.
Today I want to talk about our hopes, our opportunities and restoring the nation to its greatness.
This is about Main Street, New Mexico, not Wall Street. I’m part of main street. I’ve built a business here, I employ people here, and I take care of my employees, a responsibility I take very seriously. We never spent more money than we had in the bank.
I’ve also served this country as a Marine. Did my duty in some dangerous places including Vietnam, Somalia and Iraq. From those experiences I’ve learned to have zero tolerance in weak leadership.
In Congress today, we only have a handful of veterans. But members of Congress have to make life-and-death decisions that impact our national security and our men and women in uniform. For these reasons, we really need more Senators who have served in uniform and have been in harm’s way.
A lot of New Mexicans ask themselves these days, ‘Is there a light at the end of the tunnel that we can’t seem to get out of?’ And if their kids and grandkids will be better off than they are. These are very legitimate questions. Because they are fundamental to the success of our society.
So for starters, I want to tell you that I firmly believe that we can restore the vitality of this country and the vitality of this wonderful state. But hope isn’t a plan. It will take hard work. Americans have never had a shortage of that. It will take reducing our spending and national debt. Our country should get by on what we make just like our families do. But that doesn’t mean we have to jeopardize public safety or eliminate assistance to our truly needy. Just eliminating half of the government fraud and waste can create enormous resources available for good use.
Nobody, and I mean nobody –and that includes Democrats, Independents, Republicans — likes to have their tax money wasted or stolen. To achieve this restoration of our nation, we’re going to have to sit down as adults, establish smart priorities and while agreeing to disagree, be willing to negotiate and treat everyone with respect.
Unfortunately compromise and respect for one other are conspicuously missing these days among the career politicians in the United States Senate. But we all know how to change that. And we can.
I’ve got a long list of things that need to be fixed in Washington.
Let me tell you why I’m running — some of the things I’m for.
Economic improvement for New Mexico and our nation: protecting our federal facilities in the state, creating good private sector jobs. Health care reform — fixing the Obamacare train wreck we’ve got now. Federal spending: eliminating government waste, reducing America’s debt and implementing a balanced budget that’s fair to all Americans.
And maintaining a strong national defense in a very dangerous world. Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs Michael Mullen publicly stated that our national debt is our greatest threat to our national defense. As a businessman and as a veteran, I understand debt and national defense better than most.
You’ll hear me talk about common sense. Seems to be in real short supply these days in the United States Senate. Common sense helps smart people figure out what’s right or wrong. What’s important, what’s not important. It’s often as simple as knowing not to stand outside in a pouring rain.
Right now, there are far too many Senators standing out in the rain getting wet because they’re too busy talking to themselves and not listening to the people they serve. Yet the most important thing to me, as I know it is to you, is our families. I’ve worked for them. I’ve protected them. And I want to know they’ll be OK when we have to leave.
I am not a career politician. I’m a husband, a father and a grandfather. Age, experience and wisdom are really great assets for the challenges we face in Washington. With my family standing behind me [family walks in behind him], with your support and prayers, we’re going to fix this. You elect me, I’ll do my best for all of you. Please stand with us.