Glenn Hamer (AZ): ‘I’m a Traditional Reagan Republican’
As head of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Glenn Hamer (50) a Republican from Scottsdale, AZ, is a vocal proponent of international trade, advocating for an Arizona-Mexico trade alliance and serving on international delegations to China, Canada, Israel and the UK. He previously worked on Capitol Hill and was executive director of the Arizona Republican Party. He is married to a native Israeli whom he met at an AIPAC conference.
Which issues most concern you in this election cycle?
A candidate’s support for Israel is very, very important to me. I don’t believe I’ve ever voted for a candidate whom I considered hostile towards Israel, or by association, the Jewish people. But I’m a traditional Reagan Republican. I’m in favor of lower taxes, less regulation, free trade, strong defense. I’m generally very supportive of immigration; my wife’s a dual citizen.
Are there political conflicts in your family?
On Israel, we’re all united. We’re all pretty strong when it comes to national defense for the United States as well. There are some differences when it comes to other issues, but I wouldn’t say sharp differences. I have grown daughters who are now more engaged in politics. They’re millennials or generation Z, so they see the world in a different way. We have good healthy discussions on political issues.
Do you have any idea who you’ll support for president?
Certainly not someone who’s extreme like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Regardless of who the candidate is, if they’re running on a far-left Medicare-for-all type agenda, I’m not going to support them, because I do believe that a healthy economy benefits everyone, regardless of political party. I will, however, vote for a major party candidate this time. With the Democrats though, there’s no one running on a Bill Clinton, moderate-centrist agenda at this point. And I haven’t seen any Democrat who has gained traction, so I’m going to see how things sort out.
Is there anything that Donald Trump can do that would allow you to support him?
I’ve been very pleased with some of his international relations policies, including with Israel, and some of the trade activities, but tweeting less would be great. Focusing more on core issues, such as infrastructure, good trade agreements and the economy. Sticking to the day job type activities would give me a lot of comfort. I’d much prefer civility and a focus on the important work of government and getting things done. I’d prefer to see the president and his administration working across the aisle on key issues that people care about.
Do you support the impeachment inquiry?
I was on Capitol Hill during the Clinton impeachment, and Republicans took it seriously. Looking back, I think a lot of Republicans would say it wasn’t worth putting the country through that. And it boomeranged politically. Impeachment is an extremely serious thing and it needs to be treated as such. I don’t see any way, based on the information that’s out there, that there would be a conviction in the Senate. I don’t believe it’s the wisest use of time when there are so many, many issues that require bipartisan, serious congressional work.
If Trump is elected for a second term what would you like to see him do differently?
Both parties need to focus on entitlements. The budget can only be tackled if Republicans and Democrats work together. The deficit and the debt will continue to increase no matter who is president and that issue requires presidential leadership. I would hope that there would be more time spent on looking for bipartisan solutions to key issues. I’m not saying anything that a million Republicans haven’t said.