Greenberg says he will bring bipartisan approach to Congress

Greenberg says he will bring bipartisan approach to Congress

MERIDEN — Republican congressional candidate and businessman Mark Greenberg said he can bring bipartisanship to Washington but added that his opponent has effectively mislabeled him as partisan.

The Litchfield developer is running for the 5th Congressional District against incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Esty. He lost a Republican primary for the same seat in 2012.

Greenberg said his experience negotiating contracts, leases and agreements would help clear political impasses in Congress. He believes voters are angry about partisanship in Washington.

“They want to fight, fight, fight and that’s just wrong,” he said during a Monday meeting with the Record-Journal editorial board. “I have a track record of making deals in my business. I try to find common ground with all folks.”

Greenberg said he respects the Constitution but doesn’t identify himself with the Tea Party movement or all of its tenets. He claimed Esty was trying to portray him as a radical Republican, adding that her efforts had been to some extent successful.

“You’ve heard it that way because she’s tried to paint me that way,” Greenberg said.

He objected to a television ad run by Esty’s campaign questioning Greenberg’s support of Social Security. Greenberg said a four-year old quote of his calling the program an “entitlement” was taken out of context.

“It’s an entitlement program that folks are entitled to get their money from,” he said.

The ad was a “cut and paste hatchet job” and “completely inaccurate.”

To keep Social Security solvent, Greenberg said he would raise the minimum age to 70 but would do so gradually. Those 52 and older would see no change.

In a debate with Esty last week, Greenberg said he supported background checks for all gun purchases. He added that because of that stance the National Rifle Association would downgrade his ‘A’ rating to an ‘F.’ Less than a day later, the NRA did just that.

Greenberg said he regretted the remark about his rating but stood by his position on background checks.

“I wish I’d never made it,” he said.

Greenberg opposed the gun ban bill passed after the Sandy Hook school shooting. He said the issue was mental health, not magazine capacity.

“To a certain extent that legislation was an emotional reaction to it,” Greenberg said.

Another factor is violent video games. “Get rid of these video games or rate them,” he said. The Entertainment Software Rating Board does provide ratings for video games on packaging.

Greenberg said he supports the Keystone pipeline and offshore drilling, both of which Esty opposed due to their impact on the environment. Both projects create jobs and help the country move towards energy independence, Greenberg said.

Jobs are people’s number one concern.

“Meriden is not different from many other towns and cities in the fifth district that have been stuck in a rut since 2008,” he said. “We haven’t pulled out.”

While jobs are the number one issue, Greenberg said the Middle East situation was the second most critical. He said America faced dangers from Islamic State militants.

“These people have said they want to fly their flag from the White House. That’s a serious statement,” Greenberg said.

While he supported air strikes, he doubted air power alone would defeat the Islamic State. The nation’s role isn’t to quell a Middle Eastern war, though.

“I have one concern: protecting our citizens,” Greenberg said. “I’m not thinking we can be the world’s policeman.”
Twitter: @JBuchananRJ


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