Sen. Bennett is No 'Staunch' Conservative

Incumbent Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) was ousted Saturday from his state’s Republican primary by caucus voters fed up with big government spending, "stimulus," bailouts and the passage of Obamacare — for starters.

His ouster from the primary is proof GOP voters are not limiting their ire to Democrats.

Bennett has been a big spender over his 18 years in the Senate, consistently voting to the left of his constituency.  And from the red state of Utah that’s not a plan for  lifetime Senate employment. 

When first elected back in 1992, Bennett pledged he would term-limit himself and serve no more than two terms.  That was three terms ago — now seeking a fourth.

Bennett also offered an alternative health care bill with co-sponsor Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that included its own unconstitutional coverage mandate.  He continues to defend his bill that is in many ways indistinguishable from Obamacare. 

Bennett also voted in favor of the TARP bailout which did not sit well with conservative Utah voters, and he is a notorious for his aggressive pursuit of big-ticket earmark spending.

“The political atmosphere obviously has been toxic, and it’s very clear that some of the votes that I have cast have added to the toxic environment,” Bennett told reporters after the loss on Saturday, as he fought to hold back tears.

“Looking back on them, with one or two very minor exceptions, I wouldn’t have cast any of them any differently, even if I had known at the time they were going to cost me my career,” Bennett said.

And that’s the crux of the problem.

Politicians who’ve been in Washington for too long somehow become “enlightened” and think they know how to better run the lives of their constituents.  It’s their job as conservatives to limit what the government inflicts on our lives and pocketbooks.

And it’s not a syndrome that can always be measured by length of service.  When our representatives begin to substitute their own will and desires for the will of the people they represent — because they know what’s best for you whether you like it or not —  they’ve been in Washington too long, be it one term or twenty.

Bennett has over his career shifted left and has consistently voted to the left of his conservative constituency. 

Eric Erickson, editor of our sister publication, has for months documented some of Bennett’s more questionable “conservative” actions:


  • September 5, 1996 voted create a Federal offense to possess a gun within 1,000 yards of a school.
  • May 13, 1999 voted to ban the importation of clips that hold more than 10 rounds.
  • May 18, 1999 voted for mandatory trigger locks.
  • May 20, 1999, subjected pawn shops and repair stops to the same registration and background check requirements as dealers.
  • May 20, 1999, voted for the anti-gun crime bill.
  • February 26, 2004, voted for mandatory trigger locks.
  • September 9, 2009, voted for radical anti-gun “Regulatory Czar” Cass Sunstein.
  • February 11, 1998, voted for anti-gun activist Margaret Morrow to the federal bench.
  • May 13, 1999, voted to punish parents who allow a minor to handle a semi-automatic firearm.


  • August 3, 1993 voted for Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the Supreme Court
  • July 29, 1994 voted for Stephen Breyer for the Supreme Court
  • October 2, 1998 voted for Sonia Sotomayor to be circuit judge.


  • Authored health care legislation that provides mandatory coverage for same sex domestic partnerships.
  • August 3, 1993, voted for Thomas Payzant, Assistant Secretary for Elementary Education. Payzant drove the Boy Scouts out of the San Diego schools due to their views on homosexuality.
  • June 15, 2004 voted to add “sexual orientation” as a special class in the Federal Hate Crimes law.
  • September 18, 1997 Voted against prohibiting the National Endowment for the Arts from funding obscene or anti-religious works with taxpayer dollars.
  • May 24, 1993 voted for gay rights activist Roberta Achtenberg to be Assistant Secretary for Equal Opportunity at HUD. Achtenberg led several efforts to punish or the Boy Scouts for its policy on homosexuality.


  • Authored health care legislation that includes abortion coverage.
  • September 10, 2009 Voted for Cass Sunstein to be a Regulatory czar. Sunstein says “abortion should not be seen as murder of the fetus but instead as a refusal to continue to permit one’s body to be used to provide assistance to it.”
  • September 13, 2000 voted against urging China to end its forced abortion policy.
  • February 2, 2000 voted to provide special penalties in bankruptcy against pro-life protesters.
  • February 18, 1993 Voted for taxpayer funded research using tissue from fetuses from elective abortions.
  • February 11, 1998 Voted against a ban on human cloning
  • July 18, 2006 Voted to allow taxpayer funding for stem cell research on human embryos.
  • February 10, 1998 Voted for David Satcher for Surgeon General. Satcher supported partial birth abortion.

It should come as no great surprise the conservative core of Utah Republicans sent Bennett packing Saturday at their caucus.  When radical left-wingers try to tell you that the Utah GOP threw out a strong conservative, now you know better.

Votes matter — ours and theirs.

Businessman Tim Bridgewater and attorney Mike Lee will face off in the Utah GOP primary on June 22.

Conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has endorsed Lee for the nomination which in red state Utah is the election.