Roskam Says He Will Not Underestimate Opponent
During a conference call on Friday, Roskam promoted Republican congressional candidates in Illinois.
Rep. Peter Roskam said he is confident the voters in Illinois' 6th Congressional District will return him to Washington, D.C. in November.
Although the 6th District is a solid Republican district, Roskam said he is not taking any chances and will campaign hard for re-election. Roskam is being challenged by Democrat Ben Lowe of Wheaton.
"I will not underestimate my opponent at all. We are running an aggressive ground game and are working the precincts hard," Roskam said during a conference call on Oct. 8. "You'll notice that we have begun putting our campaign signs up across the district and I'm meeting with my constituents. I think on election day it's more than likely true we'll be sent back to Washington."
Roskam was in Wheaton earlier this week to honor Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller during a memorial service at St. Michael's Parish and School. Miller was killed in Afghanistan in 2008. On Oct. 6, Miller was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.—Roskam spoke at the simultaneous service in Wheaton.
Roskam, a Glen Ellyn native, was first elected to Congress in 2006. Prior to being elected to Congress, he served in the Illinois legislature starting in 1993.
Roskam said this will be a good year for Republicans in Illinois. He said voters across his district and the rest of the state are upset that Democrats spent most of 2009 talking about health care as the economy crumbled.
"People were screaming about jobs. They were looking to their representatives to preserve the economy, but all they got was talk about health care," Roskam said. "Now we have unemployment of over 10 percent."
Roskam was outspoken about the costs of President Barack Obama's health care plan. He said the plan talks about access to insurance, but does not address the enormous costs. Roskam said the next Congress, which he thinks will likely have a Republican majority, will look at ways to address those issues, including replacement legislation.
He said a Republican majority would introduce a strategy to stimulate jobs growth.
The purpose of Friday's conference call was so Roskam could provide members of the media with an update not only on his re-election bid, but also the campaigns of three Republican challengers. Roskam was joined on the call by the three challengers, Adam Kinzinger, Bob Dold and Bobby Schilling.
Roskam touted the candidates and said each one would make a great addition to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kinzinger, a Bloomington Republican, is challenging Rep. Debbie Halvorson for her seat in the 11th Congressional District, which includes Joliet and portions of Will, McLean, Grundy and LaSalle counties. Kinzinger said Roskam spent time with him in his district recently. The 11th is considered a swing district.
"Our polling is good and it shows we're holding a double digit lead," Kinzinger said. "I think the election results will show even greater numbers for us."
Schilling likewise said his internal polls show he has a three-point lead over Rep. Phil Hare. Schilling is running in the 17th District which includes many of the counties along the Iowa and Missouri borders.
Dold on the other hand said his polling numbers show him to be in a statistical dead heat with Democrat Dan Seals in the 10th Congressional District. The 10th District, is an open district that covers municipalities north of Chicago. The district is currently held by Republican Rep. Mark Kirk, who is running for U.S. Senate.
Roskam said he predicts Republicans will pick up several Illinois seats in November. He said the fact Obama came to Illinois to campaign for Alexi Giannoulias on more than one occasion indicates the seat is no longer considered safe for the Democrats. Obama was in Chicago campaigning for Giannoulias the first week of October.
"If they have to bring him in this late in the campaign, then they are worried about the seat," Roskam said.