Nevada Senator John Ensign says the Republican Party needs “new” and “fresh” voices, but Ensign told reporters in Iowa today that his visit to the state which holds the First-In-The-Nation Caucuses is not a signal he’s running for president.
Ensign is in Sioux City tonight to headline a conservative lecture series. During a stop in Le Mars this afternoon, Ensign said it’s important for Republicans to keep pushing for change in education.
“Pay good teachers more. Let’s incentivize people to really go into the teaching profession ’cause that’s where their passion is and if you’re a good science and math teacher, especially because we need those fields so badly in the 21st century, pay ’em more,” he said. “But at the same time, as a trade off for paying some of those folks more, let’s take a bad teacher and tell ’em to go somewhere else. We don’t want you ruining our kids’ education.”
Ensign was a veterinarian in Las Vegas before he ran and won a seat in congress in 1996. He’s been a U.S. senator since 2001. According to Ensign, Republicans need to talk more about the “next generation” and education is an issue which he says Republicans offer “better answers” than Democrats.
“More charter schools, more public school choice, more vouchers,” Ensign said. “There’s no single answer, but more choice certainly has to underlie a lot of what needs to happen because competition breeds excellence, where monopolies breed mediocrity.”
Ensign is head of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and will be traveling the country to build support for Republican candidates for the senate in 2010.