ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Republican Senate candidate Dino Rossi – who’s running in a critical race that could determine control of the Senate – said today that he would support repealing both the new health care law and the new Wall Street reform bill. Speaking of the health care measure, “We need to repeal that bill,” Rossi, R-Wash., said on ABC/Washington Post’s “Top Line.” “The cost — the $500 billion tax increase alone cost the Boeing Co. in my state $150 million. But if you replicate that across the state of Washington, there’s tens of thousands of jobs that’ll be lost or won’t be created because of Patty Murray’s 60th and deciding vote. We shouldn’t be trying to kill jobs in our state right now.” Asked if he would also would press to repeal the Wall Street reform bill, Rossi said: “I think we should. I think we should put reforms in that actually protect the public and don’t reduce the amount of money that small businesses have available to them to grow, because 64 percent of job creation since ’92 came from small businesses, and now, we’re just killing them.”
Rossi has signed on to the “Contract from America,” a grassroots initiative whereby candidates to commit to pushing for initiatives that were suggested by voters. One of the group’s planks calls for replacing the current system of taxation with a “flat tax,” where everyone would pay taxes at the same rate, regardless of income level. “I think that the reality is, is that we need to have fair and predictable regulation and taxation,” Rossi said. Rossi, a two-time candidate for governor, is favored to face off against Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., despite Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Tea Party favorite Clint Didier in the race in Washington State. He said he’s not concerned with being branded the “establishment” candidate. “The reality is, is that I’m the guy that balanced the biggest deficit in state history as chairman of the [state] Senate Ways and Means Committee, without raising taxes and still protect the venerable, and did it in the bipartisan fashion. And Parry Murray’s gonna be very worried because the last primary ballot test I saw had her at 37, me at 33, the endorsed candidate by Sarah Palin at 5 percent and another Republican at 3. You add all of us up, it’s higher than Patty Murray’s, and the 19 percent that are undecided of the 18-year incumbent — whether they’re gonna vote for her or not — that’s what she has to be worried about.” Asked whether Palin’s endorsement will have an impact, he said: “You know, we want to welcome anybody that wants to work in good faith to turn this country around, and we haven’t been seeking endorsements. She endorsed him three weeks before I even got in the race.” Rossi refusing to seek or accept budget earmarks, until the process of awarding them is overhauled. That goes even for his state’s large employers, like Boeing. “Anything worth doing is worth doing in the normal budgeting process, not in the dark of the night with one senator nudging another, saying, ‘I’ll vote for your stuff if you vote for mine.’ The old school measurement of a good senator was how much pork you drug home, and quite frankly, with Republicans and Democrats alike doing that, it’s bankrupting America. We can’t do that,” Rossi said. He also bragged that he’s already beating Murray — in terms of number of Facebook followers. “The day we announced about — I don’t know, about six weeks ago — Patty Murray on Facebook had about 10,000 fans, and we passed her in 48 hours. We doubled that in six days. We’re about ready to triple her now, and we have about 30,000 people, and that’s how we communicate with our volunteers. And we’re raising money, and it’s been phenomenal.” Watch the full interview with Senate candidate Dino Rossi HERE. For our “Post Politics” segment, we chatted with Paul Kane, who covers Congress for The Washington Post, about the deep divisions on Capitol Hill over the war in Afghanistan, plus the growing frustration among House Democrats who took tough votes, only to see initiatives die in the Senate. Watch the discussion with Paul Kane HERE.