Growing up, State Senator David Rouzer gained plenty of exposure to agriculture working on his family’s tobacco farm.
Rouzer took that experience with him to Washington, where he worked for both the late Senator Jessie Helms and Senator Elizabeth Dole. As the second-term senator from Johnston County told WHQR’s Sara Wood, he’s now seeking the Republican spot to face off with Representative Mike McIntyre for the 7th Congressional District in November.
Rouzer says rules infringe on economic recovery, from small business to domestic energy production. He cites the BP oil spill two years ago as an unintended consequence of regulation.
“The ironic thing is, the reason they’re drilling so far out there is because they can’t drill closer into land. Had they been drilling closer into land, they would have stopped the spill immediately.”
Rouzer supports what he calls an “all-of-the-above” approach to domestic energy production which includes off-shore drilling, fracking and alternative fuels. He believes they can all be tapped in an environmentally-sensitive way. Rouzer says he’s often criticized about his stance on immigration reform because he wants to reduce the number of hoops employers and illegal workers have to jump through in the country’s guest worker program. He says most Americans won’t work the jobs illegal workers are happy to get.
“You know, the immigrant comes here and he looks around and he says ‘Gosh, what an opportunity!’ American-born citizen wakes up and says, ‘Man, I’ve got to go to work again today.’”
Rouzer says without low-skilled labor jobs, high-skilled jobs can’t exist. Take the Mount Olive Pickle Company, he says. If you can’t get the cucumbers out of the field, you can’t pay a marketing specialist.
“And in agriculture I think it’s important for folks to understand you’re either going to import food or you’re going to import labor. And we in this country we’ve got to decide what we’re going to do.”