Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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No dodge from Smith on Trump

Feb 26, 2017
In The News

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith made his way to San Marcos Wednesday to visit with constituents and deliver an update on what is happening in Washington.

This is not unusual for Smith, as he visits the Record at least twice a year — even in the years, like this one, that he isn’t running for re-election. These visits are not only informative, but also greatly appreciated by the journalists and management of this newspaper. 

This year is different, however, and the difference can be witnessed every day on television. We see repeated instances of elected Republicans holding town hall meetings and getting blasted by the public over policies President Donald Trump campaigned on that are now coming true — on everything from immigration to the free press.

Smith visited a group from the Chamber of Commerce, a group of his constituents and finished with the Record editorial staff. The entire Chamber was invited to the earlier meeting and about a dozen members showed up. 

It’s safe to say the Record visit was his least favorite of the day. However, it was where I gained the most respect for Smith. 

The topics covered included Trump’s exaggeration of his electoral college win, the border wall, climate change, the qualifications of Rick Perry to be Secretary of Energy, the bathroom bill, Trump’s relationship with Russia, what he would like to see replace the ACA, over-spending on Trump’s secret service protection and the suspended entry of refugees from Syria.

 Managing Editor Anita Miller asked the questions and Smith answered them all. Like any session of this type, some of the questions were difficult to answer without implying Smith was at odds with Trump. Some of the Trump loyalty questions were answered with “you need to listen to what the President says” on that subject.

The point is, Smith is visiting the communities in his district when other Congressmen — like Roger Williams from western Hays County and John Carter from Williamson County — have been less willing to do so.

Democrats and Republicans continue to fight each other at every turn. The Record editorial staff, except for Russell Wilde, was shocked when Trump beat Hillary Clinton. The past 30 days have been wild, and I truly believe the news media’s interest level in this president is at an all-time high, just like the stock market. 

Smith’s patience with the Record’s questioning was outstanding; and while he must get frustrated at times, we believe he values the First Amendment and San Marcos will always be able to count on him telling us exactly what is happening in Washington and where he stands.

We hope the transcript of Smith’s interview in today’s edition proves informative and interesting to all Record readers.