iOS app Android app More

Mike Lee, Utah Senate Candidate, Earns Nickname 'Rand Paul Of The West' With His Views

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 06/24/10 01:36 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 05:50 PM ET

By electing Mike Lee as the Republican nominee for Senate in Utah on Tuesday, voters in the state's open primary may also have picked the man who will ultimately fill GOP incumbent Bob Bennett's long-held seat come November.

Lee will face-off against Democratic candidate Sam Granato in the state's general election. Ratings from the Cook Political Report and CQ suggest the Utah seat is very likely to remain in Republican hands.

Given Lee's status as "the overwhelming favorite" to replace Bennett -- who was ousted from his post at the state's GOP convention last month -- it's worth taking a closer look at his views.

Bolstered by support from the Tea Party, Lee has made his "love" and -- as he puts its -- "complete, practical understanding" of the Constitution a cornerstone of his campaign platform. The Republican hopeful touted extremely conservative views on a wide range of issues throughout Utah's Republican primary that mirror many of the policy positions held by Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul.

Lee's hard-lined views on health care reform, immigration and tax-related issues as well as solutions he's offered to drastically reduce the size of federal government -- including eliminating the Departments of Education and Energy -- have even earned him the nickname "the Rand Paul of the West."

The Salt Lake Tribune recently took aim at Lee's political perspectives:

Lee's expertise is his encyclopedic knowledge of the Constitution. But his notions of the founding document are reactionary, so extreme, in fact, that we doubt they will ever find traction in mainstream American legal or political thinking. To do so would require reversing much of the jurisprudence of the 20th century.

The blunt criticism from the Tribune came in an editorial endorsing Lee's former Republican rival, Tim Bridgewater, in the state's primary race.

"To be fair, Bridgewater's policies are almost as radical," said the Tribune. "This is, after all, a contest between hard-right ideologues. But we sense from our discussion with Bridgewater at least a modicum of openness to the spectrum of ideas, a glimmer of a pragmatism. We can't say that of Lee."

Lee's primary win on Tuesday may mark the most significant electoral achievement for the Tea Party movement thus far given the conservative candidate's odds at capturing Utah's Senate seat in November.

Here's a slideshow of various policy views maintained by Utah's newly-minted GOP Senate nominee:

Opposes Amnesty, Wants To Close 'Anchor Baby Loophole'
1 of 11
Mike Lee maintains a hard-lined stance on immigration and has made clear he opposes "amnesty in any form" for undocumented immigrants.

Like Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, Lee has suggested the United States should abandon its policy of guaranteeing citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

Lee defines his stance on the controversial -- even unconstitutional -- position on his campaign website. In tackling the issue, the Senate hopeful suggests congress must "clarify the original intent of the citizenship clause [of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution] through legislation specifying that children born to illegal-alien parents in the United States are not entitled to automatic citizenship."

Lee also has expressed his support for legislative measures seeking to revoke the right of citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants in the U.S. -- a position that would appear to run counter to the 14th Amendment.

"The way I read that amendment is that you're not necessarily subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. just because you're born here," Lee recently said when speaking at a Utah event. "If you're born to parents of illegal aliens who have come here in open violation of our laws, you're not born in the US and subject to the jurisdiction thereof."

The GOP hopeful however admitted, "The 14th amendment provides that any person born in the US and subject to the jurisdiction thereof shall be a citizen of the US and of the state in which he shall reside."

Lee's communication of his position on immigration comes despite the fact that he has made his "love" and superior "complete, practical understanding" of the Constitution a cornerstone of his campaign platform. He has articulated his support of the so-called Birthright Citizenship Act by saying, "I support H.R. 1868."
Total comments: 2019 | Post a Comment
1 of 11
Rate This Slide
Who Cares?

  • 1

  • 2

  • 3

  • 4

  • 5

  • 6

  • 7

  • 8

  • 9

  • 10
Most Noteworthy Mike Lee Views
Users who voted on this slide

Subscribe to the HuffPost Hill newsletter!