Republicans are set to make a point about Obama administration’s regulatory agenda tonight by inviting the CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp. to President Obama’s Joint Session of Congress address.
The Nashville-based company was raided by federal officials last month for importing ebony from India for use in guitars – wood that the Justice Department says was “fraudulently” labeled to evade Indian export laws.
On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter – a guitar player himself – said Republicans are seeking to highlight a concern that extends even to the artistic community.
He said musicians are worried that the Obama administration’s enforcement standards could lead them to lose their instruments, if they can’t prove the materials used to put them together were imported legally.
“There is great concern, and it’s not just on the Republican side,” said McCotter, R-Mich. “You have many musicians that are out there who are worried about what happens if they take a guitar across the country, international borders, are they going to have it subjected to a search?”
“People love Gibson guitars,” he continued. “They’re very precious to them. And I think it’s another attempt by Republicans to show that the burden of the regulatory state and its impacts on people are not just the quote-unquote ‘cartoon characters’ of corporate executives.”
McCotter, a Republican presidential candidate, wasn’t invited to last night’s debate at the Reagan Presidential Library. He made a point of not watching, instead live-Tweeting his viewership of other channels – including the “History Channel.”
“I learned on ‘American Pickers’ that the Mickey Gilley piano was appraised at $8 to $10,000,” he said. “It was quite a pick-up for the guy. It was nice to see that type of entrepreneurial spirit in America going forward.”
From what he did watch of the debate, McCotter said he saw candidates “missing the point” about what it takes to create jobs in a global environment.
He said the new GOP front-runner, Gov. Rick Perry, needs to prove himself when it comes to foreign policy.
“Governor Perry, I think he’s a conservative. The question is whether or not he’s the best person who can not only deal with a stagnant economy, but deal with a nation at war,” he said.