Dr. Rich McCormick, a Republican candidate for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, spoke to the College Republicans at the University of Georgia on Jan. 29. A former Marine and an emergency medicine physician, McCormick said these backgrounds make him different from his fellow Republicans.
During his speech, McCormick focused on issues such as health care, border security and deregulation.
McCormick cited a frustrating experience when working with patient advocacy groups to get healthcare bills passed in congress as the reason he decided to run for the District 7 seat.
“The chair of the committee that we were presenting to only let one person speak for 5 minutes because he had an opposing bill sponsored by insurance companies,” McCormick said.
He said he has been endorsed by the Medical Association of Georgia.
“Health care is one of the biggest complaints that people have in America. It dominates the spectrum because there’s so many different solutions to it, but most of them are not good,” McCormick said.
McCormick compared the Democrats’ solutions to the health care issue with the children’s book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” by Laura Numeroff.
“If you give them a cookie you gotta give them milk. If you give them milk, you gotta give them a napkin. It goes on and on. If I give you free health care, I gotta give you free education. Free education — what’s next?” McCormick said.
For his solution to the health care issue, McCormick said medicine should be sold in a free market so that quality will go up and prices will go down. He proposed an end to “surprise” medical billing and a reduction of doctors’ paperwork so they can spend more time with patients.
On the issue of border security, McCormick said he supports a strong border but believes robust immigration sustains the job market. He added that the current immigration system is unfair, and that it favors those crossing the border illegally.
“If the Democrats thought that people were coming from Mexico to here to vote for Republicans, they would be pushing me off stage to tell everybody how bad immigration was and why we need to build a wall,” McCormick said.
Deregulation was also a top priority of McCormick’s. He noted that Republicans are supposed to stand for “less paperwork, less bureaucracy.”
At the end of his speech, McCormick fielded audience questions.
When asked how he was different from his follow conservative Republican candidates, he noted that he has lived a lifetime of service, in his church and in his over 20 years of service in the military. McCormick said his expertise in foreign policy and medicine set him apart in the current political climate.
Audience member Spencer Pipkin, a junior political science and journalism major from Valdosta, valued McCormick’s medical experience but wants a candidate with a business background.
“I want someone who is going to be from the business world who is going to go and carve a way, and I didn’t hear much about that, and I wish I would’ve heard some more,” Pipkin said.
McCormick expects the 7th District race to be one of the most pivotal in America, citing current Rep. Rob Woodall’s 2018 win over Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux by 433 votes as an example of the district’s contentiousness. Woodall has announced he will not seek reelection this year.
The Republican and Democrat congressional primary elections are scheduled for May 19.