Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Updated June 15, 2004, 4:55 am, revised 10:55 am.

Jack Ryan's June 14 Press Conference, a more confident Jack?:

In a wide ranging press conference on Monday with topics discussed including jobs, taxes, the state and national economy, the War, stem cell research, number and formats for Ryan/Obama debates, universal health care and the state’s ideological divide, U. S. Senate Candidate Jack Ryan (R) seemed more at ease and confident than he has been in previous close encounters with the press. Ryan seemed happy to highlight the differences in philosophy and vision between Barack Obama and himself. The Press conference ran aboout 35 minutes and somewhat surprizingly, given the mainstream media's previous behavior in this U. S. Senate general and primary, only about 10% of the time was spent on the sealed custody records issue. Of course, they may revert back to their old habits on Thursday, June 17.
Jack Ryan:… It is no surprise why Illinois has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. You can’t keep increasing taxes and fees on business; have no litigation reform and hope that will keep employers here in Illinois. They are voting with their feet and they are leaving. And, so, if you allow those same policies to have their way in Washington, DC, we’ll have the same result on a national basis—businesses will leave. We are now in this global, competitive economy where businesses can move any place on the Globe they see fit, and so we have to face the challenge and make Illinois and America the jobs magnets of the world- not be imposing taxes and fees and scaring them with litigation problems that will cause them to move to some other country.
Jack Ryan: I wouldn’t intend to appeal [the judge’s decision on the child custody records Thursday], but once again the only way I would appeal and I don’t think the Judge is going to do this- he has been very clear about what he intends to do and as long as he protects my, our- my ex-wife’s and my nine year old son, I am comfortable with his conclusions.
Andy Shaw: Why do you suppose Barack doesn’t want the same debate format…his strategy is to be more in the Democratic markets and skip the markets where you could make bigger inroads?

Jack Ryan: It is hard for me to speculate as to why he wants to debate one topic or certain topics in certain markets…but it would be a huge mistake to be in Chicago and not debate the failing public school crisis. It would be a huge mistake to be in East St. Louis/Madison County and not talk about tort reform. It would be a huge mistake to be in Galesburg or somewhere like that and not talk about jobs. And, so, I feel that we have to open up the topics to whatever the people in that part of the state want to discuss because different parts of the State have higher priorities in different topics.
Jeff Berkowitz: Does that mean you are in favor of a Town Hall format where the residents in that particular area would actually get to ask the questions as opposed to a panel of journalists from that area?

Jack Ryan: In the end, we will go by what the sponsors of the debate conclude, with some input from us. But I think it would be good to have the local residents, the local voters driving many of the questions, if not all of the questions, for that part of the State because that would allow them to ask what is important to them, not what is important to those who are speaking on their behalf.
Reporter: At least ten [debates, corresponding to the 10 media markets] that you are proposing?

Jack Ryan: Yes.
Jack Ryan: I think if we take stem cells from adults or the umbilical cord, I think that is fine. And, I encourage us to use those [stem cells] to advance the progress of science. What we get nervous about, a lot of us get nervous about, is creating life in order to harvest it for other people’s lives and I think that is a dangerous precedent for our country...
David Schaper: Even if those are embryos that were to be used by parents who were trying to have a child…they end up not using certain embryos, they would otherwise be thrown away.

Maura Kelly: And, the parents have consented to their being used [for research].

Jack Ryan: Was the life created in your hypothetical? Was the life formed in your hypothetical?

Maura Kelly: They are embryos that are not being implanted, so I don’t know how you define if life was created.

Jack Ryan: This is where I am conceptually and we can talk about your hypothetical details. If it is the creation of that life, that embryo, that life, then I think we should not touch that for the purposes of enhancing someone else’s life.
I get very weary, as I think most Americans do, about creating some life through cloning or other forms, to help someone else’s life.

Jeff Berkowitz: But [is that the case] even if it has been determined that that embryo will not be allowed to proceed into life? That is, the parents have chosen not to proceed along that path. So, in a sense, that life will be discarded, anyway. So, why would you be against it if embryonic research is going to be more advantageous than the kind of research you have suggested, which is what most medical people say.

Jack Ryan: Will that sanction the loss of that life?

Berkowitz: Well, they are not going to compel the parents to proceed to implant that embryo. And so, that embryo is not going to proceed with life. That’s the argument. Why would you be against it? Nobody is harvesting anything in order to obtain organs.

Jack Ryan: Well, I would look at that particular hypothetical. But, my fear, once again, is whether it could be implanted or hasn’t been, but could create life. Then I get very weary of that step, especially if sanctioned by the Government.
Jack Ryan: …Second, it (Barack’s single payer system) takes the power away from the patient and gives the power to the government. And, I think the way we have to go is to empower the patient, empower the family, so they can choose the doctor they want, the procedure they want, where and when they want it, as opposed to going to the government and saying “can I please get healthcare at some time convenient to you,” and they say Yes or No. To me the idea is to empower the individual and not to empower the government.

Jeff Berkowitz: Is it possible, Jack, that he [Barack Obama] doesn’t mean single payer when he says Universal Healthcare? Is it possible that that is the difference between you two?

Jack Ryan: No.
Jack Ryan Press Conference, June 14, 2004.